After a year of lockdowns, courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have found themselves reevaluating their jobs and careers. But one of the biggest hurdles preventing people from switching jobs is the need for further education and a lack of funding to cover the cost.
Also, due to Covid-19, colleges saw a decline in enrollment rates. Community colleges saw the most significant drop, with a 9.5% decrease. In response to this decline, the U.S. Department of Education is temporarily loosening the verification requirements for eligible grant recipients.
The following is a list of frequently asked questions about education grants. Read through them and see if you might qualify!
Grants are usually “free money” provided by the federal government, state government, college or private organization.
Grants usually do not have to be paid back. However, if the recipient doesn’t fulfill the grant requirements, they may have to pay it back. Reasons a student might have to repay a grant are:
The student changed their enrollment status from full-time to part-time.
The student did not complete the program for which the grant was given.
The student received additional income that changed their financial need for federal funding.
Grants are typically awarded to those with low income and high financial needs. However, there are some grants that aren’t based on finances – especially with new COVID and CARES Act funding available.
The first step in finding out what grants might be available to you is connecting with your local American Job Center (AJCs). Funded through the Dept. of Labor, there are nearly 2,400 AJCs across the country that provide free career assistance to job seekers and can help you gain access to training funds to jumpstart your career.
Your assigned case manager at your local American Job Center can help you apply for federal training funds. They will also offer motivation and support throughout your training program and job search and interview guidance once you’ve received funding.
The amount awarded is different from person to person. Your financial need and location are two of the most significant determining factors for award amount. Funding can vary based on state, county or city.
With colleges facing reduced enrollment, the federal government is stepping in to try and help. The loosened restrictions on the verification process for grant funds will make it easier for you to pursue higher education and work towards a new career.