Non-traditional students generally consist of people who are older than 22 and going to college for the first time or returning students applying for re-entry. While they may not be the usual college applicants, they are becoming more common as more adults continue to enter or return to college. Many college classrooms include a very diverse group of people with different ethnic, age, social and cultural backgrounds. There are many scholarships and types of financial assistance programs which have been designed specifically for non-traditional students. Here are a few financial aid tips:
1. Scholarships and School Assistance
scholarships are offered by colleges and universities in many parts of
the country. School scholarships may be general financial aid packages
with very specific requirements for eligibility or consist of programs
developed toward a specific kind of student. For instance,
non-traditional adult students, ages 23 and over, may apply for North
Iowa's Community College Scholarship for Adult Students to receive
approximately $300 to $1,000. Non-traditional students may find work
experience and community service scholarships rather than those which
pertain to test scores and grades. Contact the financial aid offices at
schools for information about offerings for non-traditional students.
aid is offered to some students from schools that might otherwise
restrict undergraduate financial aid. For example, assistance is
sometimes offered to adults who are returning to or starting school for
the purpose of enhancing or changing their careers. Talk to financial
aid officers and representatives at schools you are interested in
attending to inquire about what kind of aid options are available to
2. Financial Aid Foundations
and foundations are interested in assisting college students with all
kinds of finance education. The Executive Women International (EWI)
offers non-traditional students their Adult Students in Scholastic
Transition (ASIST) Scholarship granted through each chapter.
Additionally, there are 12 special awards provided for $2,500 each which
can be used for tuition, books, child day care and expenses. Performing
basic research can find other organizations offering similar
educational financial aid.
3. Federal Financial Aid
students may receive financial assistance from federal programs that
have no specific age restrictions, since people over 24 are
automatically classified as independent. This is can be advantageous
since a great deal of non-traditional students have no access to
resources from parents. Obtain and file a Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) application since Federal loans generally have much
lower costs than private ones. Contact a school's financial aid office
for assistance to ensure that your specific situation is considered
The U.S. Government awards retraining grants to
community colleges to assist adults in learning new job and career
skills. Programs can offer services like tutoring, career counseling,
transportation, child care assistance, and help obtaining textbooks and
other educational supplies.
4. Employer Assistance
jobs, companies and businesses offer people planning to attend school
while employed the opportunity to obtain financial tuition assistance.
Each employer will have its own guidelines on how to acquire assistance.
Major and large organizations usually have various kinds of classes and
programs to choose from with grade requirements in order to get
reimbursed. There are usually employment stipulations in place as well.
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- 4 Financial Aid Tips for Non-Traditional College Students
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