Paying for Your Certificate Program

Learn about financial aid available for certificate programs.

In general, certificate programs cost a lot less than a degree program.

But if you’re pursuing a certificate program in order to increase your pay scale, it probably means that you want to spend the smallest amount of money as you can.

There are plenty of ways to pay for your certificate program, they just takes a little bit of research and a little bit of patience.

Read on to discover how can you find financial assistance to help fund the cost of your certificate program.

Cost of Certificate Program

The cost of a certificate program varies by school, major and whether you are taking courses online or on campus. Your certificate program tuition covers the course, classroom and laboratory fee.

Beyond the cost of your tuition, you are going to have to pay for your own textbooks. Textbooks can be expensive and on average range from $50 to $100. If you’re taking a few courses per semester, this could mean an additional $300 per semester.

Depending on your major, you might have to buy additional materials. For example, if you are getting a web design certificate, you will probably have to purchase your own web design software to practice your skills at home.

Scholarships for Certificate Programs

Although there are fewer scholarships for certificate programs than there are for degree programs, if you put in the search effort you can find them. Scholarships for certificate programs can be found in the same way that you would look for a degree program scholarship.

The first place you should check is with the federal government. All you need to do is fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you have submitted your FAFSA, the government will determine which programs you are eligible for. Also check with the state government, as they often have scholarship or grant programs for students pursuing a certificate program.

Next, contact your career college, trade school or community college in which you are enrolled. Often schools will set up scholarship programs to help students based on merit or need.

Finally, check out professional organizations that are related to your field of pursuit. For example, the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics offers $1,000 awards to people pursuing their certificate to enter the profession.

Student Loans for Certificate Programs

Filling out your FAFSA will also determine whether or not you are eligible for federal student loans or grants. The majority of student loan programs are only available to degree seeking individuals, however you still may be able to receive tuition assistance from the federal government.

If you are not eligible for federal student loans, you have the option of taking out a loan from a private lender. Make sure you understand the terms of your loan before signing the promissory note and that you will be earning enough money after graduation to realistically be able to pay off your loans.

Paying for Your Certificate Program: Tips and Tactics

  • Do your research. There are plenty of ways to pay for your certificate program, they just takes a little bit of research and a little bit of patience.
  • Start early. As with all scholarship and financial aid situations, it’s best to get a jump on applications as early as possible.
  • Stay organized. Once you figure out which options you’re interested in, make a calendar for all of your important dates. Write down deadlines, application procedures, and materials you’ll need to apply.

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