Possible Ways to Pay for Your Education
You May Qualify for Help With Education Costs
Continuing your education is a good investment, but the expenses can seem daunting. Thankfully there are options for funding your education.
First and foremost, keep in mind that you don't actually pay for an entire certificate or degree program up front. Instead, you pay for the courses you register for each quarter, which makes the costs more manageable.
While our degree programs qualify for traditional financial aid programs, UW Professional & Continuing Education (UWPCE) certificate programs do not. However, they often qualify for less traditional forms of financial assistance. Here are a few avenues that are sometimes overlooked.
WorkSource Unemployment Benefits
If you've recently been laid off from your job, you may be eligible for WorkSource, a program that extends your unemployment benefits and may cover your education costs while you attend school full time.
As part of Seattle and King County's employment and training services system, WorkSource also offers financial assistance if you're planning to start a new career in an in-demand occupation. Many of our certificate programs are considered "approved education programs" and may qualify for WorkSource funding. To find out more, go to the Washington Career Bridge website. Under the "Search by training provider" category, select University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education from the dropdown menu.
In this scenario, timing is important, as you only have 90 days to apply for training benefits once you become unemployed. Because of the evaluation process, you need to begin consulting with WorkSource at least four weeks before you plan to start a certificate program.
To find the WorkSource location closest to you, visit the WorkSource Office Directory.
AmeriCorps Education Award
Once you complete your service in AmeriCorps, you qualify for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. This money can be used to cover education expenses for eligible programs like our certificates. You can use your award money for up to seven years after completing your AmeriCorps service. To use your education award, you'll need to log into your My AmeriCorps account and create an Education Award Payment Request.
Under the G.I. Bill, veterans may be eligible for reimbursement of course fees when enrolled in online learning and other select courses offered through UWPCE. Some UW certificate programs have also been approved for Veterans Administration benefits. Application for such benefits should be made through the Business Services and Veterans Affairs Office, which can be reached at 206-543-6122.
Tax Credits and Deductions
As a taxpayer, you may be eligible to claim up to $2,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses as a tax credit under the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The LLC covers qualified education expenses that you pay for academic periods during the tax year. While the tax credit excludes expenses covered by scholarships, tax-free grants or employer education assistance, it does include all qualified out-of-pocket expenses and those paid by loans.
You also may be able to deduct qualified college tuition and related expenses of up to $4,000 from your income taxes. This deduction is an adjustment to income, which means the deduction will reduce the amount of your income subject to tax.
For more information, visit the IRS site.
Current UW Students
Matriculated UW students (students admitted to the university) may be able to apply awarded financial aid toward UWPCE credit courses and degree programs. For more information contact the UW Office of Financial Aid at 206-543-6101.
We Can Help
To learn more about your options, visit the Fees, Aid and Payment area under Student Resources.
Once you’re determined eligible for education benefits through Worksource, AmeriCorps or other organizations, you’ll receive paperwork to be completed and signed by the training provider – that’s us. Contact our enrollment advisers for help. You can reach us at 206-685-8936 or by email.