How to Go Back to School with No Money

how to go back to school with no money

No matter how old you are, how many mistakes you’ve made or how long it’s been, it’s never too late. You’re never too old to take a class, get your GED, finish high school, or go to college.


How do I get started? Where can I go for help?

If you want to brush up on any skill, get help getting your GED, finish high school, or go to college, you can:

  • Visit a local or nearby community college. You can speak with someone at the Continuing Education or Adult Education department for help finding programs, resources and things you can do to get started in the right direction.
  • Visit a local or nearby public library. You can speak with a librarian or someone at the information desk for help finding free upcoming classes, programs and resources near you.
  • Contact your state education agency. They can help you learn more about your options for finishing high school, going to college or getting training for work.
  • Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help. You can dial 2-1-1 on your phone anytime and speak to a representative about school. They can look up and give you phone numbers and websites that can help you no matter what your situation is.
  • Talk to your boss at work. If you’re working, talk to someone at your human resources department. You may be able to help you get some financial help for school, training, or classes that can upgrade your skills.

If you live in New York City, be sure to also check out NYC College Line, CUNY Prep and Adult Education Programs.


What kind of help is available?

  • Adult classes, job training and career help. Not sure about what you want to do? Your local public library can help you find out more about different job and career options that you can try. Your local public library or community college may offer many classes on different subjects that you can take to improve your skills. They may also have job training and certificate programs to help you start working in the field you want.
  • Day and night programs to finish high school. There are programs you can sign up for to take the classes you need to finish high school. They even have night classes if that works better for you.
  • Help preparing for the GED test. Your local public library or community college may offer free classes to help you do well on the GED test.
  • Grants. As long as you stay in college and keep good grades, you don’t have to pay it back. Many grants are given based on you and your family’s income.
  • Work study and internships. Your college can give you financial help as long as you’re working a work study job. Work study jobs may be on or off campus and are usually part-time. There are also internships or temporary jobs you can get through your college in any field or career you’re interesting in trying or learning more about.
  • Loans. This is financial aid or money that you borrow from the government or bank and have to pay back.
  • Scholarships. Like grants, you don’t have to pay it back. You can get scholarships based on your grades, how good you are in sports, or what career or field you’re interested in studying.

For more questions on money help for college, see your local community college’s Financial Aid office.


More Help…

✧ Guides: My GED (all about the GED test), Student Aid (help preparing and paying for college) and FAFSA (free application for federal student aid), Fast Web (help paying for college) and US Department of Education (more help finding out about your options)

Support Groups: Your local public library, your local community college and your state education agency


cell phone

Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding more programs, services and all kinds of help near you.

Call your state education agency for more help learning about your options for finishing high school, going to college or getting training for work.


Page last reviewed: May 26, 2017
Page last updated: May 26, 2017

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