In the fall of 2018, more than 19 million undergraduates were enrolled in a university or college. But before you picture tearful scenes of parents moving their kids into dormitories, telling them to eat right and not to forget to call, consider this: from the years 2001-2015, studies show a 35 percent increase in the number of college students who are in the 25-34 age group. One-third of college students who are working while they pursue their education are age 30 or older.
But there’s one aspect of post-secondary life that traditional students and working adult students share and that’s figuring out how to get the money to pay for their educations. With a vibrant diversity that encompasses everything from Snapchat accounts to stretch marks, college students are defying typecasting. Older college students have different needs compared to those who enter universities straight from high school. Whether a student is taking classes from a home laptop or sitting in a brick and mortar classroom, students all struggle to fund their education, and that’s despite the fact that 40 percent of undergrads work full time.
Online universities have become especially popular because they allow working adults more flexibility in juggling class schedules, work, and families. Online scholarships for working adults can help ease the burden of paying for an education, allowing those students who juggle a syllabus and a household budget to catch a well-deserved break. Despite the lingering belief that scholarships aren’t available for working adult students, there are online scholarships for working adults who meet the guidelines. If you’re a working adult who’s ready to be both “earning and learning,” you’re probably already accustomed to going through the couch cushions to find change when payday is too far away. So why not launch a search for online scholarships that can add income to your education budget? Don’t worry because you weren’t the valedictorian of your graduating class. Scholarship searches look for more than your GPA: there are online college scholarships for working adults that are will be awarded to applicants based upon their life situation, their heritage, past obstacles, and other personal qualities and experiences that reveal much more than whether or not you had an “A” average in chemistry.
The first thing you should do, regardless of your age, is to fill out the FAFSA. You can do a practice run by first filling out the FAFSA on the web worksheet to get an idea of the information that you’ll need when you’re ready to complete the actual FAFSA form. Thanks to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you’ll find that it’s much easier to input your income tax information. After you’ve gone through the worksheet, you’re ready for the real deal at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. Don’t forget to apply for traditional funding sources like the Pell Grant. After you’ve filled out your FAFSA, you can apply for a Pell Grant. The money doesn’t have to be paid back as long as students meet the requirements of the program and are enrolled in the college or university for the time that the grant period is in effect. The best sources for college funding are sites that recognize that today’s students don’t come from an assembly line. At https://www.college-scholarships.com/scholarship-information/free-scholarship-searches/ you’ll have access to more than 70 free search sites for college scholarships, including scholarships from Sallie Mae and the Department of Labor.
In addition to scholarship sites, you’ll also find handy advice for college students on how to handle college issues once you’re a student. What should you do when dealing with a demanding professor? What are the biggest mistakes college students make? How should you choose your major? Knowing how to navigate the college student obstacle course can help you overcome the hurdles and make your way to the finish line. If you want a scholarship search on a site that’s easy to access alphabetically, from Albright College in Pennsylvania to Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, check out www.GuaranteedScholarships.com, which offers an unlimited number of scholarships which don’t require an interview, essay, audition or portfolio. Many non-traditional students have mastered the life lessons that make them particularly resourceful college material, and there are scholarships available for these scholars. If you work at Walmart—and 1.4 million Americans do—you might be eligible for the Walmart Associate Scholarship.
If you’re an adult student who wants to become a teacher, the Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE) scholarship might be right for you. There are also numerous online scholarships for working adults who are pursuing a specific field of education: health care, engineering, accounting, business, journalism, general studies—you name it and there’s likely to be a scholarship application waiting for you to fill out. There are also scholarships for single parents and for students between the ages of 25-50 whose college education has been on pause for at least five years. Finding online scholarships for working adults doesn’t have to be hard. All you need to do is make the time to do the search, create your profile, fill out the application, and see what funding resources are available. National Nontraditional Student Week is November 4-10! Your degree is waiting!