Karen LaMarsh, director of Professional Development and Training for the Clayton State University Division of Continuing Education, recently had her article “Should Public Financial Aid be Made Available to Continuing Education Students?” published on the EvoLLLution. The current article is the first of a six-part series by LaMarsh exploring the availability of federal and state financial aid funding for non-traditional students enrolling in continuing education programs.
The EvoLLLution is a grassroots online newspaper featuring opinions, news and research about the impact of non-traditional programs on the higher education industry and society-at-large. LaMarsh’s series discusses financial assistance at the federal level being available for continuing education students pursuing certificates, as well as those students enrolled in academic degree programs.
“Financial aid may come from the federal or state levels,” notes LaMarsh in her first installment, when covers federal financial aid in general. “Most financial aid, at least in the United States, is a product of the federal government, which aims to encourage an educated workforce. The federal government and state governments provide merit- and need-based student aid including grants, work-study and loans. Pell Grants are federal grants given by the Department of Education to help students attend college. They are full grants, requiring absolutely no repayment, and are awarded solely based on a formula dictated by Congress and determined by information submitted by applicants or a proxy, usually a parent. Work-study students volunteer some of their labor in service to the university or college in exchange for a credit on a portion of the cost of attending the college.”
LaMarsh asks the questions, “Who is eligible to receive funding? Is federal student financial aid available for higher education, including continuing education certificate programs?” and notes that, according to the Department of Education’s website, there are some general eligibility requirements:
- Demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
- Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of Palau);
- Be registered with the Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
- Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for direct loan program funds;
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
- Sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
- Show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a high school education in a home-school setting approved under a state law.
“Happily, though, certificate students who are hoping to procure financial assistance from the federal government are not left out in the cold,” La Marsh concludes.
For the full article visit: http://www.evolllution.com/research/public-financial-aid-continuing-education-students-part-1/
. Part two will be published next week.