At AAI, our goal is to help you find financial aid options and provide the information you need to make an informed decision. We will work with you to help make career training an affordable investment in your future.
Pursuing your education through vocational school could be more cost efficient than a four year college. It could even be more career-oriented than a community college, but that doesn’t mean trade school is free. However, students aren’t alone. There are trade school scholarships, trade school grants, and trade school loans available that may be used at eligible trade schools, and for many of these, all potential applicants need do is apply – just be sure to keep an eye on deadlines!
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Possibly the largest supplier of student aid is the federal government. Through a variety of programs, the Department of Education provides grants and loans. In addition, scholarships for trade programs and non-federal forms of aid could require the FAFSA to be completed – so be sure to complete this important form accurately while being mindful of its strict deadlines.
The 2019-2020 FAFSA opened October 1, 2018 and closes at midnight Central Time on June 30, 2020. Corrections and updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time on September 14, 2020. However, some state aid programs have earlier deadlines. Be sure to check the deadlines for all states where you could be eligible for aid.
There are criteria that could affect your ability to receive financial aid. For many federal programs, applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens with a Social Security number. A high school diploma or GED could also be required. Due to the complex nature of the process, we welcome AAI applicants and students to meet with a member of our financial aid team. During your consultation, we’ll show you how to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and answer any questions you may have about the process.
Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.
Trade School Financial Assistance
Some professional groups and trade organizations provide assistance specifically for students in the trade they support. This varies by industry, and some could require membership prior to application. Each organization has different application requirements.
For example, the National Association of Oil and Energy Service Professionals provides scholarships to those seeking to study HVAC repair and maintenance. For those students seeking to study automotive service, the Automotive Hall of Fame offers a uniquely tailored scholarship program. These are just a few options, as many scholarships for trade programs exist – all students need to do is apply!
Trade School Scholarships
There are many ways to find financial aid that aren’t purely merit-based. Some scholarship programs could be based on age, gender, race, religious affiliation, and field of study. There could be a scholarship for just about anything – you just need to find it. Here are a handful of scholarships AAI’s team is aware of:
The Sallie Mae Unmet Need Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by Sallie Mae Community Engagement. It’s open to families with a combined income of $30,000 or less, and has its own eligibility criteria. Specifically, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are accepted or enrolled as full time undergraduate students.
Live Más Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by Taco Bell, and is “passion based” – they want to see how excited you are about your field of study. A separate program is offered for employees of Taco Bell.
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Offered by The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola bottlers, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards $20,000 to 150 college freshman each year. The qualifications for this scholarship are leadership, service, and actions that positively affect others.
Trade School Grants
Grants are another financial aid option. Grants are somewhat similar to scholarships in that they don’t need to be paid back. Grants differ in that they tend to have need and/or merit based criteria. Grants are also usually non-competitive, as scholarships become ever more difficult to receive, grants could help make up the difference in funding.
Remember that in many cases, retaining the benefits of a grant requires the student to complete the semester in which the grant was offered, and withdrawing early could cause the grant to have to be repaid.
These are subsidies the US federal government provides to students based on expected need as indicated on the FAFSA. For the 2019-2020 school year, the 2019-2020 Pell Grant award is $6,195, but the actual amount issued is determined by many factors.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This grant program is offered by the school directly, based on information from the FAFSA. The amount offered varies based on a number of factors, but is normally between $100 and $4,000 each year. Once all funds at each school are assigned, no more awards can be made for that year – so be sure to apply early!
Loans For Aspiring Students
Loans are money that, in the vast majority of situations, must be paid back. There are many private lenders offering student loans, so be sure to read the terms of each before accepting a particular loan offer. The federal government also offers loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.
Direct Subsidized Loans
These loans are made directly to undergraduate students by the federal government, based on financial need. The government covers some of the cost of the loan while the student is in school. These are also known as Subsidized Stafford Loans.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
These loans are made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Students accrue interest while in school, but can elect to make some payments to help reduce the total cost of the loan. These are also known as Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
Direct PLUS Loans
These are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. The terms of these loans are based on traditional credit ratings, and those with an adverse history may need to meet additional requirements. These are sometimes referred to as Parent PLUS Loans.
Some forms of financial aid are only available to service members and their families. These forms of aid can have additional restrictions to include being in good standing with the military, and our financial aid team is happy to discuss these programs with you in detail.
MyCAA for Military Spouses
This program provides up to $4,000 of aid to eligible military spouses. The scholarship is available to those pursuing a license, certification, or Associate degree in a portable career field as designated by the Department of Defense.
Forever GI Bill Ⓡ
The Forever GI BillⓇ – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act provides expanded benefits to more service members. The changes included some modernization, with most changes increasing availability of programs and funds. A full summary of the changes is available on the Veterans Affairs website.
Talk To a Financial Aid Advisor Today!
Every campus visitor is invited to meet with our financial aid department for a personalized consultation where you can ask questions and develop a clear understanding of the financial aid options that are available. We work with you to make career training an affordable investment in your future. During your consultation, we’ll show you how to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and answer any questions you may have about the process. If you have a question, either before or after your consultation, please let us know. We look forward to speaking with you!