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Financial Planning for Postsecondary Education

Postsecondary Education
Identifying Postsecondary Options
Applying to a College or Program
Financial Planning for Postsecondary Education
Disclosing a Disability/Requesting Accommodations
Supporting Postsecondary Youth
Programs for Youth with Significant Disabilities
Resources Related to Postsecondary Education for People with Disabilities

Financial planning will differ based on the student’s postsecondary goals and career plans. In all cases, however, the student and/or family should carefully explore the options and develop a finance plan BEFORE making any postsecondary commitments. Planning should begin no later than the student’s freshman or sophomore year in high school since the learning curve is fairly steep for some options and application dates may vary.

For example, apprentices are paid employees whose employers may pay part, all, or none of the related instruction costs. Employers may also place conditions on paying such as successfully completing each year of instruction. Apprenticeship application materials may contain information about pay rates and who pays for related instruction. If not, the apprenticeship director or employer should clearly explain who will pay for related instruction before the apprenticeship agreement is signed.

Some Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are offered by industry groups, trade associations, and employers. In these cases, the cost of the training may be paid by the program sponsor or the student. The program director or employer should answer finance questions before any contracts are signed or commitments are made.

Other CTE programs may be provided by independent postsecondary schools (also known as proprietary schools) as well as nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities. Just like academic colleges and universities, these schools have access to federal, state, and other financial options such as grants, loans, and scholarships for which students may apply. It is imperative that students and families clearly understand their options, the terms of each financial instrument, and the consequences for defaulting on loans and other commitments before committing to a financial arrangement.  

For more information on financial planning, see “Financial Aid” in the A-Z Library ( and “Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Resources for Students with Disabilities” ( Resources&PageSubCategory=None).

The following link takes you to a financial quiz: Resources&PageSubCategory=None



ABLE United
Floridians with disabilities can use an ABLE United account as a tax-free way to save money while continuing to maintain benefits.

College Navigator
This website is sponsored by the United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Center for Education Statistics. Users can search for information on schools, colleges, and libraries, including information on affordability, price, financial aid, campus safety, graduation rates, and more.

Financial Aid information for Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary programs (CTP)
Explains how students with disabilities may be able to qualify for federal funding through CTP programs and includes lists of eligible schools by state.

My Money
The Department of Financial Services created the My Money Program to provide educational lessons for individuals with developmental disabilities and important resources for family members and caregivers. The My Money Program allows individuals to learn and practice financial skills at their own pace, using interactive games, activities and educational videos. Lessons focus on money basics, banks and credit unions, accounts, budgeting, government benefit programs and ways to find and keep employment.

Paying For College, Think College!
This section of the ThinkCollege! website provides information on a number of options that students with disabilities are using to pay for college, including financial aid, scholarships, tuition wavers, and resource mapping, among others.



The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).

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