Studying a trade, just like any other type of study program, comes with various expenses. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that can help you finance your education. These are three options to consider when looking for ways to cover your trade school costs.

Apply for Vocational Scholarships and Grants

Depending on the trade you choose to study, there are many possibilities for you to get scholarships and grants. The benefit of doing your part and spending some hours finding out what the options are and how to submit your application can pay off. You may have the opportunity to receive money that is for you and your studies, without having to worry about paying it back in the future.

You can apply to scholarships based on merit, due to financial need, if you are linked to the military through a family member, or if you have served in the military.

You can also receive scholarships based specifically on the trade program you are going to study. For example, if you plan to study a cosmetology program, a welding program, or others such as the American Trucks Scholarship Program, then you can apply for scholarships created by different organizations, unions, and/or businesses that want to support students within their industry economically.

There are also scholarships to help break stereotypes within trade jobs – such is the case of the scholarship for Women in Auto Care and the grants for Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO).

Grants are another way to help you fund your studies without having to worry about paying back later because they exist to make your life as a student easier. However, in some circumstances, grants need to be repaid if your situation has changed or the like; this is the case of the Federal Pell Grant, where you need to maintain certain status as a student to keep receiving it.

Block a morning or an afternoon, get online and type in your browser search engine the name of the trade program you would like to study (or are already studying) along with keywords, such as “scholarship” and “Grant” to see what’s there for you to apply and receive money. Keep track of the possibilities there are for you to cover your expenses as a student and make sure to gather everything you need before submitting your application.

It’s important to remember that applying for scholarships and grants is something you can do more than once throughout the completion of your studies. So if you do not get it the first time, you can and should apply again!

Budget Your Student Loan

While the downside of loans is that you have to pay them back with interest, they can still be a good solution to paying for your school expenses if you budget them right. Fortunately, CET empowers students to have an understanding of money management by requiring “financial literacy” competency to be completed as part of their training.

Consider looking at Federal Student Loans to learn more about what loans are available to you. Depending on your current status as a student, whether you are an undergraduate student, a graduate or professional student, or even a parent of a student, you could potentially borrow between $5,000 to $25,500 a year.

Though they do not have the best reputation, private loans can be an option to look into if you are financially savvy. If you think this is a good option to explore, the key is to make sure you understand how much money you will need to pay for your studies as well as understanding what the interest rate will amount to with the payment plan you are creating for it.

One of the advantages of finding resources to cover the cost of a trade school education is that you are more likely to graduate in a shorter period of time. Then you will be able to earn a salary that, with the right budget plan in place, will allow you to pay back your loan sooner and save money on interest.

Finally, there is also the option of choosing a federal loan that qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Specific programs, such as the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, are eligible. To be eligible, borrowers must make 120 monthly payments and be full-time employees of a qualifying public service job or eligible nonprofit. Before you take this option into consideration, it is important to research all of the requirements

Earn Money While Studying

Another way to cover your expenses while studying is by dedicating some hours to work. And while this might be something you were already thinking about, doing this through Federal Work-Study allows you to secure a part-time job working at a non-profit and/or in the area related to your studies. The money that you earn is for you to use toward your personal expenses, whether that is tuition or living expenses.

Another way to cover your expenses while studying at a trade school is through apprenticeship. While some may think that you have to either study at a trade school or decide to take the apprenticeship route, as a student of a trade, you have more options. You can work part-time with a mentor or work directly in the industry of your choosing, bringing your most recent learned skills with you. This gives you the opportunity to practice, improve, and earn money as you study!

The best way to learn about what opportunities are available to finance your studies is by visiting the financial aid section on the website of the school you want to attend. Most schools should have this information online  – if they don’t, make sure to reach out to ask.

As a future student at a trade school, you are getting ready to invest in yourself in a way that benefits all areas of your life. Everything from a sense of self-sufficiency to being able to grow and expand your knowledge by applying your skills. Congratulations on having made this important decision!

To learn more about other student’s experiences joining our programs, watch this video.