Financing Education and Training

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Financing Education and Career Training


Do you have a career or training plan you want to pursue, but you don't have the financial resources to get there?  Don't give up!

This section will guide you and your family, if applicable, to many available funding resources that may offer help.



State Agencies Serving People with Disabilities

Federal Financial Aid Programs

State Financial Assistance Programs

Family Savings Plans and Tax Incentives

Scholarships for Persons with Disabilities

Scholarship and Financial Resources - General


Community Service Organizations

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The following agencies may provide vocational funding assistance to qualified and eligible clients.


Vocational Rehabilitation:    Contact your local county office.

Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Division

Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation Division  -  State Listings


Commission for the Blind:

Oregon Commission for the Blind

Washington State Department of Services for the Blind

Commission for the Blind  -  State Listings


Developmental Disabilities Services:

Multnomah County Developmental Disability Services

Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities

Connect to your local Developmental Disabilities Service Office.

Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities


Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation:

Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services  -  State Listings


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Contact your college or career training school for further information about these and other possible financial aid programs available.


Federal Financial Aid:   The Student Guide  (Grants, Loans, Work-Study)

This is the web site for Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education.
Learn about financial aid options and eligibility, and apply online!  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also available at any college Financial Aid Office or qualifiying technical training school.

Federal Financial Aid:   Audio Guide

This is a simulated conversation between a student and counselor at the 
Federal Student Aid Information Center.  Download for free.


Americorps, often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, is a national
service-to-community program which trains members to participate in 
organized community-building projects.  

Projects may include activities such as:

Tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth;

Building housing;

Cleaning up rivers and streams;

Helping seniors live independently;

Providing emergency assistance to victims of natural disasters.

Full-time members receive a living allowance to help cover basic expenses and health care.  After a term of service, Americorps members receive an 
education award to help finance college or pay back student loans.

Financial Aid for Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several programs 
administered by its Education Service.  Aid is available for veterans, 
reservists, National Guard persons, widows and orphans.

The web site describes these educational programs:

The Montgomery GI Bill

Veterans Educational Assistance Program

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program


Tutorial Assistance

Toll-free numbers for assistance and online benefit forms are provided at the
 web site as well.

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The following web sites provide helpful links to state programs and resources.


Oregon Opportunity Grants

The Oregon State Assistance Commission awards college grants to
eligible Oregon students from low-income families.  Awards are based on
family income and household size.  

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply.
See the previous Federal Financial Aid  section above for information
on the FAFSA applications.  You can apply by mail or online.

State Grant Agencies:  Student Financial Aid and Higher Education  - State Listings

This site will connect you to the State Grant Agency in your state.
State listings are provided.

State Guaranty Agencies  -  State Listings

These are private, nonprofit corporations designated to administer
the Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Education Resource Organizations Directory  -  State Listings

This web site provides links to each state, and you can access information 
on your state's education programs, financial aid assistance programs, 
grants, and scholarships. 

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Be sure to check with the Internal Revenue Service and your State Treasurer's Office for current information as changes do occur!


Family Savings Plans


529 College Savings Plans:

The 529 is named for the corresponding section in the IRS code and is sponsored by individual states.  

529s allow participants to invest money toward higher education expenses.  Money is invested in a portfolio of mutual funds administered by the state or an outside financial institution.  As of January 1, 2002, earnings are tax-free provided the money is used for qualified college expenses.  Some states allow participants to deduct contributions from state taxes up to a certain amount, while a few states offer unlimited tax deductions.

Contact your State Treasurer's Office for further information.  

For state listings see:   State Prepaid Tuition Programs and College Savings Plans

                                           State College Savings Plans Overview 


State Prepaid Tuition Programs:

State Prepaid Tuition Programs let participants lock in current tuition levels.  Prepaid plans are often limited to a certain number of schools and apply only to tuition, not for room, board, and other expenses.  

Contact your State Treasurer's Office for further information.  

For state listings see:   State Prepaid Tuition Programs and College Savings Plans


UGMA Accounts and Uniform Transfer to Minors Accounts:

These are college-funding accounts in the child's name aimed to reduce tax amounts if funds were invested in the parents' name.  Earnings can be taxed, unlike 529s that are tax-free.

Note:   As account funds are in the child's name, the child entering college may be less qualified for financial aid programs when financial aid formulas are calculated as the funds are controlled by and in the student's name, not in the parent's name and control.   


Coverdell Education Accounts:

This is the new name for the old Education IRA.

As of 2002, participants may now contribute up to $2,000 (up from $500) annually to the tax-free account toward paying qualified educational expenses.  Beginning in 2002, elementary and secondary school (pre-college) educational expenses qualify.  The IRS sets income limitations for participation.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for further (and current) information.


Tax Incentives


Employer-Paid Educational Assistance:

As of 2002, the exclusion for employer-paid educational assistance is now extended to both college undergraduate and graduate education.  That means if your employer pays your college expenses, you can get the educational benefit tax-free.

