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.

Martin Duffy Adult Learner Scholarship

This award is available for members of the Minnesota AFL-CIO who are attending any accredited college, university, or trade school. Selection is made by random drawing and there are no past academic qualifications or records required. Spouses and dependants of Minnesota AFL-CIO members are not eligible for this award.

Total: $500

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 30

UW-Eau Claire PEO and AAUW Nontraditional Female Students Scholarship

Returning female students who are 23 years of age or older and enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are eligible for this award. Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Total: $500

Awards: 10

Deadline: May 01

B.K. Krenzer Re-entry Scholarship

This award is available to undergraduate and graduate women majoring in engineering. This scholarship is intended for re-entry/non-traditional students.

Total: $3000

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 01

Sophie Greenstadt Scholarship for Mid-Life Women

This scholarship is open to U.S. women who are 35 years of age or older and are re-entering or continuing school in order to learn a marketable skill which will lead to economic self-sufficiency. Students must reside and attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties in California.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 01

Carlson-Johnson Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students

U.S. and Canadian undergraduate students who are returning to school after a five-year or greater absence are eligible for this award. Students must be pursuing a career in a field related to floriculture or horticulture and be interested in bedding and/or floral crops.

Total: $1100

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 01

UW-Eau Claire Student Parents Scholarship Application

U.S. single parents currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are eligible for this award. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 01

Little People of America Scholarship

Little People of America, Inc., (LPA) Membership is offered to those people affected by dwarfism. Awards can range from $250 to $1000 (sometimes more). A scholarship committee will review application packets, as well as individual donors. Awards shall be limited to two awards for undergraduate studies.

Total: $2000

Awards: 2

Deadline: May 03

Ellen Highland Fernandez Scholarship for Graduate Studies

The Ellen Highland Fernandez Scholarship for Graduate Studies is for students obtaining a Masters or Ph.D. degree and enrolled for the 2020-21 school year. There will be one recipient. Scholarships may be renewed (you have to re-apply) for up to 3 years of graduate work, at the decision of the Scholarship Committee.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 03

Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist low-income single parents who reside in Rhode Island in the pursuit of an education beyond high school. Preference will be given to parents currently or previously receiving state aid and those who have been previously incarcerated.

Total: $1500

Awards: 2

Deadline: May 10

Rhode Island Commission on Women/Freda Goldman Education Award

This award will be given to Rhode Island women to assist with transportation, child-care, tutoring, educational materials, and/or other support services. Preference will be given to highly motivated, self-supporting, low-income women who are completing their first undergraduate degree or certificate program.

Total: $1250

Awards: 2

Deadline: May 10