Financial FAQs

Yes.... Keep trying! And, apply for everything.

Don't discount yourself before you've even entered. Let those on the judging panel decide whether or not you qualify. Apply to ones for which you only have one or two 'qualifications.' Maybe they receive no other applications and they choose to go ahead and give the money to you, even though you don't qualify completely.

There are many scholarships that go unclaimed every year. Through employers, community groups, churches, even companies like CocaCola. Start with the free scholarship matching services such as Check out our financial aid help page as well.

For more information, see chapter 3 of The Adult Student's Guide to Survival & Success, "How to Choose Your Program, Get Financial Help, and Become Oriented."

So to reiterate, apply, apply, apply for all the scholarships and loans you can, and remember that for credible sources, there should be NO COST involved for you to do this -- just your time. Numbers are the key. So send in those applications!

Congratulations on keeping your dream alive!

Check out our Financial Aid help page and links on our student links page.

There are several free places to look for scholarships (though, they may request you register). There is no need to pay anyone a fee to join an online scholarship search. Here are a few to get you started:
FastWeb, FinAid, The Old School

In addition, look for another (possibly neighboring) state's scholarship information. While some programs may be state specific, some states do a better job at collecting and presenting general information than others. Here's a list of state scholarship offices. Some may have web presences, search the web on the department name for the state you wish.

I would suggest reading our financial aid tips and applying for as many scholarships and grants as possible. It's a numbers game sometimes--you need to apply to many in order to get a few. Even apply to ones for which you only have one or two 'qualifications.'

Also, check out scholarships offered by local service groups such as the Soropotmists club. Soroptimist International is a women's service group that has as a mission the enhancement of women's opportunities. You may have to look for a local chapter for scholarship information.

Good luck and stick with it. You have the drive to finish and that's half the battle.

Do not fear, you are not alone. Look for scholarships and apply to any and all you find. Scholarships generally don't take into account your credit score or repayment history. Look for state opportunity grants. See some of the tips on our financial aid help page to give you some more ideas.


You have a good question for which we do not have a very good answer. Your best bet is to talk to your social worker AND a financial aid counselor at your future school, or one at any school in your state of residency. Every state is different in how it doles out federal monies, and regulations and programs change constantly.

We found this older article Individuals with Disabilities can retain Medicaid or Medicare while working recently, and you may find some useful information there.

This is a catch-22 for sure. While at one time the federal "Welfare-to-Work" may have helped you, the program was discontinued in 2004. Some cities, counties, states and colleges still have similar programs that either stand alone or are part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. You will need to see what is available in your area. Start with contacting your state's scholarship office.

Beware, once in a while, you may encounter a social worker that doesn't have your best interests in mind. He or she may have personal issues which they transfer to the job. It is most often a person who doesn't have a college degree themselves. They may say they cannot help you in any way. They may feel it is not fair to help you fulfill goals greater than their own. If you encounter such a person—which is rare but not unheard of—see if you can speak with their supervisor.


You have a good question! Please note that we are not financial advisors and as such cannot comment on your specific situation. However... depending on the funding source, you probably have options on what to spend the "refund" money on.

Many funding sources do have limits on what you can spend on, but others don't. Your best bet is to ask the financial aid office at your school. They will know your funding sources, situation and restrictions.



We don't have a whole lot of information for Canada, but try these:

EduCanada - Official education site of Canadian government.

Student Aid - Student grants and loans, scholarships, education savings, apprentice loans and grants.

Lifelong Learning Plan - RRSP Withdrawls - Information about using your retirement account to pay for educational expenses.

Maybe a web search on phrases such as "Canadian financial aid for low income students" or "Canadian social assistance education resources."

My advice to your cousin is to apply, apply, apply for scholarships. Sometimes an organization will offer a scholarship that no one applies for. In these cases, if they only get one application who isn't even completely qualified for their specific scholarship, they'll still give the money away.

FAQs compiled by
Kristin Pintarich
Editor-in-Chief, Practical Psychology Press