In an evolving job market, having specialized knowledge — and the certifications to prove it — can help forward your career.
However, many continuing education programs can be expensive. When you’re on a tight budget, coming up with thousands of dollars to take a course can be difficult. Thankfully, professional development grants and scholarships can help.
Here are six grants and scholarships to help you continue your education.
1. Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarship Program
2. Association of Zoos & Aquariums Scholarships
3. Bloc Scholarships
4. P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education
5. Thinkful Scholarship for Women and Military Veterans
6. Beauty Changes Lives Scholarships
Also: Using professional development grants for skill training
Offered by Executive Women International, the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarship (ASIST) helps adults get the education they need to improve their careers. The scholarship can be used to obtain retraining to switch careers or pursue trade school or continuing education programs as well as traditional degrees. Applicants with children at home are prioritized, making this an attractive career development grant fornon-traditional students who are parents.
To apply, you’ll submit your most recent tax return, school transcripts and letters of recommendation. You’ll also submit an essay of up to 1,000 words.
Application timeline: January through April
If you work for a zoo or aquarium, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums offers professional development courses, which range from animal management to organizational development.
The organization provides career development grants for attendees. Many of its scholarships cover the full cost of classes, as well as room and board and airfare. Applications are due in July each year and can be completed online.
Application timeline: May to July
Bloc is a technology boot camp that helps attendees develop skills in web and mobile development and user experience. Tuition can cost between $5,000 and $24,000, depending on the program you choose.
Bloc offers three scholarships:
- New Relic Diversity Scholarship: Women, military veterans and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in technology can receive a $500 partial scholarship, which is awarded weekly.
- Veterans Scholarship in Software Development: Military veterans qualify for $500 to $1,000 tuition credits. The application deadline is the first of every month.
- Close the Gap Scholarship Fund: Bloc has a $1 million fund to help women designers and developers receive up to a 25% discount on tuition. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Application timeline: Varies
The Philanthropic Educational Organization Program for Continuing Education offers one-time financial aid for American and Canadian women returning to school to support themselves and their families.
Professional development grants can be as much as $3,000. The amount awarded is based on the needs of the applicant. The scholarship helps pay for class fees and books, and can even help you afford childcare services.
Application timeline: Within 30 days of being recommended by a PEO chapter
Thinkful is a technology boot camp where you work one-on-one with a mentor to improve your skills in web development, data science and design.
Thinkful offers a couple of career development grants for women:
- $600 off of tuition each month for the Flexible Web Development Bootcamp
- $1,200 a month off tuition for the Full-time Web Development Bootcamp
Thinkful also offers opportunities to military members, with a Veterans’ Scholarship that provides $100 per month to participants in its Flexible Web Development Bootcamp.
Application timeline: Varies
The Beauty Changes Lives nonprofit connects students with numerous professional development grants in the fields of cosmetology, esthetics, make-up and nail technology. Also supporting licensed professionals, the organization has awarded $3.1-plus million since 2013.
The Moroccanoil Courage to Dream Scholarship, for example, awards $5,000 to students enrolling or already enrolled in a cosmetology program.
Application timeline: Varies
Professional certifications can help you boost your employability and earnings.
These professional development grants and scholarships can help you build a more secure financial future while reducing the cost of tuition fees. If the gift aid above doesn’t apply to you or your field, start searching. You might find state grants for school available where you live, for example.
For more ideas on continuing your education, learn about ways to pay for certificate programs.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
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|3.25% – 13.59%3||Undergraduate|
|0.00% – 23.00%4||Undergraduate|
|3.25% – 9.69%6||Undergraduate|
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Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.47% APR to 13.03% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 2.80% APR to 11.69% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.
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