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If you’re an adult who wants to go back to school or college, you may be eligible for government funding and scholarships to ease your financial burden. These grants can help pay for your education on a non-repayable basis, until you complete your program.
College grants are usually awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before the deadline to apply for the grants you are eligible for each year. After you submit your FAFSA form, schools will notify you of the amount you are eligible to receive.
Grants For Adult Students
If you have decided to return to college, you have already taken an important first step in the right direction. However, financing your education can be stressful.
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Paying taxes is a major hurdle for many Americans. Many students drop out due to lack of funds, while others struggle to complete their studies. Adult students often have family and work responsibilities that add to their financial burden.
Fortunately, chances are you’ll have a stress-free experience when you return to school. You can apply for student loans, government grants, state grants, and scholarships for non-traditional students. These programs can reduce the cost of attendance for returning students.
In this article, we will cover the various grants you can apply for, their application process, and their ability to help you achieve your dream of a college education.
The US Department of Education (ED) offers several grants for students to attend four-year programs at colleges, universities, community colleges, and vocational schools. If you want to complete your education, these are the grants you may be eligible for:
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Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned their bachelor’s or graduate degrees. It is a need-based aid awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. A student who is enrolled in a postgraduate teaching certificate program will also be eligible for this grant.
You must first successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. To remain eligible for federal grants, you must complete the FAFSA each year until you graduate or no longer need financial aid.
If your school applies for a state Pell Grant, you may receive the grant in the form of reduced tuition, direct payment, or a combination of the two.
You will not be eligible for the grant after you have received your baccalaureate degree, first professional degree, or used up 12 terms (approximately six years) of your grant eligibility.
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FSEOG is a financial aid program administered directly by the school. To apply for FSEOG, you must be enrolled in a school that participates in one of these grant programs.
Once you fill out your FAFSA form, your college determines your financial need. Your college will award FSEOG to students with the greatest financial need.
The US Department of Education provides a specific amount as college grants to each school that participates in the FSEOG program. Unlike federal Pell, which awards money directly to adult students, the financial aid office at your school awards FSEOG. You must visit the college website to check the application deadlines for college-based funds.
Mature students returning to school can receive their grant by direct payment into their student account or a combination of the two. You will receive funding once per term (semester, trimester, quarter).
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If you are an adult student pursuing a degree in teaching or educational administration, you can apply for a TEACH grant through the FAFSA.
To be eligible for a TEACH grant for college attendees, they must teach in a low-income school for at least 4 years within eight years of completing their degree. If you plan to return to school but don’t meet the service requirements, the agency will convert your financial aid into a student loan that you must repay with interest.
Adult students applying for this grant are eligible to receive up to $3,772 per year. An adult who wishes to receive this grant must be enrolled in an Eligible TEACH-Grant Program at a school participating in the TEACH Grant Program.
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You must also meet the academic requirements of earning more than 75 percent on the college entrance exam or maintaining a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
Adult students returning to school can apply for this program through the FAFSA even if their EFC exceeds the federal minimum income. However, you must be under the age of 24 or enrolled in a college program when your parent or guardian died.
If you plan to return to college and want to apply for grants, one of the most important tasks is filling out the FAFSA form. Getting federal student aid is easier if you fill out the FAFSA correctly when applying for grant programs. Read our guide to filling out the FAFSA form and applying for financial aid through various grant programs.
There are excellent grants and scholarships for women who want to go back to school. In addition to the federal government, many private organizations can help adults build a college career. If you are a woman attending a full-time program, these are the programs you can benefit from:
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American Association of College Women Scholarships: You can apply for these student grants through their state and local branch offices. The amount that returning students receive also varies depending on your location.
Philanthropic Education Corporation: The corporation offers scholarships, grants, and student loans based on need and merit. Their financial aid program is suitable for women who are about to finish high school.
Local chapters of the organization determine how much a student will receive based on the location and program they enroll in.
Talbot Scholarship Foundation: Women who want to go to college in the United States or Canada and need help paying for college can apply for this scholarship. To apply for this program you must complete at least two semesters in a graduate program.
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Emerge Scholarship Fund: This fund provides grants and scholarships to women who have completed their education for financial reasons and want to return to school to complete their higher studies.
AARP Foundation Scholarship: Women over 50 who are pursuing their education in a technical school can apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is for women who have faced financial challenges in their families and workplaces.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: This fund awards women from low-income groups who are 35 years of age or older. Applicants must be pursuing a degree or vocational training.
The student should remember that these grants are different from student loans, and therefore, funding agencies only provide these grants to students with financial need. Applicants must fill out the FAFSA form each year to continue receiving grants.
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Always make sure you read the information on the agency’s website carefully. Before applying, make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements. If you apply for a student loan instead of a grant, always check interest rates to avoid high student loan debt.
Don’t miss application deadlines and beware of online scams. When submitting your information online, be careful, as your information can be misused for identity fraud. Do not submit your data or fall for a financing agency that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lists as a scam. Do not fall for programs that guarantee free money without any effort.
Non-traditional students and adults must be aware of the limitations of the grants that the federal government pays to schools. Read the information brochure carefully to understand what your grant will cover. Some grants may only cover the cost of your tuition and books, while others may give you freedom to spend on travel and living expenses.
If the funding agency sends money directly to your school or college, meet with the office assistant or principal to understand the opt-out requirements.
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Government grants and scholarships are a great way to overcome financial obstacles as you return to your education. If you are employed or have dropped out of school for other reasons, you can fill out the FAFSA application form for these grants.
The college and program you are enrolled in also plays an important role in making sure you get the most out of these grants. The college and program you enroll in also determines whether you receive the maximum benefits available.
Explore different programs that offer excellent financial aid, especially if you are an adult returning to school to complete your studies.
All grants are based on your financial need. If you demonstrate exceptional financial need then the funding agency will approve your grants more easily.
Grants To Go Back To College: Financing For The Nontraditional Student
You can go back to school with no money by applying for grants, scholarships and student loans. These grants can help you cover your basic expenses. You can also find part-time jobs to cover your travel and accommodation expenses. So, you have decided to take that bold step towards higher education. Congratulations!
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