12 Killer Scholarships & Grants for Trade School Students


You might think that scholarships for trade school are hard to find. This is not the case; most states have vast listings of locally available scholarships, lending sources and grants that can be used for vocational schools. Finding an accredited, reputable trade school gets you part of the way to success; locking in a money stream such as a scholarship or grant could make trade school a reality.

Scholarship or Grant?

A scholarship is money given to you to pursue your education. It comes with very few strings attached, and is not meant to be repaid. Scholarships are considered income, so they are taxable. A loan, on the other hand, is meant to be repaid but can help you overcome any difference between your available cash and the cost of attending trade school. A grant generally comes from a not-for-profit institution, which means it carries no tax liability. In return for receiving the grant, the student must report out how the money was used. Ulysses S. Grant, on yet another hand, was a Civil War general and later president, and by an odd coincidence, Grant appears on the fifty-dollar bill. So your scholarship or grant could actually be a whole lotta Grants.

A Sampling of Trade School Scholarships

Learning continues throughout a person’s lifetime. Returning to school to learn or improve a skill makes you valuable, and a contributor. You could learn a trade at any age, and apply new skills to improving your life. Few adults returning to trade school, however, have a large nest egg ready to spend on tuition. Begin by checking with your own state’s offerings, often found through state educational boards. Many scholarships are available to adults; here is a sampling:

  • ASIST scholarshipAdult Student in Scholastic Transition (ASIST)—Executive Women International (EWI) provides assistance to adults facing financial, physical or social challenges who want to improve their education. Each local chapter of EWI’s more than three dozen chapters offers the aid, through competitive entry. Amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Jumpstart Scholarships—A quick $1,000 could help with educational expenses, and the Jumpstart Scholarship does just that, for high school students, post-secondary students and non-traditional (adult) students. It is merit-based, not financially based, so if you are committed to using your trade school education to bettering your community’s and family’s life, you should apply. If someone offers you a $1,000-bill, make sure Grover Cleveland is staring vacantly into the distance to your right. Otherwise, you have a counterfeit.

walmart foundationCompanies often offer private scholarships. Be sure to ask at work if your company has any financial aid for returning to school. For example, the Wal-Mart Foundation offers scholarships to its associates and their family members. Pursuing a Certificate program could give you a $1,500 boost; going after an associate’s degree could bring you $2,000.

Families of military service members often can tap into scholarships offered by the different branches. The Veterans Administration has many scholarships and educational aid programs for military servicemen and women, such as VetSuccess on Campus and the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Bill Education Enhancement Program. One aspect of one program will give you $500 just for coming from a “highly rural area.” (Bonus content: the $500 bill features William McKinley, who looks grumpy. Very few $500 bills are still in circulation because when the Federal Reserve Banks get ahold of one, they destroy it.)

Trade School Grants

moaa-logoWe will start our grant search where we left off with scholarships: with the military. The Air Force Aid Society offers needs-based grants of up to $4,000 for children of Air Force members. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) has all bases covered—metaphorically, baseball field bases, not military bases, you understand—with scholarships, grants and loans. Every branch of the service also provides help:

Federal financial aid is often in the form of grants to students, such as the Pell Grant, which offers up to $5,775 based on financial need and some other requirements. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is another resource; talk to your trade school’s financial aid office about this needs-based grant that offers from $100 to $4,000.

Keep in mind, too: most grants are not individually dispensed; they are federal and state monies given to institutions and programs to address specific populations, such as Native Americans, adults re-entering the workforce, and adults from economically disadvantaged or rural areas.


I am truly enjoying my time at ATI next may i graduate with a degree. ATI was a smart choice, and the instructors are…
Posted by Jason King on Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ready for Trade School?

The best way to start your path to success in trade school is by contacting Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) about its many vocational programs. ATI’s financial aid office can get you started on finding funding for studies in welding, commercial driving, and other trades. With solid training from ATI, you may start finding more Benjamins than Washingtons in your wallet.

Trade School

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