Your dream education doesn’t have to be a four-year degree. Trade school programs offer alternative education in culinary fields, the construction industry, and much more. Even though the cost of trade school is much lower than a traditional four-year college education option, you should still look into financial aid for trade school to help lower the cost.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into your options for scholarships and education grants for trade school. We will also give you tips on where to find even more financial resources for trade school that you can consider to help with the costs.
Does FAFSA Cover Trade School?
Yes, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, covers trade schools. However, you must do research on which trade schools are accredited to receive financial grants under FAFSA.
How to Find Financial Aid for Trade School
- Apply for afederal financial aid program. The Federal Government, through the Department of Education, gives federal grants, federal loans, and work-study funds to qualified students through the FAFSA application form. These federal student aid programs are a great resource to start covering the cost of trade school tuition.
- Choose a specific career path. Knowing what career you want to pursue will help you find financial aid and vocational scholarships. There are a wide variety of scholarships offered for specific trades. Learn all about the program or career you want and find potential schools and organizations offering scholarships for those careers.
- Research scholarships. Scholarships are sometimes specific to a career field or a trade school program. Scholarship money is very beneficial to lessen the cost of a trade school. Private trade schools are more expensive than others so it’s best to apply for scholarships to lessen college costs.
- Consider private student loans. If you aren’t able to meet all your financial needs through financial aid, you can apply for a private loan. Some private lenders, like Sallie Mae, offer trade school loans that cater to a specific career school. Student loans can cover the whole cost of the program as well as housing, food, and other supplies.
- Check with your trade’s professional association. Most trades have a professional association or organization to support members. One example is the American Welding Society for welders. Most professional associations provide some assistance for educational training.
Financial Aid: The Best Scholarships and Grants for Trade School
|Scholarship or Grant Name||Provider||Amount|
|Beauty & Wellness Professionals Scholarship||
|HOPE Grant||Georgia Lottery for Education||Variable|
|HOPE Career Grant||Georgia Lottery for Education||Variable|
|Lincoln Tech Competition-Based Scholarships||Lincoln Technical Institute||$500 to full tuition|
|A.J. Grisanti Memorial Scholarship Fund||National Restaurant Association||$2,500|
|North Dakota Scholarship||North Dakota Department of Public Instruction||Up to $6,000|
|Families of Freedom Scholarship||Scholarship America||Variable|
|Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program||US Department of Education||$1,000 to $4,000|
|Pell Grants||US Department of Education||$6,495|
|Tuition Reimbursement||Your Employer||Variable|
The Best Financial Aid Resources for Trade School
If you want to avoid loans, there are federal grants, private scholarships, and financial aid opportunities for vocational students. You can visit your school’s financial aid department or admissions office to learn more about specific scholarships for trade schools. Below are some financial aid options to get you started.
Beauty & Wellness Professionals Scholarship | BeautySchoolsDirectory.com
BeautySchoolsDirectory.com offers financial assistance with $2,500 scholarships for students attending programs in beauty and wellness. The scholarship grant can be used for books and other school expenses aside from tuition.
HOPE Grant | Georgia Lottery for Education
Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) is a grant for Georgia residents who are pursuing a certificate or diploma. Eligibility requirements require students to maintain a 2.0 GPA. A HOPE grant includes tuition assistance and a $100 book allowance.
HOPE Career Grant | Georgia Lottery for Education
The HOPE Career Grant is for Georgia residents who qualified for the HOPE Grant. These students must be pursuing a certificate or diploma course at accredited career schools in a field of study identified as important to Georgia’s economic growth. This grant can be applied to educational programs at community colleges or a trade school.
Lincoln Tech Competition-Based Scholarships | Lincoln Technical Institute
Students enrolling at any Lincoln Technical Institute school are eligible for a wide variety of scholarship competitions. The scholarships available, and the amount of each grant, varies per trade school and career program. Lincoln Tech also offers the American Hero Scholarship Program for active-duty military personnel and veterans.
