Ohio Ex-Offender Reentry Coalition Educational Resources

Education Help


Taking the steps to attain your educational goals may seem intimidating. Luckily, there is help available.

Get personalized help

  • Financial Aid Offices Contact Information - Ohio college and university financial aid offices are available to help students complete the FAFSA, to answer any questions they may have regarding financial aid or eligibility.
  • College Access Information Hotline - University System of Ohio personnel can help guide you towards information on college preparation, financial aid resources, scholarship opportunities, credit transfer, and more.
  • Ohio's One-Stop System - Job seeking customers can expect services such as resource rooms, job-related workshops, supportive services, individual training accounts, and other activities that match job seekers to employment. You can also find out about Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding available for education and job training
  • The Benefit Bank of Ohio - Representatives can assist you in filling out the FAFSA, applying for tax credits and public benefits for workers, and more.

Resources Geared Specifically for Ex-offenders


Education Finance Resources


College may seem expensive, but financial assistance is available for most students.

Find financial aid for education

  • Applying for Financial Assistance - Information about the FAFSA and a step-by-step financial aid checklist for new and transfer students. Criminal offenders who are soon to be released from prison might want to complete the FAFSA to ensure aid when they are released.
  • Grants and Scholarships - University System of Ohio students have a number of ways to lower the cost of sticker price tuition. Grants and scholarships are awards that directly lower students' out-of-pocket education costs, and generally do not have to be repaid. Click this link to find out more.
  • College Access Information Hotline - University System of Ohio personnel can help guide you towards information on college preparation, financial aid resources, scholarship opportunities, credit transfer, and more.


Schools and Training Resources


Whether you're looking for a two- or four-year degree, or just brushing up on specific job skills, the University System of Ohio can help you find a program that fits your needs, plus financial aid to help pay for your education or training.


Job Market


Before enrolling in a school or training program, it might help to know what the job market looks like - what kinds of jobs are available and what sort of training or education do you need to land them?

Research the job market

  • Ohio Means Jobs - Search for job opportunities in Ohio.
  • Ohio Job Listings at Hard2Hire - Hard2Hire is a job search service that specializes in helping ex-offenders find work.
  • Ohio Labor Market Information - A useful list of career exploration tools and Ohio job market information.
  • Ohio Occupation Trends 2006-2016 - Brochure (in PDF format) from the Department of Job and Family Services.
  • Career Exploration (Ohio Labor Market Information) - Provides information for job hunters and those considering career changes. View job postings, training options, average wages, expected average openings and related occupations.


Education Terms


Types of college degrees and training

  • Non-credit Program: Workshops, seminars or courses of study that improve skill sets for professional development but do not lead to an academic degree.
  • Fast-track Training Program: Training lasting up to six months to provide the skills needed for well-paying jobs in high-growth industries.
  • Certificate: A document granted by colleges after completion of study for a specific occupation. Certificates usually require a six-month to one-year, full-time program of required courses, or its part-time equivalent.
  • Associate Degree: The degree granted by colleges after students complete a two-year, full-time program of required courses or its part-time equivalent. These degrees are offered by many kinds of colleges, including community colleges, technical colleges and colleges and universities that offer bachelor's degrees.
  • Baccalaureate or Bachelor's Degree: The degree granted by a college or university after students have satisfactorily completed a four-or five-year, full-time program of required courses or its part-time equivalent. Students usually receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Master's Degree: An advanced college degree earned after a bachelor's degree, usually taking at least two years for a full-time student to complete.
  • Doctorate Degree: The highest university degree, also called a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). Physicians usually receive a doctorate of medicine (M.D.), while lawyers receive a juris doctorate (J.D.). 

General College Terms

  • Postsecondary Education: Education after high school at a public, private, technical, community or junior college or university.
  • 2 + 2 Program: A program offering an associate degree that will transfer directly toward a bachelor's degree in the same field of study. These programs may be within the same college or between two colleges and may be known by other names.
  • Community College: College that offers programs (usually two years or less for full-time students) leading to certificates or associate's degrees. These programs prepare students for immediate employment or for transfer to a college or university offering bachelor's degrees.
  • Distance Education: Classes taught over satellite or local television, by video tape or CD ROM, through the Internet and by correspondence. Some may be regularly scheduled; others may be taken when most convenient for the student's schedule.
  • Accredited: Colleges and schools must meet requirements in academic programs, facilities, teaching, etc. to be certified by accrediting agencies. Usually, colleges must be accredited for their students to receive financial aid.
  • College-level Examination Program (CLEP): A series of examinations in undergraduate college courses that provides students of any age the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement. Students may earn college credit for knowledge achieved through significant work or volunteer experience, thereby reducing costs and time to degree completion.
  • Credit: How schools measure a student's progress toward a diploma or degree. The number of credits assigned to a course depends, in part, on how much time is spent in class each week. For example, most courses offered by colleges on semester calendars are worth three credits. Credits are also referred to as "credit hours" or simply, "hours."

Terms relating to financial aid

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The first step in applying for federal, state and institutional financial aid. It is best to apply for financial aid early before funds run out. Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Grant: Financial aid based on student financial need. Grants do not have to be paid back. 
  • Scholarship: Financial aid awarded for academic and other achievements (music, athletics, etc.). Scholarships are gift aid and do not have to be paid back.
  • Student Aid Report (SAR): Summary of information that details a family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial aid eligibility. Families receive this after filling out a FAFSA.