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Pay for School


woman working with computer, calculator, and checkbook

Don't rule out school because of the costs.

Going to college is an investment in your future, but requires you to pay for it now. Your total cost, which will include tuition, fees, possibly room and board, and other expenses, depends on the school you attend.

Most schools expect you to pay a share of your education costs. Your financial need is the difference between the total cost at a school and the amount you can reasonably contribute. There are a variety of ways to pay for these costs.

Financial Aid

There is no age limit for federal and state financial aid. Many aid programs are limited to undergraduate students (not graduate students), but adults can apply.

Most students receive a financial aid package that includes at least one of the three types of aid: grants, loans, or work study. Learn more about the federal and state financial aid programs available or use any of the resources at the end of this article to do more research.

Also, talk to all of the financial aid offices at the schools you are interested in attending. They might have additional aid programs available for adults. They may also have tips from current adult students who are paying for school.

Employment Training Programs

A variety of programs are available to help adults get training and find jobs. Most programs enroll very specific audiences, but there are a wide variety of options available. Learn more about employment training programs.

Employer Programs

Some employers provide scholarships for employees who are in school. They may also provide scholarships to an employee's spouse or children. Some employers reimburse employees for tuition costs. Learn more about employer-provided education assistance. Check with your employer on whether or not they offer these benefits.

Education Tax Credits and Deductions

If you need to pay for some of your education costs yourself, you may be eligible for tax credits and deductions that will decrease the amount of taxes you owe to the federal government. Learn more about education tax benefits.

Additional Resources

Use the resources below for general advice about paying for school.

ResourceUse if I'm looking for...Source
Paying for CollegeEverything you need to know about how to pay for college, including specific advice for Minnesota students.Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Pay for CollegeGeneral information about how to pay for school.CAREERwise Education
FAFSAInformation about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This national application is the first step in the financial aid process.Federal Student Aid
FinancePlanFind information about money management skills and creating a financial plan.GPS LifePlan
Scholarship WebsitesLinks to a variety of state and national scholarship sites.CAREERwise Education
Scholarship SearchA national scholarship database with more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities. CareerOneStop