For more and current information, contact the Internal Revenue Service.


Savings Bonds for Education

The Treasury Department's Education Bond Program allows interest to be completely or partially excluded from Federal income tax when the bond owner pays qualified higher education expenses at an eligible institution or state tuition plan in the year the bonds are redeemed.

The following web site details eligible bonds, requirements, eligible institutions, qualified expenses, and income limitations.

See:   Savings Bonds for Education


Student-Loan Interest Deduction:

As of 2002, the income range for eligibility for the student-loan federal tax deduction has increased.  Also, you can now get the tax deduction on interest paid on a qualifying loan no matter how long it takes you to pay off the loan.  (There used to be a 60-month limit).  

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for further and current information.


Hope Scholarship Credit:

As of 1998, taxpayers may be eligible to claim a Hope Scholarship Credit against their Federal income taxes for qualified tuition and related educational expenses paid annually for each student.  

The student must be enrolled at least half-time in one of the first two years of postsecondary education, and must be enrolled in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential. 

The amount that can be claimed for each student is generally equal to:   1)  100 percent of the first $1,000 of out-of pocket expenses, plus  2)  50 percent of the next $1,000 of out-of-pocket expenses.  Thus, the maximum credit a taxpayer may claim for each student per year is $1,500.  Taxpayers must meet modified adjusted gross income requirements to qualify.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for further and current information.


Lifetime Learning Credit:

As of 1998, taxpayers may be eligible to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit against their Federal income taxes.  

The Lifetime Learning Credit can be claimed for qualified tuition and educational expenses paid for students enrolled in eligible institutions.  

Through 2002, the amount that can be claimed as a credit is equal to 20 percent of the first $5,000 of out-of-pocket expenses for all students in the family.  After 2002, the credit amount is equal to 20 percent of the taxpayer's first $10,000 of out-of-pocket qualified tuition and related educational expenses.  Thus, the maximum credit a taxpayer may claim for a taxable year is $1,000 through 2002, and $2,000 thereafter.  The amount that can be claimed is based on the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for further and current information. 


Back to Top  -  Family Savings and Tax Incentives

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Scholarships for People with Disabilities


Contact individual disability organizations to inquire about scholarships available.  The following is only a partial listing!


Scholarships and Awards Available to Students with Disabilities

National Federation for the Blind

Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf

Scholarships and Financial Aid - Students with Disabilities

The ELA Foundation  -  Scholarships for Women with Physical Disabilities

Mays Mission Scholarship Program for Individuals with Physical and/or Mental Disabilities

Scholarships for People with Disabilities

Scholarship Opportunities: Services for Students with Disabilities - Oregon State University

Disability Resources:  Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Fellowships for Students with Disabilities


Book:         Financial Aid for the Disabled and Their Families
                     2002-2004 Edition, by David Weber and Gail Schlachter

                     This book is updated every two years.

The book is available from, but  you might want to check to see if the book is available at your school or local library, your school's Career and Counseling Department, or your college's Disabled Student Services Office. 


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Scholarship and Financial Resources - General


The following web sites will connect you to helpful databases and links!


Financial Aid Listings by Major  

Oregon State Scholarship Commission

Lists Oregon private awards and business scholarships.  Online application is available.  Loan information and counseling are also available.

          Non-Oregon Residents:  If you don't live in Oregon, you can locate your 
          own state's financial aid assistance program at: 

Oregon Scholarship Programs - Private Agencies  

Lists scholarships available in Oregon.

FinAid!  The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid  

Provides free scholarship databases and scholarship search.  The site offers comprehensive financial aid help!


Provides a free scholarship search.

Peterson's Education Center:  Financing Education   


Provides free scholarship search.  Searchable database contains more 
than 275,000 private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans.

ExPAN Scholarship

ExPAN is a free web version of the College Board's FUND FINDER 
scholarship database.

College Aid Sources for Higher Education

Database of scholarships, fellowships, grants, loans and other aid
sponsored by more than 3,600 organizations.


Back to Top  -  General Scholarships

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Community Foundations:

The Oregon Community Foundation

Local city Foundations, such as Portland, Salem, Cottage Grove, Pendleton,
and Western Lane county, offer scholarship awards to qualified residents.
Visit the web site to see if your city offers scholarships!


College Foundations:

Colleges and universities often offer scholarships to students attending the institution.  Contact the college's Foundation Office or Financial Aid Office for scholarship information.


Business Foundations:

Businesses that have their own Foundation may offer scholarship programs.  Check with individual companies.


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Community Service Organizations


Many local community service organizations offer scholarships - or may consider awarding a scholarship!

Contact your local community service organizations to inquire about scholarships possibly available.  Community service organizations are organizations such as:

The Lions Club       (Special interest:  hearing and vision impairments)

The Kiwanis Club

Sertomas                (Special interest:  hearing impairments)


Rotary Club


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