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Career Advice

Information Technology Grants: How to Get a Free Degree (in the US)

If you are planning to pursue a career in the IT (information technology) field by obtaining your information technology degree, then you are no doubt also interested in learning about any financial aid or grant opportunities that will help you pay for your education and training. You may also need to take and pass the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam. You will need to reserve money for CFA prep materials as well. Finding grant funding and other types of financial aid can ease the upfront burden on you while you are still a student and make paying back your student loans on time and in full after graduation much easier as well. Learn here how to get a free degree in information technology through grant

Federal Grants
Assuming you are pursuing your undergraduate degree in information technology, you may be eligible to apply for federal Pell Grants to alleviate or eliminate financial debt upon graduation. Pell Grants are part of a larger federal student financial aid program that is administered through use of the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) form. Students fill out the FAFSA form, which is then submitted to institutions of the student’s choosing. The information on the form is then evaluated by the government and the institution(s) of choice to determine if an award is due, and if so, how much money the student will receive. The FAFSA comes with strict submission deadlines attached, and as a fairly comprehensive form, it is important to budget sufficient time to gather the data and do the research required to complete and submit it on time. You may need to talk with your parents or legal guardians as well for as the form asks for family income information. Pell Grants can provide partial or full reimbursement for qualified degree plans for undergraduate students in the field of IT and many others as well.

State Grants
Each state has the ability to create and fund its own educational grant programs and initiatives. These programs are used to ensure adequate numbers of students are trained and released into the state workforce, in sufficient quantities, to key areas of need. Since each state operates independently of its neighbors in terms of how grant programs may be formed and funded, the best way to find out about grant programs in your state, or in the state where you plan to enroll in school, is to contact the State Department and ask what funding may be available for students who plan to study information technology. Some grant programs may focus on ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in that state’s higher learning institutions, while other grant programs may be focused on offering financial support to students who can demonstrate financial need. Still other grant programs at the state level may simply focus on the degree plan and choose to recognize students with superior abilities in that field by offering financial assistance. While many of these programs may not pay the full amount of your tuition and fees, since it is often possible to pull together funding at different levels, dedicated research and effort may result in a free degree when all is said and done.

Community Grants
The government at the federal and/or state level provides larger grants to help finance higher education in critical need areas. Information technology degrees are often in this category, and as such, if a state applies for and receives federal grant funding through a program such as Community Connect, they may be eligible for six or even seven figures in federal funding to disburse to students on an as-needed basis at qualifying institutions in certain geographic areas. Often the best way to find out about community grants is to speak to the financial aid office at the institution you would like to attend. Upon acceptance, the financial aid office can often provide you with a list of grants and other financial options for students in your field of study. This takes advanced planning, as most grant programs have submission deadlines that occur just once or twice per year, and the submission protocols can be fairly strict.

About the Author:
Valerie Banks teaches IT security and protocol throughout the United States.  She is an admired expert in her field and demonstrates why she deserves to be through her writing.

This is a guest post for TheEmployable

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