A.J. Grisanti Memorial Scholarship Fund | National Restaurant Association
The A.J. Grisanti Memorial Scholarship Fund offers financial assistance to students in the culinary field pursuing a program in culinary school. The first preference is given to students who are attending a school in Kentucky.
North Dakota Scholarship | North Dakota
Graduates of any North Dakota high school who plan to attend a school in North Dakota are eligible for a North Dakota Scholarship. The application process requires you to fulfill certain requirements and participate in community service and other extracurricular activities.
Families of Freedom Scholarship | Scholarship America
The Families of Freedom Scholarship is for children, spouses, and domestic partners who were financial dependents of victims of 9/11. Vocational students attending trade school are eligible. Aid to students varies with financial need.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program | US Department of Education
If you have a great financial need, then you may receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant as part of your FAFSA financial aid package. It is awarded to undergraduate students and doesn’t require repayment. You can get up to $4,000 of federal money that will cover all your school expenses each year.
Pell Grant | US Department of Education
The Federal Pell Grant Program is a need-based grant for students. You can receive this grant as part of your FAFSA financial aid package. The grant amounts vary and are dependent on expected family contribution and the cost of attendance. The maximum amount that is awarded for the Pell Grant is $6,495.
Tuition Reimbursement | Your Employer
Many employers offer tuition reimbursement incentive programs to their employees to retrain them for higher-level jobs with the expectation that you will continue to work for your employer after graduation. The employer will help cover some tuition costs, and tuition reimbursement may include other assistance such as relocation assistance or sign-on bonuses.
Trade Schools That Accept Financial Aid
American Trade School
American Trade School provides entry-level training so students are equipped for employment after graduation. They partner with different industries to provide the most well-trained employees through their trade school programs. American Trade School accepts Pell Grants and Federal Student Loans and offers various scholarships for trade school students.
Apex Technical School
Apex Technical School, located in Long Island, New York, offers hands-on training in various fields such as welding, construction, electrical, and plumbing. Scholarships and federal financial aid are available to full-time students. Apex Technical School also offers federal work-study programs for students who will qualify.
Fox Valley Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College offers programs in areas such as business and industry, public safety, entrepreneurship, and health science. Fox Valley Technical College offers financial aid for eligible students as both loans and scholarships.
Lincoln Technical Institute
Lincoln Technical Institute is a vocational school that accepts federal financial grants and offers other scholarships as well. Students with challenging financial situations can study at Lincoln Tech without worry. Lincoln Tech helps students create a financial aid plan that will cover their tuition, books, and tools they will need during the years of a trade school.
Universal Technical Institute
Trade school students at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) can use federal programs through the FAFSA. Additionally, UTI offers additional grants, such as relocation grants to subsidize the cost of relocation and housing for students who live over 50 miles from campus. They have also partnered with various institutions for scholarships to help with trade school costs.
Should You Apply for Trade School Financial Aid?
Yes, you should apply for trade school financial aid. Trade school programs are shorter than a four-year university degree program and can guarantee a job months after graduation. The cost and eligibility criteria vary from school to school. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.
Financial Aid for Trade School FAQ
Yes, with private student loans you borrow money from a private lender that must be paid back plus interest once you graduate. However, there are many student loan tax incentives, especially for students with low household income, that can help you pay back the loan.
Trade school is not better or worse than college, both types of schools are good options for different people. If you don’t want to spend years in college and want to be trained in a specific trade, then trade school is a better fit for you. If you are looking for a short, intensive program in computational science, then coding bootcamps can provide quick training for a career in tech.
Many schools accept prospective students under the age of 16, such as the Universal Technical Institute. Parents or legal guardians must sign an enrollment agreement. However, some program’s eligibility requirements stipulate that you must be 18 or older.
The best trade school jobs are boilermaker and detective or police officer. Boilermakers typically make $62,150 per year, while detectives or police officers earn an average of $63,380 annually.
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