As part of our ongoing efforts to share information, the UET Online Magazine features important announcements on events and learning opportunities for bargaining unit employees. Listed below are links to specific timely information for UET Members. Create or update your User Profile by clicking myUET to receive program updates and the UET Online Magazine by e-mail.
Possibly the most intimidating aspect of going to college is the tuition bill. This year, costs range from $8,000 in tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges to an average of $28,500 at private nonprofit four-year colleges, according to collegeboard.com.
The Union Education Trust features several programs that make paying for college easier. However, it can’t possibly cover all continuing education expenses. There are a variety of other sources worth exploring.
Start with your union. In addition to the Union Education Trust, OCSEA state bargaining unit employees should apply for the Les Best Scholarship program and the Pat Callanan-Castro Memorial Book Scholarship. The deadline to apply is April 30. For more information and to apply online, go to www.ocsea.org.
AFSCME offers a variety of scholarships, including the Union Plus Scholarship. For information, go to www.afscme.org/members/scholarships. And when it’s time to pay for books, consider purchasing them online through www.powells.com, a unionized online bookstore.
There are many other sources of scholarships and grants. It’s well worth your time to reach out to your training institution’s financial aid office. Most colleges and universities have a number of scholarships available. In addition, contact the specific department of the major you plan on studying. There may be scholarships or grants they can offer to students.
The college or university likely will require you to fill out the FAFSA form (www.fafsa.ed.gov) the federal government application for federal financial support. It will be used for both federal funding as well as by the college.
To research other federal aid, go to http://studentaid.ed.gov. This site explains Pell Grants (like scholarships, grants do not have to be repaid) as well as other federal funding options such as loans (loans do need to be repaid).
The State of Ohio also is a useful source of information for scholarships. See www.ohiohighered.org/sgs for details about the Choose Ohio First scholarship program and other opportunities.
Researching scholarships will take some legwork. You should explore local civic organizations, such as Lions or Kiwanis clubs, and religious organizations.
Other sources that provide scholarship and grant information are: www.fastweb.com, www.finaid.org, www.ed.gov/finaid, and www.studentloanfunding.com. These sites are all free and make an important point: You should never pay for scholarship information. Any site or business that requires you to pay for an “exclusive search” is wasting your time and money.
And you don’t have to do this work alone. The UET Career Counseling assists with identifying financial aid resources. The counselors would be glad to provide you with help: Call them at (800) 980-6973 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.