How to Get Financial Aid for a Tech Education
  Everybody wants to get a job in tech these days, mainly because it is the future of work. On top of that, it pays well and offers remote working flexibility. If you are looking to break into the industry, you’d need to have some knowledge of essential tech skills. While there are a few options for you to consider, like getting a bachelor’s degree in computer science or professional certification from a coding bootcamp, education can still be a costly affair. However, you shouldn’t let this deter your will to learn. Even if you don’t have the amount needed to fund your courses, there is still a chance for you to land a career in tech. In this guide, we will show you several ways to get financial aid for tech education.   Find Help with Government Programs On average, a tech bachelor’s degree usually costs between $30,000 to $50,000 annually. Tech bootcamps, on the other hand, cost an average of $13,000. It’s important to note that these are just tuition fees, without taking into account other expenses like food, home, and transportation. Therefore, we can assume that the total amount can burn a hole in a student’s pocket. However, before you decide to give up on the idea of learning, there is one common source of financial aid that is accessible to most citizens—government programs. The Department of Education recently announced an initiative called EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships), which aimed at helping low-income students pursue an education in the tech field. If you apply for this program, you’ll receive some benefits like federal financing loans or pell grants that can help ease your financial burdens. The government also partners with several institutions and quality assurance services to assess applicants for this program. Although there has only been one round of this program so far, it is expected to be offered again soon. Keep your eyes peeled for any related news from the federal government. There’s also another option to apply for federal assistance and it works in most cases for a college education. This program is called Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you apply for this program you’ll get a variety of options like student loans and work-study initiatives.   Apply for a Private Loan  Private loans are also a good option for you to get financial aid. However, most people don’t prefer to take this path because they can easily carry the debt into their professional lives. In some cases, loanees will continue to pay fees and interests for more than five years, depending on the loan amount. However, a private loan can be a good way to fund a bootcamp education considering the duration is significantly shorter than a traditional college degree. The estimated time for a complete loan payment is roughly three years. Some of the most popular companies include Affirm, Climb Credit, and Upstart.   Crowdfund Your Coding Bootcamp Tuition Crowdfunding is also a very innovative way to pay for your education. There are platforms like IndieGoGo or GoFundMe that will allow you to put your project up and ask for other people’s help to make it happen. You’ll need to come up with a good strategy that can get you the help you need. This is crucial because you’ll be competing with others who are also vying for assistance. One of the best ways to do this is by choosing the type of audience you want to appeal to and strategize your presentation accordingly. As previously mentioned, a major drawback of this plan is the number of people who are also looking for financial assistance. However, you can always make crowdfunding your Plan B or a supplementary method to fund your education.   Ask about Employer Sponsorships One of the best ways to get financing aid is through employer sponsorship. This is a great option because you won’t have to pay interests like you would with a private or government loan. In fact, this is also an opportunity that benefits both the company and yourself. Not only will your company be investing in upskilling existing employees, but you will also be able to equip yourself with added skills to advance in the career world. You can always ask your employer about such opportunities or if it is a possibility that they are willing to look into it. You can also work out an agreement that both parties are comfortable with; partial funding, full funding, or others.   Go for a Flexible Payment Method It is important to do your research. Some universities and bootcamps offer flexible payment methods that allow you to pay your tuition in staggered payments. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying the entire fee upfront. Some of the most popular alternatives include deferred tuition, month-to-month installments, or income share agreements. Some coding bootcamps boast hire employment rate so they will only require you to pay once you’ve landed a job and started earning beyond a specific amount.     Content creation credit to Careerkarma     
Bloomberg’s Higher Education Plan: From Tuition-Free College to Student Loan Repayment
Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg recently released his new plan for federal student loans. His proposal would significantly increase federal spending on higher education to subsidize higher education for lower-income families. The 10-year, $700 billion plan proposes to eliminate tuition and debt for community college students and make student loan repayment more accessible. It also claims to provide student loan forgiveness for a large number of students. Here are some things you need to know: Tuition-free and debt-free college Bloomberg plans to make two-year public colleges tuition-free. This adheres to many other candidates' proposals, such as Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But, it does not coincide with Sen. Bernie Sanders’s plan of making public four-year colleges tuition-free. However, Bloomberg does plan on providing lower-income college students with a debt-free college experience. If a student attends a two-year public institution, their books, meals, transportation, and childcare will all be covered by his higher education plan. Income-driven repayment plans Income-driven repayment plans help you lower your monthly federal student low fees based on your income, family size, and state of residence. Though he does not support student loan debt cancellation, Bloomberg proposes to… 1. Allow for automatic enrollment, meaning borrowers will automatically be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. 2. Cap federal student loan repayments at 5% of discretionary income, compared to the 10% cap today. 3. Allow borrowers to have student loan payments withdrawn from paychecks. 4. Allow borrowers to receive student loan forgiveness on federal student loans up to $57,500 tax-free after 20 years. To receive student loan forgiveness, borrowers must have an annual income of less than $250,000. 5. Allow for federal student loan forgiveness if you attend a failed or predatory for-profit school. 6. Make receiving public service loan forgiveness easier for public servants.
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