6 Professional Development Scholarships to Boost Your Career

 June 23, 2020
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

professional development grants
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

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

1. Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarship Program

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

2. Association of Zoos & Aquariums Scholarships

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

3. Bloc Scholarships

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Veterans Scholarship in Software Development: Military veterans qualify for $500 to $1,000 tuition credits. The application deadline is the first of every month.
  3. 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

4. P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

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

5. Thinkful Scholarship for Women and Military Veterans

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

6. Beauty Changes Lives Scholarships

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

Using professional development grants for skill training

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.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
2.49% – 13.85%1Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

2.55% – 11.44%2Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.25% – 13.59%3Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

0.00% – 23.00%4Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Edly

3.25% – 9.69%6Undergraduate
Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

N/A6Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit FundingU

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

  1. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.
     
  2. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
     
  3. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 9/15/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

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.


3 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

4 Important Disclosures for Edly.

Edly Disclosures

1. Loan Example:

  • Loans from $5,000 – $20,000
  • Example: $10,000 IBR Loan with a 7% gross income payment percentage for a Senior student making $65,000 annually throughout the life of the loan.
    • Payments deferred for the first 12 months during final year of education.
    • After which, $270 Monthly payment for 12 months.
    • Then $379 Monthly payment for 44 months.
    • Followed by one final payment of $137 for a total of $20,610 paid over the life of the loan.

About this example

The initial payment schedule is set upon receiving final terms and upon confirmation by your school of the loan amount. You may repay this loan at any time by paying an effective APR of 23%. The maximum amount you will pay is $22,500 (not including Late Fees and Returned Check Fees, if any). The maximum number of regularly scheduled payments you will make is 60. You will not pay more than 23% APR. No payment is required if your gross earned income is below $30,000 annually or if you lose your job and cannot find employment.

2. Edly Student IBR Loans are unsecured personal student loans issued by FinWise Bank, a Utah chartered commercial bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to eligibility criteria and review of creditworthiness and history. Terms and conditions apply.


5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of September 1, 2022, the 30-day average SOFR index is 2.23%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.
  • Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
  • Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

     

    Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.25%-10.35% (3.25% – 9.69% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.24% – 10.59% (4.24% – 9.93% APR). 

    Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.90% (3.75% – 9.68% APR). Fixed interest rates range from  5.22% – 10.14% (5.22% – 9.91% APR). 

    Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.35% (3.75% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.20% – 9.59% (5.20% – 9.39% APR).

    Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.02% (3.75% -8.98% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.18% – 9.26% (5.18% – 9.22% APR). 

    Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.25%-9.21% (3.25% – 9.21% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.96%-9.50% (3.96%-9.50% APR).

    Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.58%-11.72% (6.58% – 11.62% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.40% – 12.82% APR). 

    Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 5.67%-9.17% (5.67% – 8.76% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.97% – 10.08% APR).


6 Important Disclosures for Funding U.

Funding U Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are made by Funding University which is a for-profit enterprise. Funding University is not affiliated with the school you are attending or any other learning institution. None of the information contained in Funding University’s website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by Funding University or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.