The DOE is Restoring Grant Aid to Students of Shuttered For-Profit Colleges

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Starting over isn’t always easy.

However, the U.S. Department of Education will make it easier for college students to return to school and complete their educations after for-profit colleges like ITT Technical Institute shut down in the middle of their matriculation.

The education department will restore Pell Grant eligibility to affected students and wipe their former student-aid history clear, according to The Wall Street Journal. So even if students already used a few years’ worth of aid, they’d recoup that grant money spent at the closed institutions.

Since many colleges and universities don’t accept credits from for-profit schools like ITT Tech, thousands of students are faced with starting their pursuit of a degree over from the very beginning.

The Wall Street Journal reported the affected students would be notified of their grant adjustments by email.

Pell Grants are federal student aid given to students based on financial need. The maximum amount awarded for the 2017-18 school year will be $5,920, according to the education department’s student aid website. Eligible students can receive up to 12 semesters — or six years — of Pell Grants.

Without the opportunity to use Pell Grant, many would be forced to choose between going into major debt or foregoing college.

Not Eligible for a Pell Grant? You’ve Still Got Options

For students not eligible for the Pell Grant, there are still ways to get your college education without being subjected to a lifetime of student loans.

Make sure to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each academic year to find out what aid opportunities are available to you.

Look into scholarships as a way to fund your education. There are tons out there and you can be eligible based on a number of criteria: your GPA, being involved in sports and activities, writing a winning essay, even simply living in a certain area.

You can avoid debt by checking out work-study jobs, considering community college over more pricier institutions or foregoing the dorms for alternative housing options.

College can be an awesome investment, but you want it to benefit your future and not drown you in a boatload of debt.

Your Turn: Have you been affected by a college closing?

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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