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Not the four-year-college type? Or maybe you are just looking to update your skills in a particular field of study? Then maybe you should check out the excellent opportunities that career colleges offer.

What is a career college?
Thousands of students enroll in career colleges (also known as technical or vocational schools) every year. Essentially, a career college is a private or public institution that offers a range of certifications and degrees in a variety of career-specific fields. Depending on the type of career you’re interested in and the school you select, you can earn a certificate, a diploma, a two-year degree, or a four-year degree.

What subjects can I study at a career college?
Some career colleges only offer education in a few related fields, while others may provide a list of literally hundreds of career-oriented subjects. Some of the most popular subjects and careers include:

* Accounting
* Art/Graphics
* Automotive
* Business Administration
* Cosmetology
* Court Reporting
* Culinary Arts
* Dental Assistant
* Electrician
* Emergency Medical Technician
* Fashion Design
* Heating/Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
* Hotel/Restaurant Management
* Information Technology
* Medical Technical Careers
* Nursing
* Paralegal
* Plumbing
* Real Estate

Can I get financial aid or a scholarship for a career college?
The financial aid process is basically the same for students attending a career college as it is for students attending a four-year college. Most career colleges participate in federal financial aid programs, but before you apply, check with the schools to be sure. As a career college student, you may be eligible for the following federal grants and loans:

* Federal Pell Grant
* Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
* Federal Perkins Loan
* Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Student Loans

Many students don’t realize that they can be eligible for scholarships. Unfortunately, many assume that scholarships are only for very smart students attending prestigious universities. You’ll be surprised to learn how many career colleges offer scholarships. It’s critical that you talk to the financial aid office of each school you’re interested in to find out what scholarships are available.

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