Login / Signup


Grants and Scholarships for Returning Students

Updated on February 21, 2024

At a Glance

  • This article provides information on various financial aid options for adults returning to school, including grants and scholarships.
  • The first step to unlock financial aid is filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • There are five types of grants available specifically for adults returning to college: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant, State-Specific Grants, and University-Sponsored Grants.
  • Nine scholarships for returning students are listed, alongside additional funding strategies such as work-study programs, tuition reimbursement, student loans, and crowdfunding.

Are you an adult thinking of going back to school? In that case, congratulations! It’s never too late to pursue your dreams and further your education. However, the cost of tuition and expenses can be a major roadblock for many returning students. That being said, there are grants and scholarships available specifically for adults like you. In this article, we’ll explore various financial aid options that can help make your education more affordable and accessible. Let’s dive in!

First Step: The FAFSA for Unlocking Financial Aid

Before we delve into the wonderful world of grants and scholarships, let’s talk about the first step: the FAFSA. No, it’s not some fancy dance move (although filling out the form can feel like a dance sometimes). FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is the key to unlocking various types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans. So, grab your laptop, and get ready to fill out the FAFSA!

Now that you’ve got the paperwork out of the way, let’s explore some of the grants available specifically for adults returning to college.

5 Types of Grants for Adults Going Back to College

There are five different types of scholarships that you can opt for if you are planning to go to college:

1. Federal Pell Grant

The most popular and effective grant you may go for is the Federal Pell Grant. This grant is the foundation of federal financial aid programs and provides need-based aid to undergraduate students. The great thing about the Pell Grant is that it doesn’t have to be paid back, which can be great for students with low income and few financial possibilities. The amount you receive depends on factors such as your financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.

2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another need-based grant offered to undergraduate students. While the Pell Grant is available to all eligible students, the FSEOG is awarded to those with exceptional financial needs. So, if you require some extra financial assistance, the FSEOG might just be the right aid for you.

3. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant

Are you considering a career in teaching? In that case, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is specifically designed for aspiring teachers. With this grant, you could receive up to $4,000 per year to help cover your education expenses. One thing you’ll need to remember is that you’ll have to teach in a high-need field at a low-income school for at least four years after graduation. The advantage is that you’ll be making a difference while getting financial aid.

4. State-Specific Grants

Your location may also determine the financial assistance you have access to. That’s because many states offer their own grants and scholarships for undergraduate students. These state-specific grants can be based on factors such as financial need, academic merit, or even your chosen field of study. So, do some research and find out what grants your state has to offer. Remember, every little bit helps!

5. University-Sponsored Grants

Your dreams of going back to school are about to get even more exciting! Many universities have their own grants and scholarships for adult students. These grants can vary in amount and eligibility criteria, so make sure to check with the financial aid office at your desired university.

9 Scholarships for College Students

If you are looking for a scholarship, there are also some options that you may go for. This can include:

1. Return2College

One very popular option that many returning students opt for is the Return2College scholarship. This scholarship awards $1,000 to adult students who are returning to college after an interruption in their education. This can be an effective choice for students who interrupted their education to work but wish to return to school.

2. Unigo $10K Scholarship

Cha-ching! Who wouldn’t want a chance to win $10,000 towards their college education? The Unigo $10K Scholarship gives you just that opportunity. All you need to do is fill out a short online form, and you’ll be entered into the scholarship drawing.

3. Imagine America

If you’ve got big dreams and an even bigger entrepreneurial spirit, the Imagine America scholarship is tailor-made for you. This scholarship awards up to $1,000 to adult students who are pursuing careers in the trade, technical, or vocational field. So, whether you’re interested in welding, cosmetology, or computer repair, this scholarship can help sponsor you..

4. College JumpStart Scholarship

If you’re the type of person who likes to take chances, the College JumpStart Scholarship is calling your name. This scholarship is open to all students, regardless of age, and awards up to $1,000 to help fund your higher education.

5. SuperCollege Scholarship

Do you consider yourself a super scholar? Well, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test and apply for the SuperCollege Scholarship. This scholarship awards $1,500 to students who demonstrate a strong passion for education and a commitment to excellence.

6. Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was named in honor of Michele L. McDonald, offered by the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA). This scholarship awards up to $1,000 to adult students pursuing higher education. Both men and women can apply for this scholarship, but you have a higher chance of winning if you are a woman.

7. Herbert Lehman Scholarship

The Herbert Lehman Scholarship is all about empowering students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. This scholarship provides financial assistance of up to $8,000 per year to undergraduate students. So, if you’ve overcome obstacles and are ready to succeed, this scholarship can prove helpful.

8. Working Parent College Scholarship Award

We all know that being a parent is a full-time job. But balancing parenthood with pursuing higher education? That can prove very difficult, something that this scholarship acknowledges. The Working Parent College Scholarship Award recognizes the superpowers of working parents by providing financial assistance of up to $5,000.

9. World’s Easiest Scholarship

Last but not least, we have the World’s Easiest Scholarship. As the name suggests, this scholarship requires minimal effort to apply. All you need to do is fill out a short online form, and you could win $10,000 towards your college education.

Additional Ways to Fund Your Higher Education

While grants and scholarships are fantastic options, they’re not the only ways to fund your higher education as an adult. Here are a few additional strategies to consider:

  • Work-Study Programs: Many colleges offer work-study programs that allow you to earn money while gaining valuable work experience on campus.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: If you’re currently employed, check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement programs. Some companies are willing to invest in their employees’ education.
  • Student Loans: While borrowing money might not be the ideal solution, student loans can provide the financial assistance you need to pursue your education. Just make sure to carefully consider your options and borrow responsibly.
  • Crowdfunding: If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not give crowdfunding a try? Platforms like GoFundMe allow you to share your story and receive support from friends, family, and even strangers who believe in your educational journey.

Always make sure to look for funding options in your area, as there are plenty of opportunities to choose from.

The Bottom Line

No matter who you are, the cost of education should not hold you back if you want to return to school. Take advantage of grants, scholarships, and other funding options to turn your educational dreams into reality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that is the key to unlocking various types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans.

What is the Federal Pell Grant?

The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based aid program for undergraduate students. It doesn’t have to be paid back, making it a great option for low-income students.

What is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant?

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a need-based grant offered to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs.

What is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant?

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is designed for aspiring teachers. It offers up to $4,000 per year to help cover education expenses.

What are State-Specific Grants?

State-Specific Grants are offered by many states for undergraduate students based on factors such as financial need, academic merit, or your chosen field of study.

What are University-Sponsored Grants?

University-Sponsored Grants are offered by many universities for adult students. These grants can vary in amount and eligibility criteria.

What is the Return2College Scholarship?

The Return2College scholarship awards $1,000 to adult students who are returning to college after an interruption in their education.

What is the Unigo $10K Scholarship?

The Unigo $10K Scholarship offers students a chance to win $10,000 towards their college education.

What are work-study programs?

Work-study programs are offered by many colleges that allow you to earn money while gaining valuable work experience on campus.

What is tuition reimbursement?

Tuition reimbursement is a program that some companies offer where they invest in their employees’ education.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Get the Checklist