Grants/scholarships/financial aid

ggschmerlAugust 24, 2006

I welcome any suggestions on avenues I can apply to in order to get as much financial aid/ grants/ scholarships for to pay as much on my son's college tuition and housing. He will not start until next July, so I have a year.

I'm a divorced mom, supporting my son with not a huge amount of income, so I think I should qualify for some significant aid, hopefully.

My son's grades are not stellar, so I can't apply to those based on academic achievements. He is going to attend an Automotive Technical College out of state.

I've never had to do this before and thought I'd see if anyone had suggestions on where to turn.

Thank you,

Mindy

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jasper_60103

Mindy,
this sounds like a private school?
I went to a private school and I received a good education, but one drawback was that financial aid was limited.
I received some federal grant money, but I mostly financed my education through student loans, which I paid back.
If I had to do it over again, I would choose a local state university/college. Especially if finances are tight.

Anyway, you should ask the school for some direction on what type of financial aid/grants that are available.
Hopefully, this helps. Goodluck.

-jasper

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 10:57AM
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steve_a

Mindy: Two important things: You will need to fill out the FAFSA application early next year, after you complete your taxes (so don't delay on your taxes!) That is the basic financial aid application for Federal aid and most colleges use it to evaluate need for private aid. This is not a complete answer. Go to www.collegeconfidential.com, register at the site, and start looking around there. Especially go to the discussion forums. There is so much information there that it can be overwhelming, but you can narrow it down to what you need. It's academically-based, but don't let that scare you off. I'm with Jasper on the reservations about an out-of-state technical school. Be very careful to check its accreditation, what certificates it bestows, how useful those are in obtaining a job after graduation, etc. You might want to talk to several auto shops in your area about what your son needs to work in the field. I'm assuming of course that he wants to be an auto mechanic. You might also check community colleges and state technical colleges to see if they have suitable programs. And if you feel that the school is legit, they should have a financial aid office that can help you. Good luck, Steve

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:25AM
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ggschmerl

It is Ohio Technical College, which is an accredited institution, in Cleveland. Yes, he wants to be a BMW Mechanic in particular. They have a BMW program there.

The OTC website does have some financial aid options/info and I've spoken with the admissions rep and will again. I know there are tons of other scholarships out there that can be hard to find, so I was hoping some of you might direct me to some of the lesser known ones perhaps.

Thanks,

Mindy

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 1:52PM
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amoretti

Never, never pay for scholarship info--these are all scams and give you info you can get for free.
Also beware of "technical colleges"--even accredited ones. Some of these are "loan mills"--that is, they give the students worthless skills and make their money via student loan tuition.
Contact a bmw repair shop and ask the mechanics where they got their training.

Scholarships are available generally to academic colleges and are either need based or (less available) merit based.

Not sure about technical schools--I would think they mostly have loans--and--as above--watch out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 4:07PM
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steve_a

Mindy: At academic schools, the majority of the scholarship money is either from the Federal or State govts, and private scholarship money which is administered by the college. FAFSA and the institutional equivalent, the CSS application (sorry, don't remember what it stands for, but the college will tell you if you need to fill it out). True there are many many other scholarships out there, but for the most part they are small. There are many that are limited to certain groups of students (church affiliation, parents unions, etc.). There's a good website to search all of those, but the name escapes me. It will be referenced on the college confidential site I gave you above. It's worth going through that, but don't get your hopes up. If your son's prospective school does not require or use FAFSA, I'd say that's a bit of a red flag. Good advice from amorettie above.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:57AM
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joyfulguy

Possibly he might be in a co-operative program, where he goes to school for a few months, then goes out to work in an assigned shop for a few months, coming back for more schooling later.

I don't know whether that works in technical colleges - I'm thinking more of electronic engineering guys.

Quite often auto mechanics spend part of their training time as apprentices, at low pay, but at least they have some income.

Your systems may be very different, as my experience is Canadian, and my knowledge in that field is rather sketchy.

I hope that your son finds what he needs, that the school is legit., and that he can find some assistance to go there.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Meghane

I am a vet student, so have also been through the process very recently. Definitely start with the FAFSA. You'll most likely get all loans, unless you're very very poor. You will also be shocked at the amount of money they expect you to pay towards education. The first year I applied, out of the $60k we both made that year, they expected we could afford $26k family contribution, even though we'd be losing my measly $20 salary. Nobody I know has actually been able to afford the expected family contribution.

The good news is that you can ask for loans also to cover living expenses, and they are a bit more generous for that. I take out about $26k per year, even though my tuition is only $9k, because we really couldn't afford to lose my income.

My bro is also an auto technician, and he went with loans to pay for college too. He searched and searched but didn't find any scholarships either. BS and BA money seems really easy to come by, but if you're a grad/professional/technical student you're left on your own for the most part.

That said, by bro did just a general auto tech at a community college and started as a lube tech at a dealership that paid for Ford school. Many dealerships offer training for their make, but be sure your son talks to the employees. My bro found out the hard way that just because a dealership says they pay for school doesn't mean they ever find the time to actually send you. He quit his first job because of that. Second place actually did pay for school, so he learned a lot, but they weren't busy enough for him to work so he only got paid for 15 flat-rate hours a week. Now he's working on boats and loving it. Turns out a lot of boat motors are Ford, plus he also can repair AC which a lot of trained boat mechanics cannot. So he's loving life now.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 6:04PM
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daverichardson82_gmail_com

I did find some info while looking around. hopefully it will help. I'm not a parent but I remembered finding it while looking up the info for myself though this is for parents specifically.

In the left-hand nav of the Next Student site there is a link to http://www.nextstudent.com/tools_and_resources/tools_and_resources.asp which provides a few handy tools. There are also some articles and a school directory (check the left nav) where you can look for more information.

I hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Financial Aid Tools & Resources

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 9:37PM
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naldie12_yahoo_com

I am a student currently doing a certificate in Automobile Engineering with spear motors apprenticeship training center, i would like to advance in the same career but lack financial assistance,so i am applying for a scholarship grant so that i can push on with my studies for a better status, thank you so much.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 4:34PM
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