Ways to Pay for Your Continuing Education
Succeeding in the workforce often means obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The four years of study a student puts in, and the little slip of paper that signifies that the work has been completed, can open many doors for students, and that might help them to get the good jobs they’ll need to pay their bills each and every month.
But sometimes, students want to learn even more, even though they hold a degree. They may want to hone specific skills, so they can land a promotion or a better job, or they might just enjoy the idea of learning more about how the world works and how they fit into it. These students might not get a degree when their continuing education classes are complete, but the enrichment they get could be intensely valuable. These are some steps students can take in order to pay for their courses.
Slow and Steady Pace
Since many students enrolled in continuing education programs aren’t working to obtain a specific degree, they’re not required to do a specific set of work within a set timeframe. Unlike students in some degree programs, who are required to make progress toward a degree or face penalties for their delays, students in continuing education programs can often take as long as they’d like in order to learn about the subjects that appeal to them.
For example, the 117 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes profiled in an article in US News and World Report don’t confer any kind of degree, but they are designed to help people who are 50 and older to keep learning as they age. Students here could simply take a course when they can afford to do so and skip a course in the next term, if money is tight.
Since students in these programs aren’t trying to get a degree, they’re also not tied to one specific facility. This could be advantageous, as smart shoppers might find huge price variations between facilities. For example, in an article in the New York Times, one weeklong course that covered digital marketing techniques cost an interviewee close to $5,000. Other programs profiled in the article were in the $250 to $500 range. By shopping around, students may find that they can keep their overall costs low.
- Unemployment status
- Lack of marketable job skills
- Disability status
- Income level
The institution offering the continuing education program might be aware of these options, and the financial aid office might be able to facilitate enrollment in these programs. But sometimes, students just don’t qualify for this kind of local assistance, and if they do not, they may need to take out a loan.
Federal loans aren’t designed to help students who aren’t working toward a degree or a certificate, so they may not be of help for these students. But there are a number of private lenders who do provide funds for these sorts of courses, and these loans might also help students to pay for their books and other related expenses.
If you’d like to find a loan like this, we can help. Please use our “Find a Student Loan” tool to help you research your options, so you can make an informed choice about your educational future.