If you are like many students searching for scholarships and financial aid, you may have noticed that many scholarship programs are limited to high school students or to students who are under the age of 24. While it may seem as though some scholarship providers are designed only to help the younger generation, this is not necessarily the case. There are many scholarship programs available for returning adult students and non-traditional adult learners. Whether you are going to college for the first time or are heading back for another degree, you are never too old to find scholarships! Here are just a few of the scholarships available for students who are 25 years of age or older.
1. ‘REACh Your Goals’ Scholarship – This scholarship is sponsored by Resources for the Education of Adults in the Chicago Area (REACh) and provides up to four (4) awards annually valued at $1,500 each. Applicants must be from the Chicago area, be 25 years of age or older and have completed 12 or more semester hours of college level credit.
2. AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program – Up to 200 scholarships, each valued between $500 and $5,000, will be awarded to women who are 50 years of age or older and enrolled at least part-time in college. Winners will be chosen based upon their essays (1,200 words or less) and financial need.
3. Displaced Homemaker Scholarship – The Association on American Indian Affairs offers $1,500 non-renewable scholarships to full-time American Indian students who are unable to fulfill their academic goals due to family responsibilities. This scholarship is for older students who: have been delayed in attending college while raising their children, are entering or are returning to college when their children enter school, divorced and had to leave college to care for their children.
Another tip for mature scholarship seekers: As we get older, we tend to have more patience, which can be a huge benefit when searching for scholarships. Younger students sometimes lose patience and avoid scholarship programs that require essays with high word counts, so older students can take advantage by targeting such scholarships. The key to finding scholarships is to exhaust all available resources: college financial aid offices, your employer, organizations where you may volunteer, and, of course, free online resources, such as ScholarshipExperts.com. We might not be able to teach an old dog a new trick, but we can certainly help him (or her) find scholarships!
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