Owners of Title IV approved schools have many challenges when it comes to managing student financial aid. Students and graduates often feel like they have a lifetime of student debt management after they leave school.
There are several demonstrated alternative tuition assistance resources. Here is a summary of those that clients have shared with us.
Work off tuition
Many institutions, like massage and cosmetology, have clinic sites. The program requires students to work in the clinic for the number of services or hours that equal the tuition. (This can be adapted to select other programs.) Students learn by doing and also graduate debt-free.
Employer Tuition Benefits
Many companies offer tuition assistance as part of their employee compensation package. It is important to determine which companies in your community offer this benefit and let prospective students know. In certain industries the company will pay tuition for the student and then hire the individual upon completion. The tuition is then deducted from the paycheck. This is popular with truck driving companies that are desperate for drivers. It can work with other industries where there are limited trained people available to hire.
Tuition payment upon placement
There are a growing number of schools that require no tuition payment until the graduate is employed. I’ve spoken with the owners and they show me that it works. It’s a win for everyone.
Many employers have difficulty finding trained workers. If your school trains people in these hard-to-place jobs then employers may be open to assisting by providing scholarships. Employers may offer outright scholarships or deduct a loan from the graduate’s salary once hired.
We are working with a college where sponsors pay 90% of tuition. The college also has a foundation that offers consulting work to companies on a fee basis. The consulting projects are completed in class by the students. It’s a win-win. Work gets completed, students learn by doing, and fees pay tuition so students graduate debt-free.
Native American Tribal groups in Florida: Miccosukee, Seminole, Tequesta
This is a little- known resource that may be available in your state. Explain your programs. Ask about Tribal College Fair events. Often the Tribal community will pay full tuition for a qualified Member.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Also known as One Stop, Career Stop, and Unemployment offices. WIA typically wants to see institution employment and job placement data. Once you are enrolled with one office then seek approval in every other office within the counties your schools are located.
You school needs to qualify to be approved. Approval could mean tuition assistance for the Veteran’s family as well.
Credit Union banks are often more agreeable to awarding student education loans than commercial banks. Students have to be credit-worthy.
These are companies set up to lend tuition funds to students, the institution, or both. Each has different terms. Interest is applied.
Your institution can assume the role of “bank” and offer payment plans to qualified students. There are also companies that manage the collection process for a fee. You can also offer automatic deduction from student credit cards.State grants and awards
Bright Futures and other tuition assistance plans are offered to Florida post-secondary students. Some career schools may qualify. There are tuition assistance programs in other states like California and New York. It pays to research.
Market to international students
International students very often want U.S. degrees. They are typically required to pay tuition in cash plus show proof of funds for living expenses. SEVIS approval is required to start the visa process
- Typically the school owner or decision-maker must initiate and maintain the relationships.
- Not every school will qualify.
- Not every student will qualify.
- Proof of at least one graduating class is usually required.
- Proof of graduate employment is important data to bring to any meeting.
- It’s all about relationships!
Disclaimer: Schulz School Advisors is not responsible for any decisions made by these resources or any funding awarded.
Dr. Susan F. Schulz, Founder
Schulz School Advisors
Boca Raton, FL
561 483 9554