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.
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.
- Americorps Silver Scholars Program – Receive $1,000 in grant money for every 350 service hours
- Dr. Angela Grant Memorial Scholarship – This $5,000 scholarship is open to cancer survivors and/or applicants with an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with cancer
- HotelPlanner Scholarship – This $10,000 award is open to veterans and their families pursuing a career in technology
Hey, ladies! Get your scholarships here
Several of the scholarships we found were specifically for women:
- Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting – Women who have never worked outside of the home before can get up to $16,000 over a four-year period toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting
- P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education – This $3,000 scholarship is open to women who have been out of school for at least 24 months
- Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund – Open to low-income women 35 and older intent on pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate degree or their first degree
More student loan stories on Clark.com:
- 10 cities with the highest student loan balances
- 9 ways to pay for college without student loans
- This college just lowered its tuition by more than 30%