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Free College Grants and Scholarships for The Unemployed

Anyone unemployed due to a plant or company closing, a layoff, or an elimination of their career position is considered a displaced worker. Since the government is interested in returning displaced workers into the workforce, they offer a number of free educational grants for retraining.

The federal government considers anyone unemployed due to a plant or company closing, a layoff, or an elimination of their career position as a displaced worker. Affected workers need written verification from their state’s workforce agency stating that they are considered a displaced worker.  In 2008, the federal government, created a special web portal to assist displaced workers by providing career information, job search opportunities, and education-funding opportunities through a centralized government web portal called Opportunity.gov.

The federal government has relaxed the financial aid qualifiers for displaced workers making it easier for them to apply for grants.  The Federal Student Aid Program and private institutions offers a number of government subsidized college-funding opportunities for geared toward re-educating displaced workers for new careers.    

TEACH Grants

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) offers displaced workers an opportunity to start a career in education.  The program provides up to $4000 per year for school, but recipients must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a school that serves low-income students for a certain period after graduation.  To learn more about the TEACH Grant Program; contact a college’s financial aid.

Federal Pell Grants

Pell Grants are usually awarded to displaced workers who have not earned a college degree, however, displaced college educated workers are eligible for Pell Grants if they plan to pursue a post-baccalaureate teacher’s certification.  The amount awarded depends on your academic plans. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Displaced workers often overlook the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, because they do not consider themselves to be as the government describes in “exceptional financial need”.  However, displaced workers, who have qualified with the Pell Grant program, should also try to apply for this additional grant.  Recipients receive between $100 and $4,000 a year.

 

Institutional Grants

Colleges, unions, professional associations, and other institutions also provide scholarships and grants to displaced workers.  Some of these grants come with special obligations, such as working in urban or underserved areas for a certain period.  Colleges around the country such Sagit Valley College in Seattle Washington, Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan and University of Illinois, Urbana all offer special grant programs and financing for displaced workers.  To learn more about the displace worker programs contact the local colleges or universities.

Unions often provide grant opportunities for members wishing to learn more marketable skills, while professional associations offer scholarship programs to individuals seeking to enter their field. To find out more information about possible grant opportunities contact the local office of the union or professional association.

Resources:

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant

Pell Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

CollegeScholarships.org

Opportunites.gov

Federal Student Aid Program

Union Plus Scholarship Program

Green Collar Association

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