The money store

Is closed for adult college students looking for financial aid.  Those seeking retraining, especially in non-degree programs, struggle.  From Steven Greenhouse, writing in The New York Times.

Financial Aid Is Scarce for Job-Training Certificates

IT was an unusually enthusiastic shout-out for the job certificate programs offered by many community colleges. A report found that men with nondegree certificates in computer/information services earned $72,498 a year on average — more money than 72 percent of men with associate’s degrees and more than 54 percent of men with bachelor’s degrees. 
That study, completed this past June by work force experts at Georgetown University, also found that women with such certificates earned more money than 75 percent of women with associate’s degrees and 64 percent of women with bachelor’s degrees. 
Certificates are the fastest-growing form of postsecondary credential, the Georgetown study said, prized by employers for equipping workers with skills in high demand. Last year, the nation’s colleges awarded one million such certificates — more than triple the 300,000 awarded in 1994 and more than one-fifth of all postsecondary credentials awarded last year. 
But as certificates grow in number and importance, many educators are calling attention to what they see as an overlooked problem in the nation’s efforts to upgrade workers’ skills and deal with soaring higher-education costs: Federal financial aid goes overwhelmingly to students in traditional degree programs, while little goes to the many students in noncredit certificate programs who may need it more. As many employers complain of difficulty finding applicants with the proper skills, many educators and economists say the government should make it easier for students to take certificate programs.


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