With the summer approaching, many students are starting to think about college or exploring career options. No matter which stage of education or career you’re in, Benefits.gov wants you to know there are resources available to help you plan. Here are a few options that may help you find financial assistance to pay for school, repay a loan, or find employment.
If you are looking for financial assistance to help pay for college, start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the U.S. Department of Education. Even though there are certain eligibility requirements, most students qualify for some type of financial aid ranging from grants and loans to work-study jobs, which help students earn money while going to school. Each state and school have different FAFSA deadlines, which can easily be searched through Federal Student Aid.
Check with the financial aid office at your school to review other options like payment plans and scholarships to help with your expenses. CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides a scholarship finder tool with a list of over 8,000 opportunities. This free tool allows you to narrow your search by the application deadline, keyword, or award amount and provides details on how to apply.
If you already received a loan for your education and need help paying it back, there are resources available to help manage repayment. The Education Loan Consolidation program combines multiple student loans into one loan, to simplify repayment into one monthly bill with a fixed interest rate, which can potentially lower your monthly payment. Federal Student Aid also offers a Repayment Estimator tool to help estimate your loan payments and evaluate repayment options.
If you need help finding employment or career training, the Labor Department sponsors resources including Apprenticeship.gov and Job Corps. Apprenticeship.gov has a free apprenticeship finder tool to search for apprenticeship opportunities based on your location and interests. Apprenticeships are a career pathway where individuals can earn and learn in-demand skills at the same time. Job Corps offers a variety of training, education, counseling, and job search tools to help you navigate your career path.
We encourage you to take our Benefit Finder questionnaire to see a listing of resources that you may be eligible to receive. You can also browse our Education and Training or Employment and Career Development categories for additional information.