Scholarships for Adult Students – There are many categories for scholarships, and one that is pretty uncommon is the scholarship program for adult students. Although one may argue that the cost of higher education back then was not as expensive as it is today, getting into college was not as cheaper as you think. There are many unfortunate individuals who are forced to stop their education in high school because they couldn’t afford the cost of college education and they have to immediately get a job in order to support their family. There are, of course, other reasons for a person to not pursuing college education, but in most cases money is the problem.
However, there are some amazing people who want to pursue the higher education after they have become an adult. For some, pursuing a degree means that they can expand the knowledge needed to boost their career or business (or even to switch their career with a new one), while for others it means that they are fulfilling the missing link in their life. Unfortunately, the cost of college education is pretty unreasonable today, so they would have to find a funding source to pay for the cost. Scholarships and grants often become the first option as they are available without any obligation to repay. The next in line would be tuition reimbursement plan. All three options are to be repaid on a monthly basis after graduation or employment.
Grants and Scholarships for Adult Students
While it is true that most adult students are more settled than high school students, pursuing grants and scholarships should be seriously considered, especially because they are basically free money for studying.
Scholarships and grants are often given based on some criteria. Standard scholarship program will require you to show some academic merit, while standard grant program will require the status of a person with low income. Minority scholarships and grants are given under special circumstances such as disabled students, women, veterans, race, career-based, as well as age. Below are some of the programs that are available for adult learners:
Federal Grant Programs
The United States government strongly pushed everyone to get a higher education, so they have prepared many programs that support this cause. Regarding adult students, there are two education grants available from the government, including:
Federal Pell Grant – I bet you must have heard about this one. It’s the nation’s largest grant sources, with thousands of people are funded every year. Although this is not a grant that target a specific population such as adults, adult students are more than welcome to apply. It is based on the household income, the status of the student, along with many other considerations which is summarized in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – Available only for those who are qualified for the Federal Pell Grant, the FSEOG grant program is the additional benefit that can give the needy students the money they really need to pay for the tuition. Students who receive this typically get the Pell Grant yet they are still having a significant financial need.
TIP: take a little time to visit the Federal Government’s Opportunity.gov. They may have some programs available for the unemployed. These programs often include free or low cost education or training for the job needed.
State-specific Grant Programs
There are some states that offer various different programs that can help adult students to cover for their education cost. Each of the state have different choice about the system they use to help low income adults and displaced workers to get education they need to get back to work. Some choose simple grant programs, while other may resort to tuition reimbursement programs. To see what option is available in your perspective area, please contact your state’s Department of Education. One good example of this program can be found in the New York State. The state’s College Access Challenge Grant is a direct educational grant given for low income adult learners who wants to continue study so that they can improve their career.
Assistance from Colleges
Aside of the scholarships and grants from the state and federal government, you can also ask your college’s financial aid office to see if they are offering such program or not. As you know, universities and colleges are trying to make a diverse student body, and providing financial aid for a specific population might help them to achieve this goal. The Alliss Educational Foundation Grant in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, and Span Plan in Purdue University are good examples of such program.
Scholarships for Adult Women and Minorities
Being a woman can be pretty advantageous, especially when you’re looking for a scholarship or grant. There are many organizations and foundations dedicated to help women in need, and some of these entities provide help for adult women returning to college to pursue a degree. Most of these entities aim to improve the life of women in general, and through education it can be achieved. Some examples of the foundations that provide scholarships and grants for women are the American Association of University Women (with their Career Development Grant), National Black Nurses Association (for African-American students), and Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation. For more information on this, please use the Google Search Engine and type in keywords like “scholarships for adult women returning to college“.
As you can see, there are many grants and scholarships for adult students available in the United States. You just need to have the patience and the willingness to search.
- The National Black Nurses Association
- Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation
- AAUW – College/University Membership Benefits Students
- FAFSA – Get Help Paying for College
- Federal Student Aid – Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program
- Image: binghamton.edu