Over the last five years, post-secondary enrollments have been on the decline. Many believe this steady drop in college attendance numbers is largely linked to lack of affordability. And they aren’t wrong. Young adults are increasingly leaving four-year institutions with mounds of debt and no job prospects.
The good news is that there is another option: trade school. Trade schools are significantly cheaper than traditional colleges, the programs they offer can typically be completed far faster, and the job outlook after graduation is usually pretty bright. Even so, these schools are not without affordability issues.
Many people considering trade school are looking to break into an in-demand field—such as manufacturing, healthcare, or engineering. They believe learning a trade and swiftly entering the workforce is a better path than attending a traditional college. But here’s the thing: these willing trade school applicants often need financial aid to afford the necessary skills training. One study found that low-income students are 3.5 times more likely to attend for-profit institutions like trade schools than higher-income students
If you work in the trade school industry, you should know that offering school financing options is the key to increasing enrollments. Sure, you can up your marketing game to garner more interest in your school, but it won’t do much good if those who are interested can’t afford to attend. Providing custom financing that brings in students who otherwise couldn’t afford the tuition is the best way to increase the number of eligible applicants and, subsequently, enrollments.
Trade schools are likely to continue growing in popularity among those looking to streamline their education and career advancement (and cut down on educational debt). And the schools that best give under-served students a way to pay for school will see the most success.