An associate's degree prepares you for further undergraduate study. Some professions, however, consider the associate's degree sufficient for licensing, such as culinary arts, nursing and some allied health professions, such as a respiratory therapist and physical therapy assistant. If you earn an associate's degree and decide that you require a second associate's degree to enhance your career, you could receive additional financial aid with stipulations.
Conditions for Eligibility
You can apply for financial aid for your second associate's degree after you reapply for admission to your college and state your intentions to earn a second associate's degree. An admissions counselor must help you determine the courses you need to complete your new associate's degree and provide the list of courses to the financial aid office. Some colleges also require you to submit a written appeal for financial aid directly to the financial aid office.
Your college financial aid office conducts a degree audit after you apply for admission. The audit clarifies which courses are necessary to complete your degree and the number of semesters it takes to complete the courses with the academic department to which you applied. Cape Cod Community College indicates that you only get financial aid for the courses you need to complete and for the time frame that it takes to complete the courses.
Financial Aid Awards
Generally speaking, you could be eligible for less financial aid because you don't take as many classes to complete a second associate's degree as you do to complete a first associate's degree. Your college awards you the types of financial aid for which you are eligible as an associate's degree holder -- loans or grants -- after evaluating your file and written appeal.
How to Apply
You can apply for financial aid for your second degree by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You must provide the same information as you did when applying for financial aid for your first degree, including information from your most recent tax return. You must also enter the school code on your FAFSA, even if you already have a financial aid file at your school.
Status of Student Loans
If you had student loans from your first degree, it is crucial that they remain in good standing when you apply for additional financial aid. Otherwise, other loans will not be granted until you bring your current student loans into good standing. While you are working on your second degree, your first batch of student loans are placed in deferment, meaning you aren't required to make student loan payments.