With our current teacher shortage, educators are needed now more than ever. But even though you may be thinking that this could be the right career path for you, getting trained still often requires a significant payment up-front. So, here are a few options if you can’t afford teacher training!
Scholarships and grants
The first step you’ll want to take as you begin your enrollment process is to look into scholarship options. Check your school’s website or talk to a representative to learn about available scholarships and grants. Oftentimes, schools will have scholarships open to their students, or you might be able to find third-party ones that you can use for tuition or living expenses — a great resource to help you find a wide variety of teaching scholarships is Teacher.org!
Out of pocket upfront
Once you’ve looked into scholarships and grants, paying out of pocket might be your next best option — as long as you have enough money saved up to cover tuition, any supplies, and living expenses. While this method does have the highest upfront cost, you won’t owe any money in interest, there’s no credit check, and you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments!
Interest-free payment plans
For those who have explored all scholarship options and still can’t afford teacher training costs, some schools offer payment plan options to allow students to make several smaller payments over the duration of the program. This lessens the upfront cost, and it includes no credit check and no interest — so you’ll ultimately pay less than you would with a loan. However, payments are spread over a much shorter period of time, so though you’ll pay less overall, your monthly payments will be higher.
A student loan can be a good option for students who need to make the smallest monthly payments, rather than larger payments or all upfront. While not all teacher training programs offer federal student loans, private student loans may still be available. Depending on the loan terms available for your program, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.
Some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though, are that loans come with an interest rate, so you’ll end up paying more than the tuition amount. Your credit report will also be pulled, so your credit score may be impacted — although, Climb only performs a hard credit pull once a loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!* Ultimately, you’ll need to consider what works best for your situation: smaller monthly payments while paying more overall, or higher monthly payments while paying less overall.
*Climb performs a “soft” credit pull to evaluate eligibility, but this soft credit check will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull is only performed once the loan is accepted and funded.