Scholarships for adult students
Adults returning to college should not be discouraged by the fact that some scholarships are available only to high school students! You also possess certain advantages in the financial aid application process:
- Apply as soon as you can for the FAFSA, which opens each January 1. High school students need their parents to help them fill out and submit the FAFSA. If you are over 24 years old, you can do the FAFSA on your own. Much of the aid from FAFSA is first-come, first-served, which is great for you.
- Many professional organizations, unions, and religious congregations offer scholarships. They're not always well-publicized, so ask around.
- Many companies offer financial help for employees who wish to further their education. Ask your employer about tuition assistance. Even if there is no formal program in place, you may still be work something out. Make the case that your studies will benefit your colleagues and the bottom line.
You can find more tips and links to specific scholarships targeted at adult students on these sites:
- AdultStudent.com: This site is peddling a book aimed at adult students, but it also offers some good information for free, including on scholarships and other financial aid sources.
- Back2College.com: This page is a list of 10 financial aid tips for adult students. There are some great suggestions here.
- College Scholarships.org has pages with general suggestions for returning students as well as adult students.
- FinAid.com: Some hard numbers here explaining how much financial aid adult students receive compared to "traditional" students. There are also good suggestions for senior citizens (why not audit classes?), and links to a couple of scholarships for adult women.
- ScholarshipWorkshop.com: This list links to several scholarships open to or specifically for adult students.