Trade School

Many Types of Trade Schools

It used to be that a trade school offered several week – to year – long programs leading to a certificate. They still do, but a trade school now can also refer to a two-year degree-granting institution. The financing available to you for your trade school will depend on what kind of program you choose.

Federal student loans and traditional state loans and private student loans require that you be enrolled in a two – or four- year degree program and that you be enrolled at least half-time. If this is not the case for you, take a look at the page on Continuing Education loans; you will find financing ideas for your situation.

Types of Federal Government Student Loans

If you are eligible for Federal student loans, they should be your first choice. The Federal government offers three types of student loans: The Stafford Loan, the PLUS Loan (for Parents and for Graduate Students) and the Perkins Loan. Graduating students can also take advantage of a Federal Consolidation Loan to combine all of their college loans into one manageable loan package.

You may also benefit from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, which can provide vocational training to workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours drastically cut as a result of international trade and competition. You can find details at

Applying for Federal Loans Is a One-Step Process

To applying for any government loan you must complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for all forms of Federal aid programs, and it is also required for state programs and for financial aid from colleges and universities. Whether you are applying for a Federal loan, grant or scholarship the FAFSA is your first step and must be submitted early to meet any deadlines for your loan or grant applications. The application form and full information is at

State Student Loans

All states have an extensive program of student loans, grants and scholarships. Your state resources should be the next place you turn for loan opportunities. To find out what your state offers, go to the website of the state higher education authority. The site will have the links to the information you need. A list of the state authorities, their websites and contact information can be found on the Department of Education website at


Private Loans for Trade School Students

Private student loans are student loans you get from a bank or from a student loan lender, such as Sallie Mae. Used judiciously, private student loans are an excellent way of rounding out your funding picture. But that is precisely how they should be used – to round out the picture. Students should only consider private loans once they have exhausted their federal and state loan options. In general, private student loans carry higher interest rtes than government loans, they have stricter repayment terms than government loans, and they are likely to have higher, and often hidden, fees than government loans.