Financial Aid Options for Career Schools


Seeking a higher education is a great way to further your career and earn a higher salary. At trade or technical schools, students are able to learn valuable skills, get hands-on training, and start working faster than they can in a traditional college setting. And while trade schools are typically less expensive than four-year colleges, tuition can still be a large out-of-pocket expense. Luckily, there are a variety of financial aid programs available to students hoping to further their education at trade schools.

Types of Financial Aid

There are three primary financial aid options for trade school students. Some require the student to pay the money back either during school or after graduating, and other forms of funding do not have to be paid back. Here are the three types of funding offered to career school students. 

1. Grants

Grants are a highly sought-after form of financial aid because they do not have to be paid back. Unlike scholarships that are typically given based on academic achievement or vocation, grants are most commonly offered based on a student’s financial need. Two common grants available to most trade school students include:


The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a need-based grant available to trade school students. The amount offered by FSEOG can range from $100 – $4,000 per year and is based on the student’s financial need after completing the FAFSA application. Funds given by FSEOG are either sent to the student by check or applied directly to a school account.

  • Pell Grants

If a student is not eligible for FSEOG, they may still find funding through a Pell Grant. Pell Grants are given to students based on their financial needs and the cost of tuition. The length of time a student is planning to be in school and their part-time or full-time status is also taken into consideration. The amount of money offered is subject to change; however, during the 2017-2018 school year, the maximum allowance was $5,920. Pell Grants are only offered for up to 12 semesters for six years of school attendance. The only way to receive a Pell Grant is by applying for FAFSA. 

2. Student Loans

Student loans are a very common way to pay for both four-year colleges and trade schools. While this option typically allows students to receive full funding for their education, the money has to be paid back either during school or soon after graduation. Additionally, loans often have a high-interest rate, meaning the student is paying back more than was originally borrowed. The two primary forms of student loans include:

  • Private Loans

Private loans are typically offered by banks, credit unions, or state-based organizations. Because these loans are provided by a private lender, the conditions and interest rates may vary and are set by the individual organization. Private loans often have higher interest rates than federal loans, with an annual average of 18 percent. However, they are a great option when seeking extra funding for school after exhausting other options.

  • Federal Loans

Federal student loans are offered by the federal government. These loans come with benefits and conditions set by law, including fixed interest rates and income-driven repayment plans. After grants and scholarships have been awarded, federal loans are the best next step to receiving funding for school.

3. Scholarships

Scholarships are another great way to acquire funding for career college that do not have to be paid back. Here are the two primary types of scholarships to consider while applying for trade school:

  • Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships are typically given through the school the student is attending. These scholarships are awarded to students based on a certain GPA, achievement, or test score. To win a scholarship, students must apply and meet the specific criteria of the scholarship. Because schools have a limited scholarship budget each year, only a select number of students can be offered scholarships each year.

  • Vocational Scholarships

Scholarships are often available through private companies based on the trade the student is choosing to study in school. For example, a construction student may be eligible for Home Depot’s Orange Scholars Scholarship Program. There are also a variety of scholarships available to women, veterans, and members of the LGBTQ community who are pursuing higher education.

Financial Aid at Woodruff Medical

Students hoping to attend Woodruff Medical have many financial aid options to help with tuition costs. Woodruff Medical students are eligible to apply for Pell Grants, FSEOG, subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, and college work-study. To apply for one of our financial aid options, all you have to do is electronically fill out the FAFSA. Tuition costs should not be a roadblock in pursuing higher education and a rewarding career. When it comes to paying for school, be sure you know your options and make the best decision for your future.


To find out more about applying to Woodruff Medical, visit our admissions page today.

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