If you are interested in studying welding but are unsure of how to obtain necessary funding for tuition, don’t worry. There are plenty of financial aid resources available for those who qualify that allow them to pay for all or part of their vocational training.
State and Federal Agencies
The first place that many students turn to for aid is the state and/or federal government. They offer a variety of financial aid options, which include not only FAFSA (available for students that come from low income families) but also grants and scholarships from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the Advanced Technological Education Program and the Tech Prep Education program. However, there are many more opportunities for those who need further assistance and/or do not qualify for financial help from state or federal government agencies.
The American Welding Society offers scholarships for anyone who is interested in obtaining a welding degree. You can apply either through the mail or online, and applications are accepted at all times of the year. The AWS scholarship covers not only tuition for welding training but also books, supplies and related institutional costs. In addition, AWS gives away one free year of AWS membership to every grant recipient.
Grants for Women
There are a number of grants available for women who pursue a skilled trades career. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation Scholarship is designed to help mothers with underage children pursue skills training. The Women’s Opportunity Award is available to mothers who are the sole or primary wage earner in their family and/or are returning to school in order to improve their job prospects. There are also various trade school grants that are offered to all female students, including grants from the American Association of University Women and PEO International.
Grants for Minorities
Minority groups include students with a specific ethnic background or with a physical disability. The National Association of the Deaf provides trade school scholarships to hearing impaired individuals. Other grant programs for those who are physically disabled are the Diabetes Scholars Foundation College Scholarship and the Joshua Gomes Memorial Scholarship Fund (for students with HIV/AIDS). Vocational school grants offered on the basis of ethnicity include SALEF scholarships (for Hispanic students) and the Thomsa Garrett Memorial Negro League Scholarship. The Menominee Tribal Scholarship offers aid for Native American students.
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Financial Aid for Current and Former Members of the Military
Current and former military members are eligible to not only receive student aid from programs such as the GI Bill and MyCAA, but may also obtain special tuition discounts from the school they are enrolled at. TWS, for instance, offers a special military tuition to active, reserve, or retired military members, as well as their spouses and dependent children. There are also specific military grants available to members of certain military branches (i.e. Navy, Air Force, Army, etc.), as well as to surviving family members who have lost a parent or spouse in military service.
Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way
As you can see, there are numerous ways in which you can fund your welding training. All you need to do is see which options apply to you, check out the application requirements and submission deadlines, and then submit the required paperwork. As many grants and scholarships are very competitive, you are advised to apply to as many entities as possible. For more information on financial aid opportunities, contact TWS.