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Financing your CAD Education

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Financing options for students indending to pursue a program in CAD are scholarships, grants and loans. Scholarships award students sums of money (that do not to be paid back) in order to pay for various costs associated with their education. Loans must be paid back over a predetermined period. With grants the monetary awards students get from grants will never have to be repaid.

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Scholarships are an excellent way for students to finance their postsecondary education in the field of CAD drafting. Scholarships award students sums of money (that do not to be paid back) in order to pay for various costs associated with their education. Quite frequently, these costs include the tuition required to attend a particular learning institution. To that end, many scholarships award their payments directly to a school, which will credit it towards the expenses of the student who has earned the scholarship. However, scholarships can be used for expenses other than tuition, such as room and board, school supplies, and textbooks. Scholarships are offered by a number of organizations, some of which are private and others which are public entities. Most scholarships are for a specialized segment of the student population. Two of these scholarships are detailed below.

ASDSO Scholarship Program

The ASDSO Scholarship Program can be extremely beneficial for CAD drafting students, since this program awards $10,000 to a student for the school year. The requirements mandate that students must be a senior who has achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better during his or her first three years of postsecondary study. Furthermore, students must be currently enrolled fulltime in a civil engineering program or a related field as determined by ASDSO (which includes CAD drafting), and be studying some discipline that is directly related to design, dam operation, construction, or hydrology (Cappex).

The National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC) Scholarship Foundation

This organization is an equal opportunity organization that desires applications from both genders, not just those that are female. Traditionally, this scholarship foundation disseminates approximately $25,000 to various students who are in programs that are related to construction, such as certain areas of specialization of CAD drafting. One such scholarship offers students a monetary award of $1200 to students in such a program within the U.S. who have a minimum of a semester remaining in a degree program that includes associate degrees. Students must be enrolled fulltime and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Additionally, this organization offers a $500 scholarship to students who are in construction-related training programs that have been approved by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training, or some equivalent that exists for junior colleges or for vocational/technical schools. Students will need to submit a page-long essay, as well as demonstrate a financial need and provide a description of the course of study they are involved in (NAWIC).


Other options for financial aid for students looking to study CAD drafting include both grants and loans. By far, loans are probably the least favorable form of student aid for the simple fact that the monetary sums awarded to students through a loan must be paid back over a predetermined period. In terms of paying back loans, students typically have a grace period immediately following their completion of a postsecondary program before they will be required to pay back their loans. When that grace period ends, students must work out with the institution that offered the loans a specific amount that the student will begin repaying at certain allotted time periods—which are typically monthly. The amount that the student will repay each month largely depends on his or her current financial situation.

Interest is most frequently added to these loans, as weel as any applicable late fees. Student loans are typically offered by various governmental agencies that award Federal Stafford Loans, Fannie Mae, and Federal Perkins Loans. Students must first see if they qualify for these loans by demonstrating a financial need. In most instances loans are awarded on a yearly basis (according to school year) and must be reapplied for every year. Students have to give these agencies a complete detail of their financial information, as well as that of their family members who they live with in order for these agencies to determine how much funding these students qualify for. In most instances, student loans do not cover a student’s entire education costs, especially for those who choose to pursue bachelor’s or graduate level degrees. However, by utilizing these loans with any student based funding (as well as that of his or her family) and any possible grants or scholarships, it is usually possible to pay for one’s education.


Grants are much more preferable than student loans since, like scholarships, the monetary awards students get from grants will never have to be repaid. As in applying for most other forms of financial aid, students will need to demonstrate a need for funding which is typically based upon the cost of an education at a certain institution and the student’s own financial capabilities. Grants are usually endowed by both public and private entities. For instance, the federal government offers a grant known as the Pell Grant, which certain students might be able to qualify for. 

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