The Latest in Scholarships for Adults Over 40

over40There are quite a few opportunities for older adults interested in going to college. Scholarships for adults over 50 and even scholarships for adults over 40 are available from a variety of foundations and institutions. Many times a grant award can make a big difference for an individual funding college later in life. Unlike students fresh out of high school, older adults have many financial responsibilities that they need to continue to meet even as they take on the work of going to college full-time.

Free Tuition

In recent years many colleges and universities have begun to offer tuition reimbursement programs for adults over 50. Some schools even offer free tuition. The University of Virginia and UNC-Chapel Hill both offer reduced tuition.

Northern Michigan University has a free tuition program open to adults over 62.  Applicants can include their form along with their College of Graduate Studies form. University of Delaware offers free tuition to part-time and full-time students over 60. Applicants must include GRE results and academic records. First Chance Scholarship Program offers tuition assistance to adults who are also first time college students at the University of Phoenix.

Federal Programs

Another option for college grants for adults over 50 and scholarships for adults over 40 is the Federal Student Aid program. Federal Student Aid oversees all of the government funds for people going to college. Programs include grants, loan and work-study options. The Higher Education Act of 1965 was created to fund these types of programs.

If you are looking for scholarships for adults over 50, you will first have to fill out the Federal Aid for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) form.  The form is available at the Federal Student Aid site or in any school financial aid office. The FAFSA determines how much money you can qualify for based on financial need. It takes your household income and the number of people living in your household into consideration.

Once the FAFSA form is completed you can see if you qualified for a Pell Grant. There is a maximum of 12 semesters that can be funded with Pell Grants, according to new rules instituted in July 2012.  You must be accepted in either a part time or full time program that meets the Pell Grant guidelines. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a Pell Grant that can give you up to an extra $4000. It is based on the FAFSA and can help with extra financial help.

Private Options

The Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL)’s Scholarship for Adult Students is open to individuals affiliated with a chartered Alpha Sigma Lambda chapter. There are more than 300 universities with an ASL chapter. Additional requirements include a GPA over 3.2 and financial need.

The American Association of Retired Person (AARP) offers scholarships for adults over 50. It is for low-income women attending schools or technical programs approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Individuals in search of college grants for adults over 50 may be interested in the Span Plan Grant Program sponsored by Purdue University. It is open to adults with low-incomes attending Purdue College of Technology or Purdue West Lafayette.

Many times people looking for college grants for adults over 50 are returning to school after an absence. The Alliss Educational Foundation Grant is a program for the Minnesota State College and Universities System.. It pays the tuition for one course of up to five credits.

The American Association of University Womengrants are for adult women continuing their degree program following a bachelor’s degree. Dependent care, transportation, books, and fees can be funded with the grants in addition to tuition.

The Whitehead Scholarships for Women program offers Lettie Pate Scholarships for adults over age 40. It is a health education scholarship for medicine, nursing, and allied health.

Women 45 and older can apply for The Alma Baron Second Chance Scholarship. It is only for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Other Options

Some schools offer training programs for older adults who want to change their career path. The American Association of Community Colleges coordinates the Plus 50 Initiative for this purpose. Met Life Foundation and Civic Ventures funds the Encore Initiative, a similar program. Both programs can be a great alternative for both scholarships for adults over 50 and scholarships for adults over 40. 

It is now possible for older adults to completely change their life path in a way that wasn’t an option in the past. By taking advantage of the numerous opportunities available the possibilities are limitless.


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