The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion a year in federal student aid to more than 14 million students. These funds cover expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Types of federal student aid include:
- Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
- Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
- Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
Additional financial aid is available through the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
- Career counselors at the One-Stop Career Centers can help you apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA), which provides financial support to job seekers who need occupational skills training in order to successfully reenter the workforce. Eligible individuals choose from a pre-approved list of training courses, and tuition costs are paid directly out of the ITA. To find out if you are eligible for an ITA, please contact a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center.
- Section 30, also known as the Training Opportunity Program, allows you to enroll in an approved training program while collecting unemployment insurance benefits, and may enable you to collect up to an additional 26 weeks of benefits. Section 30 does not provide funding for tuition, however.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provides training and other benefits to workers who lose their jobs, or whose hours of work and wages are reduced, as a result of increased imports or outsourcing of their jobs overseas. Additionally, weekly Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) may be payable to eligible workers following the exhaustion of unemployment benefits. To qualify for these benefits, a petition must be filed with USDOL to certify that the company's layoffs were trade-affected. If USDOL certifies the company, each individual worker must then apply for eligibility. For assistance in filing a petition for trade impacted status, contact a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center or call the Department of Career Services’ Trade Unit at (617) 626-6007. For more information about the program, go to www.doleta.gov/tradeact.