Adult Learners and Scholarships

What is and adult learners ?

Scholarships for adult learners are scholarships for students above a certain age. A student is considered an adult learner when they are 25 years of age of over. In reality the average age of the adult learner is quite a bit higher than 25. The average adult learner is a 35-year-old, married, middle-class Caucasian mother. However, there are plenty of men as well who decide to go (back) to college after losing their job or from fear of not being able to make ends meet due to rising expenses in day to day life. According to Wikipedia 36

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percent of post secondary students were age 25 or older and 47 percent were independent students. More than half of nontraditional students enroll in two-year institutions, and the more nontraditional they get (traditional students are college students in the age range of 18-22), the more likely they are to consider themselves working adults first and students second. This does not mean that just because an adult learner often works (full-time) he or she is always able to cover tuition fees, text book fees and the general cost of living from their wages. A lot of adult learners need financial assistance as well.

For which scholarships are adult learners eligible?

Adult learners do not have the same access to scholarships and grants as traditional students, but that does not mean that there is no help out there. Though many scholarships are means tested (meaning that you have to be able to show that you really are in need of financial aid in order to be able to study) many more adult students are eligible for these scholarships than they are aware of. Most money for college comes from federal grants and loans, state grants, and aid directly from your own institution. It’s definitely worth your while to check with administration what kind of assistance your college can offer adult learners, even if you are a part-time student. If you are looking for federal help, you start by completing what is called a federal FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) . Student Aid website will give you all the information you need about this procedure. Don’t be shy to ask your employer. If you can show that your studies as an adult learner will benefit the company,  a lot of employers are willing to put a small sum your way. If you are part of a union of professional association, you can contact them to see what the options are and there are national and regional organizations, and charitable foundations that offer adult learner scholarships and grants.

So with a bit of digging and creativity adult learners can get a lot of help in the way of financing their studies, leaving more time to study and less time having to get additional jobs.

 

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