If you are thinking about going back to school to continue your education, you might be worried about everything from balancing your schedule to paying for your tuition. Fortunately, vocational school might not be as expensive as you think, especially if you do things the smart way. Here are three easy ways to save money on continuing education so you graduate ahead of the game.
1. Ask About Tuition Reimbursement
These days, more and more employers recognize the importance of workers who continually push themselves, which is why many businesses offer tuition reimbursement. These programs are typically designed to help workers to advance in the career they already have, encouraging employees to improve their education while they boost their resume.
To find out if the company you work for offers tuition reimbursement, talk with your human resources representative, and ask which vocational schools the program covers. Keep in mind that if you take advantage of tuition reimbursement, there may be strings attached to the benefit, such as a contract stating what you can major in, how long you will work for the business or the grade-point average you need to maintain to receive reimbursement.
However, if you are eligible and can maintain the standards, tuition reimbursement could help you to get the schooling you need for less.
2. Borrow Money the Smart Way
Oftentimes, people forget to factor in the price of interest when they calculate the cost of college tuition, a mistake that can be especially damaging if you plan to use credit cards to fund your higher education. However, you can save a significant amount of money by borrowing money the smart way and only taking out low-interest loans from the federal government.
In addition to being easy to apply for and available to people with no credit history, student loans offered by the federal government typically carry an extremely low interest rate, which can help you to save money on your education. In fact, research has shown that students who took out loans in the 2015-2016 school year paid an average of 4.29% interest, while privately funded loans were as much as three times that price.
ICT offers a private loan option, with competitive rates, for those qualified through Peachtree Credit Company. To help vocational students graduate with as little debt as possible, ICT offers payment plans.
3. Claim the Lifetime Learning Credit
Although most people are familiar with the fact that the federal government offers tax credits for the first four years of a college student’s education, these conditions don’t apply if you have been in the workforce for years and are thinking about heading back to school. Fortunately, you may be eligible for an alternative credit that works for continuing education called the Lifetime Learning Credit.
This tax credit reimburses students up to $2,000 of their eligible tuition costs per year, provided they were enrolled at an eligible institution and not filing separately from their spouse.
If you attend a vocational school, always keep track of the tax forms sent to you by the IRS and give them to your accountant at the end of the year. Unlike a tax write-off, which reduces your overall taxable income, tax credits are applied directly to your net tax total, which means you could earn an additional $2,000 on top of your normal return.
Some Additional Benefits of Attending Vocational School
There are many benefits to attending a vocational school. From a quick start to a complete curriculum and everything in between, you have a great opportunity to learn a new trade and start a rewarding career by attending a vocational school.
A Complete Curriculum
Vocational schools prepare you for a new vocation, and they do it in record time. However, no corners are cut. You will learn what you need to know to enter entry-level positions in many vocations. Vocational schools also understand that you may have limited time to devote to school so they offer a complete curriculum without all the electives that can take too much of your time to complete. At a vocational school, you learn only what you need to start your new vocation, and nothing else. Forget about the elective class in Geology or 17th century poetry, just the foundational classes in your new vocation.
A Quick Start
When you are attending vocational school, you might have other responsibilities to manage. Whether you are taking care of family members or working to pay the bills, it is important to understand that most vocational school programs can be completed in months, rather than years. If you don’t have years to devote to a new career, then attending a vocational school is a great alternative. You get to learn a new trade that is in demand in less than a year. Start learning, then start earning.
Industry Experienced Instructors
Vocational school hire instructors that have experience in their vocation. They understand what you need to succeed and prepare you for an entry-level position in many different industries. From healthcare and business to computers and HVAC, a vocational school brings in industry experienced instructors to mentor students through the curriculum. They also offer one-on-one attention, so no one is left behind.
One of the best benefits of attending a vocational school is getting career services to find your dream job. Vocational schools help you build your resume, practice interviews and have many connections in the community. They may hear about a new job before the public. Vocational schools identify your passion and find a job that matches.
When you are ready to make a change for the better, think about enrolling at the Interactive College of Technology. Whether you are thinking about becoming a medical administrator or you are passionate about computer programming, ICT can help you to make your dreams a reality.