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Higher Education/ Career Training Information

Do your research before you enroll
Investing in your future through education or training beyond high school can be expensive, both in terms of time and money. Because financial aid is easily available for students to fund their education, be aware that there are many businesses that will engage in deceptive practices to secure those dollars without delivering the promised benefits. In the end, you will be responsible to repay those dollars regardless of whether you finish the program, or whether the program provides you with the required qualifications for your chosen profession. Before committing to any program of study, be sure you do your research to understand what you want to achieve and exactly what that requires. Below are some links to sites that can help you in your research, and make you aware of some scams to avoid.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Occupational Handbook

Are you considering a specific career? Use the DOL Handbook to find information on careers including average salaries and education/training requirements.

U.S. Department of Education (DOE)

You’ve thought about possible careers, where do you get the necessary education to set you on the right path to reaching your goal? Start by researching schools/programs which interest you, including whether a school is public or private, for-profit or non-profit, accreditation status and student loan default rates using the College Navigator  and the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions & Programs.

Department of Education and State University System of Florida

Want to stay in state for your post-secondary education? The Florida Department of education has a variety of resources to help you make the most informed choice about programs of study:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

If you are a veteran, check out the GI Bill Benefits Comparison Tool for information on programs/schools and whether an institution participates in the Veterans Administration Principles of Excellence.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Shopping for higher education has the potential for the same pitfalls as any other consumer transaction involving a high-priced good or service. The FTC has a wealth of consumer protection information regarding scholarships and schools to assist you:

If you’ve already begun your studies and your school closes while you are enrolled or soon after you withdraw, you may be eligible for a discharge of your student loans. For more information regarding school closure and loan discharge, visit the U.S. Department of Education online. You will need to obtain copies of your academic records to complete this process. Read about how to obtain these records.
  
There are also certain situations other than school closure in which you can have your federal student loans forgiven, canceled or discharged. Read about Federal Student Aid.

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