We are pleased to share a guest post written by Kathy Jackson. The article below takes an interesting look at the possible options adult students have in order to finance their vocational studies and training.

The Refrigeration School assists learners in their development of the skills and knowledge necessary for employment and professional growth. RSI has trained individuals to become professional, entry-level Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) technicians since 1965. RSI has since expanded its training and now offers multiple career-focused training opportunities.


Studying a vocation later in life is far from uncommon. Over 200,000 adults over the age of 25 are currently enrolled in technical education programs. This is welcome news when one considers the frequent reports of the growing skills gap in the U.S. For instance, 45 percent of small business owners said that they couldn’t find qualified candidates to fill job openings in the first quarter of 2017, as The National Federation of Independent Business indicates.

It likely comes as no surprise that paying for post-secondary school can be a challenge for some students. So, The Refrigeration School (RSI) created the below scholarships guide with helpful pointers you can give adult learners to better inform them of their trade school funding options.

Guide to vocational scholarships for adults created by RSI

3 Tips for funding technical training at any age

Being a student later in life requires much more than having the willingness to learn, motivation to go through the whole process and putting in the necessary time, all while juggling being a child for your parents, a spouse for your loved one, a parent for your own kids, a friend for your friends, an employee for your boss, and so on. Being a student later in life comes with a cost, and that cost must be covered with real money.

If you think you can’t afford to pay for this cost on your own, things are not lost. There are plenty of ways to navigate the intricacies life has in store for you. Here are three tips to help you find the best solution that will cover your training costs — totally or at least partially:

  1. Apply for Federal Aid

    Always start by researching online and by filling out a FAFSA form. There is no age limit, and nearly everyone is eligible to obtain some type of federal aid. Additionally, many scholarship and grant funds require applicants to fill out this form.

  2. Check out all scholarship options

    Scholarship options are based on a wide range of criteria. These include gender, geographic location, age, field of study, and union membership. Furthermore, many colleges and vocational schools offer their own funding to adult students who meet the requirements. It’s always a good idea to apply for as many scholarships as your can to increase the odds of obtaining the needed financial assistance.

  3. Prepare yourself

    Scholarship funding is often competitive. For this reason, adult learners should do all they can to increase their odds of getting a positive answer to their application. So you should do your very best and customize each scholarship application to align with the awarding organization’s mission and values, proofread your application and any written assignments for mistakes, and make sure you send your paperwork in before the deadline.

Placing rewarding career paths within reach

Adult vocational education does not need to be expensive. The tips outlined above can help adult learners obtain the funding they need to receive the training that will enable them to start a new, fulfilling career path.

Author: Livia M

Livia is the lead online voice of MATRIX by CYPHER LEARNING. She writes about workplace learning and L&D strategies for businesses, as well as other training and e-learning related subjects.