Where to find scholarships for adult students returning to school

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Going back to school in your thirties, forties, fifties, or even later? When you’re a nontraditional student who’s out there in the world with a career and family, finding the money can be difficult.

That’s exactly the situation one of our readers found himself in when he turned to money expert Clark Howard for help.

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Adult scholarships: How to find them and where to look

Todd wrote in to Ask Clark with the following question:

Hello Mr. Howard,

I have a question regarding scholarships for older students like myself that need to go back to school for certification for a new job position. I am a teacher and recently transferred to a new position that requires I get university certification to renew my teaching license. I completed the FAFSA for financial aid, but I am also researching scholarship opportunities. I am finding that most of the scholarships are for high school students or students between the ages of 18-24. I am 44 years old with a family and trying to find scholarships for people in my situation who are returning to school and have other financial responsibilities besides college tuition.

I was wondering if you have any advice or could refer me to some specific scholarships.

Thank you for your time.


First off, money expert Clark Howard always tells callers to his show who address him by his last name one thing — “Call me Clark!”


But we won’t hold that against you, Todd!

In all seriousness, the question Todd raises is a good one. Clark has historically talked about Fastweb as a great place to research and discover new college scholarships you may not have previously known about.

However, Fastweb is mostly geared to high school, college and graduate students. So that really forces you to think outside of the box when you’re a nontraditional student looking for money for school!

FastWeb does actually publish a list of scholarships for non-traditional, adult and returning students. However, the lion’s share of these are tied to particular schools, so that may or may not work in Todd’s life.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find there are opportunities not tied to any specific school…

General scholarships for returning adult students

We found a number of general scholarships for returning adult students on StudentLoanHero.com. These included the Return2College scholarship and the Imagine America scholarship, both of which are for $1,000, and the Unigo $10,000 Scholarship.

Even more potential scholarships were found on StudentDebtRelieft.us, ThePennyHoarder.com and elsewhere on the web. Among them:

Hey, ladies! Get your scholarships here

Several of the scholarships we found were specifically for women:

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