Grants for Senior Citizens

There are numerous grants for senior citizens interested in going back to school. School grants for senior citizens can contribute money for tuition, books, and expenses, although each program has its own guidelines. Here are a few of the many education grants for senior citizens that are currently available.

Silver Scholars

The Americorps Silver Scholars Program grant was established by Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act for adults over the age of 55. For every 350 service hours, the senior receives a 1000 education award. The program is especially attractive because the grant money can be transferred to the recipients’ child or grandchild.

Tuition Programs

Many universities reduced tuition to senior citizens and sometimes even free, including:

  • University of Delaware The University of Delaware offers no-cost tuition to Delaware residents over age 60 who become matriculated students in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. Some fees apply. For more information see
  • Northern Michigan University offers on-campus tuition for adults over 62. Interested adults can apply for the scholarship along with their application to the College of Graduate Studies.
  • First Chance Scholarship Program offers adults who are also first time college students, the opportunity to apply for financial assistance.  It is open to applicants to the University of Phoenix.

Other schools with education grants for senior citizens include UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia.

The Pell Grant

If you are searching for grants for education grants for senior citizens, don’t forget the Pell Grant. Anyone can apply for the Pell Grant by filling out the FAFSA. This form is used to determine financial eligibility when determining the amount awarded. People with the least amount of income and assets qualify for more money than those with a better financial situation. You can apply for the grant as soon as you know you are planning on going back to school. Information is available at all school financial aid offices.

Jeanette Rankin Foundation

The Jeanette Rankin Foundation provides grants to low-income women over 35. Income guidelines are available on the website.

They must be working toward one of the following degrees in order to be considered:

  • technical
  • vocational
  • associate’s degree
  • first bachelor’s degree

The Avon Foundation for Women

Avon Foundation for Women offers back to school grants for senior citizens as well as women of any other age pursuing a college degree. The program is only open to women. 

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)

Low income women over the age of 50 can apply for the AARP Foundation College Scholarship Program. Applicants must be registered for a program in a U.S. Department of Education accredited school or technical program within 6 months of the date the scholarship is awarded.

seniorAlpha Sigma Lambda (ASL)’s Scholarship for Adult Students

Adults that are in the undergraduate programs with a chartered Alpha Sigma Lambda chapter can also apply for the Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL)’s Scholarship for Adult Students. There are over 300 current US chapters. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.2 and be able to prove they need the extra financial help. 

American Association of University Women

The American Association of University Women offers career development grants for women of all ages including senior citizens. This program is for women who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue additional coursework such as a master’s degree, second bachelor’s degree or certification program. Grants include money for books, fees, supplies, and transportation in addition to tuition. Dependent care is also included.

Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.)

Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) offers back to school grants for seniors and women of all ages. Grants are available for women whose education was interrupted for at least 2 years. Individual chapters sponsor women in their local area within the US and Canada. Award is for tuition only and cannot be used for living expenses.

It’s never too late to return to school. If you are an older adult there are many grants available for senior citizens returning to school. You just need to know where to look!


  1. Jacque Linley says:

    In order to apply for these senior women grants I need to be affiliated with the organizations offering them?

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  4. I’m a 69 year old retiree who already had an undergrad and graduate degree, but now wants to take music classes to learn what I don’t know!
    I was told when I was younger that I couldn’t major in music because I didn’t have the background for it.
    It has always been on my radar, but the difference is I don’t want to work, but volunteer my talents. I already play an hour a week at a local cancer center.
    I would like to play at my church, and am taking private lessons, but am not confident enough to audition yet!
    Where can I find extra money to help me go to a Christian university?
    I do get Social security and have teacher retirement, but I support my husband and I both as he oy gets social security, and not his full amount.

  5. Julie Youssef says:

    Interested going back to school… However I am disabled and I’ve had six strokes…… my husband is 72 I am 55 I have to go back to work because we cannot afford to live live… I must go back to school I need living expenses as well as tuition how do I make this work what kind of grants are available to help me with theses expenses… and tuition…

  6. Lillie Roberts says:

    I am 67 and wish to get a teaching certificate, to help our Texas school system. But I can’t afford to go back to school and earn that teaching Certificate. I have a BA in Sociology. Can they help me?

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