Finding a Path to Employment
If my family member chooses to attend an education or training program, could s/he end up with student debt and no job?
Getting good financial aid information and support is very important before starting an educational or training program. There are scholarships and grants available for many education institutions and state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies can often provide tuition waivers or tuition payments. There may also be student employment at the college or university. The idea is to minimize debt for the student.
Your family member/ student may want to have services from the Disabled Students Supports. (AHEAD) The student should keep close touch with the financial aid office as well, and the family should review the financial picture EVERY semester to be sure that maximum resources are being used and that the individual student is getting the support needed to get through the academic program. Education and training programs should be selected based on the interests and abilities of the student but also based on the probability of obtaining employment at graduation. Don’t wait until graduation to consider the employment options, but pursue placement resources throughout the process. (McMullen) Without employment after graduation or withdrawal from school, loans can increase in interest rates and become a great burden.
Student employment can also help to stretch the dollars for education. The best place to look for student employment is through the school/college placement office. Some students who have federally supported college loans can access work study jobs that are federally subsidized. Colleges like to hire work study students since they can be good employees and also their wages are subsidized by the federal government.
Another important factor in selecting an education or training program is to be sure that the training institution is really reputable, established and accredited. Your family member should be especially careful with for-profit schools when getting financial aid/ loan information. Local workforce development service providers, generally through America’s Career Centers or the Department of Labor’s resources, provide free training to fill local workforce needs.