As an adult, finding and paying for education can be difficult, if not impossible.
Fortunately, there are people and organizations out there that can help with this task for free. The University of Kansas, through grants and funding from the U.S. Department of Education, sponsors two organizations that work with adults to earn their GEDs, obtain placement in post-secondary education programs, and secure funding to help cover the costs of those programs.
The Educational Opportunity Center, which is located in downtown Kansas City, Kan., works with adults from all walks of life to get them on the path to a better future. The organization’s services include: assistance in entering a GED program, academic and career counseling, and help in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The requirements to work with the program are incredibly simple. All one must do is be a U.S. citizen, meet the income guidelines, and express a desire to go back to school. All services offered by the EOC are free of charge. For those who are unsure how to go about filing for financial aid or enroll in a program, the Educational Opportunity Center is an amazing resource that can help get the ball rolling.
Another organization sponsored by KU that has a more narrow focus, but works toward a very similar goal as the EOC, is Veterans Upward Bound. Veterans Upward Bound will help veterans of all military branches prepare for and enter post-secondary education programs. Services offered include: help completing admission and GI Bill forms, college preparation courses and subject tutoring, and study skills workshops. The VUB office is also located in downtown Kansas City, Kan., and all the services they offer are free to qualifying individuals. To be eligible for services offered by Veterans Upward Bound, one must have served for at least 180 days on active duty (or less if released for medical reasons), be a member of a reserve corps since Sept. 11, 2001, or be in a reserve corps and have served at least 30 days active duty.
Advisers from both the Educational Opportunity Center and Veterans Upward Bound will be discussing these programs at length next month at the Main branch of the Kansas City, Kan., Public Library. At 2 p.m. May 13, all are welcome to come gather information and ask questions about these completely free programs. It’s never too late to further one’s education.
Emma Claudius is the business librarian for the Kansas City, Kan., Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave.