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 at a time when other expenses abound. 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, if you fit the bill as a non traditional student, 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 awards worth below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for non traditional students.

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: $12000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 11, 2021

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, 2021

Steven L. Coffey Memorial Scholarship

This award is for high school seniors and graduates of Anderson County High School, Clinton Senior High School, or Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee. Returning adult students and non-traditional students are also eligible to apply. Students must plan to attend Roane State Technical Community College or Pellissippi State Technical Community College.

Total: $2500

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Ellyn Lancaster Scholarship

This scholarship is available for women in Washington, Greene, and Sullivan Counties in TN. Applicants must be returning to college as non-traditional students, and must be pursuing a degree in social work at East Tennessee State University.

Total: $2400

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Stepping-Stone Scholarship

This scholarship is available for graduating seniors, adult students, and GED recipients who have a permanent residence in Knox or Laurel County, KY. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and demonstrate unmet financial need.

Total: $3000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Olive Lynn Salembier Memorial Re-entry Scholarship

This award is available for female engineering students who are returning to school after a period of absence of two or more years. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, except for first-year re-entry students.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

IBM Linda Sanford Women’s Technical Advancement Scholarship

This scholarship is open to women who are re-entry/non-traditional students majoring in computer engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering. Students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Total: $1250

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Mary V. Munger Scholarship

This scholarship is open to U.S. students who are college juniors or seniors or re-entry/non-traditional students studying engineering or computer science. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be members of SWE.

Total: $6000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 15, 2021

SWE Central New Mexico – Reentry Scholarship

This scholarship is open to female U.S. students who are re-entering education at the sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate level to study engineering. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, be members of SWE, and attend a New Mexico university.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Lunday Scholarship

This scholarship is available to graduate students in the Communications Department at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. Students must be single parents or citizens of a country other than the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

Total: $4000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 16, 2021

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