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 awards worth below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for non traditional students.

UW-Eau Claire Nan Pickett Memorial Scholarship

Students who are 25 or older and currently enrolled in select majors at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are eligible for this award.

Total: $400

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

UW-Eau Claire Richard and Marlene Cable Single Parent Scholarship

Female single parents who are returning to college are eligible for this award. Students must be currently enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

Alice Conger Patterson Scholarship

This scholarship is open to women who are 23 years of age or older and attend or plan to attend select NC institutions. Students must have a grade point average of 2.6 or higher, pursue a liberal arts degree, and demonstrate financial need.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

UW-Eau Claire Patricia H. Anderson Memorial PEO, Chapter AP Scholarship

Non-traditional female students who are undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire are eligible for this award.

Total: $1000

Awards: 3

Deadline: April 01

Bess Whitehead Scott – Scribes Scholarship

The Bess Whitehead Scott – Scribes Scholarship is available for journalism and communications students in Texas who are 40 years of age or older. Award selection will be based on a combination of academic achievement and financial need.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

Carl F. Scott Scholarship Fund for Tucumcari Lodge #27 A.F. & A.M.

New Mexico residents from Quay County who are graduating high school seniors beginning their college education, currently enrolled college students or from nontradional students are eligible for this award.

Total: $1800

Awards: 17

Deadline: April 04

Denise Davis Teen Parent Scholarship

U.S. high school seniors graduating from an Aurora, Colorado public school are eligible for this award. Students must be teen parents.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 05

Winthrop L. & Bernice Perry Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. students who are residents of Wilton, Lyndeborough, or Milford in New Hampshire. Students must be planning to enroll during the following school year as undergraduate or graduate students at a two- or four-year college.

Total: $3106

Awards: 14

Deadline: April 13

Mary Lou Manzie Memorial Scholarship

U.S. non-traditional students who are enrolled in a program of higher education or a training program are eligible for this award. Students must live in public housing.

Total: $2000

Awards: 23

Deadline: April 20

Lily and Catello Sorrentino Memorial Scholarship

Applicants for this scholarship must be 25 years of age or older and attending any degree-conferring, non-parochial educational college or university within Rhode Island. Students must demonstrate financial need; preference will be given to first-time applicants.

Total: $750

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 26