Frequently Asked Questions
What can the Educational Opportunity Center do for me?
Answer –Our Educational Specialists can help you with every step of the process from “I think I might want to go college.” to signing up for classes. We have career assessment tools to help you find a job that interests you. We can help you find the school and program that is best for you. We will help with the college application process and help you apply for financial aid. And, when you are ready, we can help you sign up for classes. We also offer GED assistance and default loan counseling for those who want to go to college. Check out our Apply page to find out more about our application process and to schedule an appointment today!
I’m nervous about going to college. Will I be able to do it?
Answer –Most adults who are going to college will also be juggling job, family, household, community and other responsibilities. It can seem like an overwhelming task! However, there are many ways to combat the stress of going to college. Setting aside dedicated study time, being organized, practicing good time management and finding a support system of other adult students are all excellent ways of making your life a bit easier! The Educational Specialists at the Educational Opportunity Center are happy to answer any questions you have about going college! Contact Us today to set up an appointment!
How can I possibly afford college?
Answer –This question has different answers for different people. Each student will need to find the solution that works best for his or her life. And the Educational Opportunity Center can help!
One of the first things to consider when you are trying to decide if you can afford college is which school to attend. Although there are many options available to you in the Treasure Valley and online, the cost of your education can vary significantly depending on which school you choose. For example, you may be able to save thousands of dollars by attending a community college. Our Educational Specialists can help you choose the program and school that is best for you!
Also, many students work part-time or full-time while going to school. Many college programs offer flexible class schedules that can fit around a full or part-time job. It is also possible to go to school part-time while you continue working at your current job. Financial aid IS available for students going to school part-time!
And speaking of financial aid, there are a variety grants, loans and scholarships available to help you pay for school. Our Educational Specialists can help you find and apply for student financial aid.
What types of financial aid are available for adults going to college?
Answer -Financial assistance to attend college comes in many forms.
Federal Student Aid is the largest source of financial aid for college. There are several types of Federal Aid available.
- Pell Grants – Grants are gifts of money and they do not have to be paid back. Federal grants are awarded based on need.
- Federal Student Loans – Low-interest federal student loans are available. These loans will have to be paid back.
- Work-study Programs – Work-study jobs are usually on-campus jobs where you can work while you go to school. The money you earn can be used to help pay for your education.
Federal Student Aid is awarded based on your free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA. Our Educational Specialists can help you fill out your FAFSA to see what federal student aid you might qualify for.
Scholarships are another type of financial aid that do not need to be paid back. Scholarships are usually awarded based on merit or merit plus need. Scholarship applications can be due several months before school begins, so it pays to start early! The Educational Opportunity Center has information on scholarships that may be available to you!
For those who qualify, the military also offers several options to help you pay for college. Our Educational Specialists can help you investigate your military education benefits.
Most people use a combination of these forms of aid to help pay for college.
College takes a lot of work. Is it worth it?
Answer -There is no doubt that increased education provides people with greater opportunities. Federal statistics show the median salary, for people with a high school diploma, is about $6,000 a year more than for those who don't have a high school diploma ($21,000 vs. $27,000 per year). Individuals with associate degrees or two years of college can add another almost $6,000 a year to their incomes ($32,500). A bachelor's degree can add $13,000 to a person's income ($46,000). These salaries vary depending on your field and where you live since pay is often higher in big cities than in rural areas.
Do I have to go to a college in Idaho?
Answer -No. We help you with admission forms and funding searches for any college or university you prefer. Tuition, however, will often be lower for in-state public colleges or universities.
Can I go to college part-time and still qualify for your help?
Answer -Yes. Our advisers can help you find ways to continue your education, even if it is only one or two courses at a time.
How good do my grades have to be to qualify?
Answer -The better your grades, the more your options. However, many colleges recognize that older adults are more committed to improving their education than they may have been when they were younger. Our advisers can help you find ways to compensate for poor grades.
What about online classes?
Answer -Idaho EOC will help you research suitable online programs. These courses often work best for people living outside commuting distance from a college or university, or who need a more flexible class schedule.
I want to start school as soon as possible. How quickly can I start?
Answer –Most schools in the Treasure Valley have semesters that start in the fall and spring, however there may be other options depending on what school and program you choose. Ideally you should start the college application process at least two months before you plan to start classes. This will allow plenty of time for your application and financial aid to process and for you to sign up for the classes that fit best with your schedule. The Educational Opportunity Center can help you navigate each of these steps. Call us today for an appointment!
Is there such a thing as a “single-parent grant”?
Answer –We always encourage our program participants to apply for all types of available financial aid. Many types of financial aid are awarded based on need, which will take into account your income and family size. So, if you are a single parent, you may qualify for this type of need-based financial aid. Set up an appointment with one of our Educational Specialists today to see what kind of financial aid may be available for you!
What if I have a bad credit rating? Can I still get financial aid?
Answer –Many financial aid options are not based on your credit score. Our Educational Specialists are ready to help you evaluate your options for financing school.
What if I have old student loans? Can I still get financial aid? What if they are in default?
Answer –The process of returning to school when you have previous student loans, especially if they are in default, can be very confusing and overwhelming. Our Educational Specialists have experience helping people with old student loans figure out what their options are for financing school. Call us today and schedule an appointment! We can help you figure out your next steps.
Is it possible to get my old student loans forgiven, canceled or discharged?
Answer –In general, student loans will need to be repaid, even if you did not finish school or were not able to find a job with the education you received. However, in certain limited circumstances, it may be possible to have your federal student loans forgiven. Please review the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid’s webpage on loan forgiveness for more information. If you have questions or would like to speak with an Educational Specialist about your options for financing school, please call the Educational Opportunity Center today to schedule an appointment.
Is there such a thing as a “felon grant” or special grants for people recently released from a corrections facility?
Answer –We always encourage our program participants to apply for all types of available financial aid. Many types of financial aid are awarded based on your recent income. So, if your income has been affected by being incarcerated, you may qualify for this type of income-based financial aid. Set up an appointment with one of our Educational Specialists today to see what kind of financial aid may be available for you!
How can I support a family member who is attending college?
Answer –Having a supportive environment at home can contribute to success at school, i.e. being interested in the family members classes and schedule and his or her educational goals. We can share other important ways families can help students protect their investment in education. Make an appointment to speak with one of our Educational Specialists to find out what important steps you and your family members can take to ensure your experience with higher education is a successful one!
Please feel free to send any questions you may have about the financial aid process, admissions, successful strategies for school or training, the step-by-step process of attaining higher education, or accessing a GED program to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you answers via e-mail or standard mail if you wish and include your question on this page.