Grants For Older Students

older studentsThere are two types of grants for older students.  There are those that are available to everyone regardless of age, and therefore available as school grants for older students as well as those of traditional college age, and there are those that are specifically designated as being grants for older students.

In that category, there are those that are designated for students over a specific age that may include seniors, and there are back to school grants for seniors only.

While no stone should be left unturned and no opportunity left unexplored, it may be easier for older students to be awarded grants specifically reserved for those that are older, as the competition is less.

Government Aid

Whether looking for retraining grants for older women or back to school grants for seniors, the best place to get started is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  This will return a list of federal and state grants, scholarships, and other aid programs for which the student is eligible.  The Pell Grant specifically is available regardless of age, with the main qualifying factor being financial need.  Each state has their own programs available, some of which favor older students.

Schools, Employers, and Organizations

The next place to look when searching for grants for older students is with the various universities or colleges that may be attended.  They may have in-house funds available for non-traditional students.  For those in the workforce, employers may have funds available for furthering education, and various professional and not-for-profit organizations have funds available for specific fields of study or for those that meet other requirements.

Resolve to Evolve

Scholorships.com offers funds through their Resolve to Evolve program to those that are considered non-traditional students due to age and wish to pursue a college degree.  No more than 5 scholarships are awarded annually, each no more than $1,000.  Recipients are selected based on their answers to the essay question, as well as stated academic goals, career goals, and references.   Applicants must be a registered with scholarships.com.

University of Phoenix First Chance Scholarship

This is awarded by the University of Phoenix to older students, specifically over the age of 23, and parents of college students wishing to attend themselves.  Recipients receive full tuition to the University of Phoenix, but application is available only upon nomination by a non-profit partnership organization.  While University of Phoenix focuses on online learning, students can attend classes at any of the 200 campuses nationwide.

Talbots Scholarship for Women

Talbots offers a retraining grant for older women, or a grant to return to school for those that have earned the GED program or earned high school diploma at least 10 years before applying.  They must be planning enrollment in an undergraduate degree program that is accredited in the United States or Canada and have 2 semesters or more of study remaining.  No more than 10 scholarships of $15,000 and 1 scholarship of $30,000 are given each year.

ASIST

ASIST, or Adult Students in Scholastic Transition, offers $2,500 in grant funds to select students reentering college or attending a first time career enrichment education program.  Financial needs and ability to overcome economic, social, and physical adversity are considered, and those tasked with the responsibility of caring for young children are given priority consideration.

AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program

The AARP Foundation offers scholarships to women of low income and age 50+ by the deadline.  Funds are available for vocational or technical programs as well as bachelor’s or associates degrees.

The program must be at a United States Department of Education accredited school or technical program, and enrolment must occur within six months of the award date.  Priority is given to women to have low paying jobs with no career opportunity, have been out of work for more than a year, female veterans, and those caring for the young children of relatives.

Other considerations include financial need, impact of the scholarship, education and career goals, personal circumstances and achievements, and the challenges faced by the individual.

This is the just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the grants for older students that are available.  Being persistent in research, applying for every grant for which qualifications are met, and being organized with go a long way toward ensuring that funding is found for continuing education that can lead to a new or more fulfilling career.

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