Oprah Winfrey famously said, “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” Can freedom be free? Yes — you can get free education for adults if you know where to look.
What Oprah may be pointing to is a path beyond minimum wage jobs. With education, you can be on your way to a career with a lot of potential to make great money. What’s more, this education brings you the freedom to enjoy life on your terms. The place to start is checking out federal and other free education grants.
The reality is that education can be expensive. You don’t want to go into massive debt to create a professional opportunity, and yet lots of people do. Shockingly, the student debt in America is $1.766 trillion. Free education sounds a lot better than being part of that statistic.
You may be asking then, “Is free education possible?” Even though millions of people are struggling to pay off their education debt, you don’t have to be one of them. To look for free education for adults, follow these tips.
The first step is to see what kinds of free education grants you may be eligible for. Write down your demographics and get your documents together so you’re prepared to apply to whatever you find.
For example, you’ll want to have proof of your age and be authorized to work in the United States. If you’ve been recently laid off or lost a job because a location closed, save whatever forms human resources gave you. Or, if your family income is at or near the poverty line, collect your tax documents.
Next, check out some of the most popular federal grants to see if you can apply. These include the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Fund and apprenticeships funded by the federal government. If you serve in the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard, you also may be eligible for a grant-covered education for service members.
There are also other grants that you may be eligible for depending on where you live and what industry you wish to pursue. Healthcare and information technology are two of the fastest-growing and most needed careers in today’s marketplace. You can find grants for online remote learning for these paths.
Personal research can only go so far for some federal grants, so the next step is to make an appointment at the American Job Center nearest to you. You can use the Career One Stop website to learn how to get a free education for adults, thanks to the U.S. Department of Labor.
You’ll be connected with a case manager who can help you navigate the process of gaining your education and leveling your life.
Another connection you can make on your path to freedom is with an academic advisor with MedCerts, an accredited and leading online learning institution. Our advisors can be part of a support system that will help you complete the training and education you need to get hired and begin a new career fast.
As MedCerts National Director of Workforce Development, Jennifer Kolb is responsible for overseeing strategy and business development efforts at MedCerts with an emphasis on the k-career pipeline.
Prior to MedCerts, Jennifer served in several leadership positions at Tallo and Hawkes Learning where she built and lead sales and marketing, new product launches, technology development updates and an entire product relaunch to be ADA compliant.
Jennifer has spent a decade within the workforce industry working with educators, state leaders, business and industry officials, post-secondary institutions and grant organizations from across the country, all with the mission of bettering people's lives. Coming from a long line of educators and with a business-centered mindset, Jen is passionate about student success and cultivating creative strategies for ensuring all talent has access to educational and career-related opportunities.
Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Psychology with a focus in business management from Clemson University.