The Importance of An Education in Times of Unemployment

In these hard times a path back to a productive, fulfilling, and lucrative career can seem impossible to map out. Increasingly out of work adults are returning to school to fill the gap. While the prospect may seem daunting continuing education is obtainable for most adults.

One major concern when going back to school is finances. For the unemployed paying for college can seem impossible. However financial aid is available for almost all students. Prospective students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. The FAFSA will determine your expected family contribution and your financial need. This information may qualify you for grants at the federal, state, or school level.

In addition to grants there are millions of dollars in scholarships available. Your prospective school's financial aid department should have a list available. Be sure to check with any clubs or organizations you belong to as they often offer scholarships as well. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

If you are still in need of additional financial help consider student loans. While you do have to pay them back they typically do not collect interest or need to be paid until after you graduate. This aid can cover the cost of school as well as your living expenses.

Finding a college to apply to can be another major hurdle, however there are education options available to suit everyone's needs. Those students who are looking to brush up on skills applicable in the current job market may find trade schools, career colleges, or a two year college that suits their need. These schools often cater to working adults and tend to be highly flexible. Most offer night school and online classes for those unable to attend class during the day. In addition there are many colleges that operate solely online. An online college gives you the ultimate amount of flexibility.

For those who wish to be serious students a four year university is an option worth considering. A degree from a four year university can give you an edge in highly competitive job markets. Any of these options can assist you in your goal of getting a degree or certification.

Then benefits of a diploma are hard to ignore. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics a person with a bachelor's degree earns $412 more per week than a person with a high school diploma. Job opportunities for college and trade school graduates are also higher. The unemployment rate for persons with a high school diploma is 10.4% versus 5.4% for those with a bachelor's. Given these statistics the importance of education is obvious in our current job market.

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