Building a Life

A transition guide for Kansans

Things to Consider

  • Explore a variety of options for paying for college, ranging from Pell Grants to scholarships to vocational rehabilitation programs.
  • Pay attention to financial aid deadlines for grants and scholarships
  • Work closely with a financial aid staff member in figuring out different payment strategies

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides a wide variety of help for people heading into the workforce or small business ownership including transition services for high school students.Have your youth/young adult sign up during the last semester of high school to begin the career and work planning process.In general, Vocational Rehabilitation can help with assessment/vocational evaluations; job seeking skills; assistive technology devices/services; job coaching and other services to make employment possible.

VR will contract these services to its partners across the state. Community Rehabilitation Programs provide the hands-on services to clients.

In addition, some Centers for Independent Living that promote self reliance through education, advocacy, training and support, also offer employment help as part of their mandate. You’ll need to check their website to see which one is in your area.

Tools and Resources

  • This site has a very thorough introduction to college funding. Information on scholarships, loans, military aid, plus tips on filling out forms, and financial aid calculators.
  • This site lets you search for scholarships based on your own profile. Takes some time, but time is money.
  • Information on scholarships, including a searchable database. Has many links, and is easy to use.
  • This is your free online guide to all U.S. Government programs benefiting students.
  • A one-stop resource for financial aid! Scholarship Resource Network Express contains a database of over 8,000 programs with a distribution level of over 150,000 awards for undergraduate and postgraduate students worth a total of more than $35 million! This database also includes student loan forgiveness programs for those who have graduated from college and need alternatives for repayment
  • Information regarding importance of finding a high quality online advanced degree along with information on accommodations, learning styles and budget. 

Financial Aid

Between 18 and 24, your child is considered to be your dependent, so your income is considered in financial aid applications for colleges. After age 24, your child may be considered an independent student, depending on their situation, making them more eligible for federal and state financial aid programs. But keep in mind that federal financial aid programs are also tied to students’ success in passing their classes and grant monies may have to be paid back if they are not successful.

Tab 2 Tools and Resources

Scholarships and Grants

Each college will have a listing of scholarships and grants their students are eligible for, usually on the institution’s web site. In addition, you may want to look for federal grants such as the Pell Grant, which is based on student income (and their family if the student is 24 and under).  The whole process begins with filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) on the web , which is then sent to the colleges you selected on the application. But don’t just stop there: study the college’s financial aid web site, meet with a financial aid counselor and learn all your options.