Scholarships for Non Traditional Students

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What is a Scholarship for Non Traditional Students?

If you postponed college, you may be eligible for scholarship for non traditional students. Scholarships for returning students are for people who are pursuing college later in their adult life. It could also be adults returning to school after being in the workforce. 

Scholarships for non traditional students often help pay for college along with other college expenses. Unlike a loan, a non traditional scholarship typically does not need to be paid back. So, if you abide by the terms, it should not add to your college debt.  

Who Offers Non Traditional Scholarships?

Providers of non traditional student scholarships are diverse. You may find them through corporations, professional associations and colleges and other organizations.  

One example is a Founders Scholarship. These awards are for members of ANTSHE. The Association for Non Traditional Students in Higher Education offers $500 to full tuition. There are many colleges offering this scholarship. Albright College and Beloit College are some schools that offer this award. 

Who is a Non Traditional Student?

Students who did not go from high school right into college are “non traditional.” Many students start working after earning their diploma. However, some may want to pursue college later in their life.  

Apart from that, non traditional students have diverse backgrounds. In general, you may qualify for a scholarship as a non traditional student if you meet one or more of the following six criteria from the NCES.  

  1. Non traditional students are over the age of 24. They may have already graduated from college and may want to go back to school.
  2. Enroll in college after graduating from high school after 1 year or more. Non traditional students did not immediately continue their education after high school. Many want to return to college after a gap year to finish their degree. 
  3. Attend college part time. Many non traditional students may have to raise a family or work full time. They may enroll in a part time program.  
  4. Have family duties and limited finances. Non traditional students may have to care for dependents other than a spouse. Some are single parents who are raising a child by themselves.
  5. Independent in terms of financial aid. Traditional college students may get financial help from their parents. Non traditional students are usually financially independent.
  6. Have a GED, not a high school diploma. Many non traditional students did not complete a high school diploma. But passed the GED exam and have a high school certificate of completion.    
  7. Work full time. Many non traditional students work a full time job or typical 9 to 5 job.

Can Non Traditional Students Get Financial Aid?

As a non traditional student, you may be eligible for federal student financial aid. Like anyone younger, you should soon fill out a FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid figures out your financial needs. Since there is no age limit for a Federal Pell Grant, you may be eligible too. 

Many scholarships for non traditional students do not place age limits either. Though some providers may ask to see the results of your FAFSA. 

Can You Get a Scholarship at the age of 25?

There are scholarships that you may apply to if you are age 25. You may need to show financial need and have at least a GED. One example is the Tennessee Hope Scholarship. It awards up to $6,750 annually. You must also be a resident of Tennessee.

Why Consider  Non Traditional Student Scholarships? 

A scholarship may help a non traditional student reenter college and help pay for school. Studies show lifetime earnings are higher with a college degree.  

One study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people with less than a high school diploma may earn a weekly average of $520. Many workers could earn $836 per week with an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree has a weekly pay that averages at $1,173. 

How Many College Students are Considered Non Traditional?

Enrollment of students age 25 and over was 11 percent higher in 2016 than in 2006. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that is on the rise by 1% through 2027. 

About 7.4 million students age 25 or older went to college in fall 2019. This is less than the number of ‘traditional’ students. About 12.5 million college students were under 25 years of age. 

About 10% of college students attending 4 year public colleges are non traditional. Of these, most students (8%) are age 25 to 34. The remaining 2% are 35 years or older.  

If you look at private for profit schools, about one third (39%) are 25 to 34. Another 28% are 35 plus. Somewhere between these two are private nonprofit colleges. While most (8%) are in the 25 to 34 range, 5% are adults age 35 and up. 

List of Non Traditional Student Scholarships

As a non traditional student, there are many scholarships to help you earn a college degree. There are 25,142 awards worth $132M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for non traditional students.

Niche No Essay Monthly Scholarship

Niche prides itself on helping students discover the schools and neighborhoods right for them.This scholarship is available for U.S. and international high school and college students enrolled in U.S. academic institutions. Applicants must apply online by creating a free account or logging in on the provider site.

Total: $24000

Awards: 12

Deadline: October 30, 2021

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

This creative and fun scholarship program is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2026) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner with an imaginative and well-written response to the scholarship question about the Zombie Apocalypse will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: October 31, 2021

2020 Overcoming Adversity Scholarship

Must be a undergraduate or graduate or GED holder with a GPA of 3.0 and higher to be eligible. A detailed essay on how the applicant has encountered and overcame hardship is required.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2021

Student Pilot Scholarship

San Diego female students who wish to obtain a private pilot certificate are eligible for this award. Students must have a passing score on the written test and have completed a solo flight.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2021

Education Matters Scholarship

The Education Matters Scholarship is open to US students who are 14 years of age and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2025) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Total: $5000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2021

UW-Eau Claire Blugold Promise-Sundstrom Scholarship

Non-traditional and first generation incoming students to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire who have earned no more than 30 college credit hours and graduated from a Wisconsin high school are eligible for this award. Students must demonstrate financial need; preference is given to students from Durand High School.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 01, 2021

Top Ten List Scholarship

The Top Ten List Scholarship is open to US students who are 14 years of age and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2027) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2021

Jewel Davis Scarborough Scholarship Opportunity for Graduate/ Post Graduate Study

AAUW Jewel Davis Scarborough Scholarship Opportunity for Graduate / Post Graduate Study are available to women (25 years & older) returning to higher education after some period of time in which their formal education was interrupted.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2021

Mark Sherman Law Juvenile Justice Scholarship

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be enrolled in college, graduate school, or be a GED holder who are about to attend college; they also must show good academic standing by holding a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The recipient of this scholarship will have demonstrated their interest in serving the less privileged in our community.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2021

I Have a Dream Scholarship

This award is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2027) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 31, 2022

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