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 25,098 awards worth $132M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for non traditional students.

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, 2023

Second Chance Endowment Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. and international residents of Illinois who have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must be 25 years of age or older.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Gordon & Betty Cape Continuing Education Endowment Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. and international Kansas residents who are enrolled or planning to enroll in any Kansas college or university. Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and must be 25 years of age or older.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Dr. Hans & Clara Zimmerman Foundation Education Scholarship

This scholarship is available for Hawaii undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in education with an emphasis on teaching and have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher. Preference is given to non-traditional students with at least two years of teaching experience and to students of Hawaiian ethnicity.

Total: $2825

Awards: 28

Deadline: February 01, 2023

UW-Eau Claire Blugold Promise-De Maio Scholarship

Students who graduated from a Wisconsin high school and have earned less than 30 undergraduate credit hours are eligible for this award. Students must plan to attend University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; preference will be given to single parents.

Total: $2000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 01, 2023

UW-Eau Claire Blugold Promise-Graupner Scholarship

Students who graduated from a Wisconsin high school and have earned less than 30 undergraduate credit hours are eligible for this award at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Students must demonstrate significant financial need; preference is given to single parents and students who have experienced other non-traditional paths to university.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

UW-Eau Claire Single Parent Scholarship Program

U.S. single custodial parents with dependent children who are enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are eligible for this award. Preference will be given to returning female students.

Total: $12000

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Southern California Mothers of Multiples Clubs, Inc. Scholarship

This award is for mothers of multiples currently attending or planning to attend a college, university, trade or vocational school.

Total: $3000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 04, 2023

Bernice Murray Scholarship

This scholarship is available for U.S. undergraduate students. The applicant must demonstrate financial need and be a single parent with primary custody of one or more children under the age of 12. The scholarship was established to honor Bernice Murray’s unselfish contributions to improving the lives of Vermonters.

Total: $4000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 11, 2023

Sister Elizabeth Candon Scholarship

This scholarship is available for female Vermont undergraduate students who are single parents with primary custody of one or more children 12 years of age or younger. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 11, 2023