Scholarships for Vocational Students

ASO Staff Writers
by
Updated October 25, 2022
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A Guide to Scholarships and Grants for Vocational Students

Vocational students build career skills in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Vocational certificates and degrees prepare graduates for high-demand careers in many industries.

But vocational school can be expensive. An associate degree can cost over $30,000 at a private school. Most students cannot pay out of pocket for trade school, but they qualify for many forms of financial aid.

Vocational students can pursue scholarships, grants, and loans. Learners attending accredited schools can fill out the FAFSA. This qualifies them for federal student aid, including federal loans and work-study jobs. This guide covers aid for vocational degrees, including scholarships and FAFSA instructions.

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Scholarships and Grants for Vocational Students

There are many ways to fund vocational school, like loans, scholarships, and grants. Some financial aid opportunities target vocational students. Others are open to many kinds of students, including vocational students. To learn about scholarships and grants you may qualify for, review the following list.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Graduate Scholarships

Minority Scholarships

FAQ

Financial Aid and the FAFSA®: 10 Things to Know

The federal student aid program distributes $120 billion in aid each year. Vocational students attending accredited institutions can submit the FAFSA to qualify for aid. Aid includes federal grants, loans, and other forms of financial aid. Keep these considerations in mind when applying for financial aid for vocational school.

The Cost of Vocational School

The cost of vocational school varies widely depending on the type of program. Students attending public, two-year colleges pay $3,812 in tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Vocational students may also pay technology fees, materials fees, and other expenses. Trade school students rarely pay to live in dorms, but they should also factor in living expenses.

Prospective trade students should research financial aid for vocational school. Aid may cover the cost of their certificate or degree.

How to Find and Apply for Vocational Scholarships

Vocational students find scholarships based on their study area, school, and career goals. Professional organizations, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations grant scholarships to vocational students. This section offers tips to help students find vocational scholarships. It also gives suggestions on applying for and obtaining scholarships.

Step 1: Do Not Postpone the Financial Aid Search

If you are counting on vocational school financial aid to pay for your program, start your search for opportunities early.

Incoming students should begin their financial aid search as soon as they start researching programs. Make a scholarship calendar with deadlines, application requirements, and scholarship information. Submit scholarship applications as early as possible rather than waiting until the last minute. If you find a good scholarship that is not accepting applications yet, make sure to go back and apply later.

Once you are in vocational school, keep looking for scholarships on a regular basis. Most schools post scholarship opportunities throughout the year.

Step 2: Decide What You Are Going to Study Ahead of Time

Knowing what you are going to study opens many scholarship doors. California’s Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program awards up to $8,000 for students in allied health programs. Some scholarships only grant money to students attending certain schools. Making decisions about your education can mean qualifying for more scholarship opportunities.

Knowing your school and area of study can also help when writing scholarship essays. Many of these essays ask applicants about their area of study and career goals. Providing specific answers helps applicants stand out.3

Step 3: Look at General Scholarships

represents a student thinking about how to afford their education

In addition to vocational and technical scholarships, students should also research general scholarships. Many general scholarships accept applications from any postsecondary student, including vocational students. Union Plus scholarships support union members and their children. Recipients may attend university, college, trade school, or technical school.

When researching general scholarships, vocational students should review the eligibility requirements. Some only accept applications from degree-seeking students. Others also support students earning certificates. Many general scholarships ask recipients to attend accredited schools. If the requirements are not clear, ask the scholarship organization for clarification.

Step 4: Gather Essential Documents Right Away

Application requirements vary depending on the scholarship. Most students must submit proof of enrollment, transcripts, recommendation letters, and a resume. Applicants who have not started their program may submit acceptance letters.

Organizing these documents at the beginning of the scholarship search can save time. Scanning documents can be a handy way to stay organized. Some scholarships ask for documents that students cannot prepare in advance, like a personal essay. Learners should add these requirements to your scholarship calendar and allow time to prepare.

Step 5: Get Working on Those Essays

Many scholarships require an essay as part of the application package. Students may need to write an essay on their educational or career goals. Some scholarships ask students to write about challenges in their academic career. Applicants may also write about their plans for after graduation.

Scholarship essays can feel daunting. But putting them off can make the process more stressful. Applicants should do their best to stick to the word count. Students can ask a family member or friend to read over their essay to make sure it answers the prompt. Above all, learners should set aside time to write and revise the essay so they do not rush at the last minute.

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