Continuing Education

Continuing Education Can Take Creative Financing

Continuing education is one of the fastest growing segments of American education. A large percentage of the adult population is a potential continuing education student.

  • Many are experienced professionals who need flexible curricula and courses.  The purposes are often short-term—required CE units, technical certifications, career building courses and seminars.
  • Others are students who are socially and/or economically disadvantaged and unable to free up a chunk of time to pursue a formal degree. Many have found it economical or practical to piece together part-time and standalone courses to create an education or build experience toward a career.

Unfortunately, Federal student loans do not cover continuing education. But that does not mean there are no reasonable options.

State Student Loans

Depending on where you live, your state may offer loan assistance for continuing education students. If available, it may be restricted to students in certain fields or coursework  intended directly for career advancement or certification. Your state higher education commission has listings of available loans. You can find your state’s agency at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SHE.

Private Student Loans

Continuing education loans are private loans designed for today’s adult learner. Common features include variable loan interest rates, high loan limits and loan repayment options. The variety and depth of loan benefits you find depend in large part on the economic climate at the time you borrow.

 

Here is one of the best known loan programs continuing education students:

  • Sallie Mae offers a Continuing Education Loan and a Career Training Loan for students whose educational requirements do not qualify them for traditional student loans. Borrow on your own credit or with a co-borrower and there is no limit on the loan. Money may be used for courses and for related expenses. Details can be found at www.salliemae.com/student_loans.

A Last Thought

If you are taking continuing education courses to obtain professional certification, keep a professional license current, or to enhance skills that will be useful to your employer, do not neglect to find out if your employer offers tuition reimbursement. Many do.