You’re Never Too Old for Scholarships!

Adult ScholarshipsIf you are like many students searching for scholarships and financial aid, you may have noticed that many scholarship programs are limited to high school students or to students who are under the age of 24. While it may seem as though some scholarship providers are designed only to help the younger generation, this is not necessarily the case. There are many scholarship programs available for returning adult students and non-traditional adult learners. Whether you are going to college for the first time or are heading back for another degree, you are never too old to find scholarships! Here are just a few of the scholarships available for students who are 25 years of age or older.

1. ‘REACh Your Goals’ Scholarship – This scholarship is sponsored by Resources for the Education of Adults in the Chicago Area (REACh) and provides up to four (4) awards annually valued at $1,500 each. Applicants must be from the Chicago area, be 25 years of age or older and have completed 12 or more semester hours of college level credit.

2. AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program – Up to 200 scholarships, each valued between $500 and $5,000, will be awarded to women who are 50 years of age or older and enrolled at least part-time in college. Winners will be chosen based upon their essays (1,200 words or less) and financial need.

3. Displaced Homemaker Scholarship – The Association on American Indian Affairs offers $1,500 non-renewable scholarships to full-time American Indian students who are unable to fulfill their academic goals due to family responsibilities. This scholarship is for older students who: have been delayed in attending college while raising their children, are entering or are returning to college when their children enter school, divorced and had to leave college to care for their children.

Another tip for mature scholarship seekers: As we get older, we tend to have more patience, which can be a huge benefit when searching for scholarships. Younger students sometimes lose patience and avoid scholarship programs that require essays with high word counts, so older students can take advantage by targeting such scholarships. The key to finding scholarships is to exhaust all available resources: college financial aid offices, your employer, organizations where you may volunteer, and, of course, free online resources, such as We might not be able to teach an old dog a new trick, but we can certainly help him (or her) find scholarships!

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Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for, and She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
5 Responses to “You’re Never Too Old for Scholarships!”
  1. There are so many adults going back to school now. This is an excellent resource, thanks! Sharing and tweeting! :)

  2. Rebecca Temple says:

    I have just today been accepted to a masters program that begins
    September 11, 2014. I am desperately seeking grants/scholarships
    to be able to attend. I currently have 2 kids in college, both with student
    loans, and I already have over $50k in parent plus loans. Is there anything
    available for me, and quickly available?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Unfortunately, scholarships do not work that way. Even if you were to apply to one that ends today, it would probably take 6 to 12 weeks for you to receive the money. Make sure you complete the FAFSA for yourself, as this will give you access to federal subsidized graduate loans, as well as need-based grants/scholarships from your college. Since you are seeking aid at such a late date (less than 3 weeks away), you may not receive any funding before the start of the semester, so you may have to pay out-of-pocket until your aid is disbursed. If this is not feasible, you may want to consider delaying your program for a semester or two while you get your financial aid in place.

  3. Mimi says:

    I am 24 years old. I am a BS Math graduate and am now working as a Bookkeeper on a small printing shop. It is hard to get a job related to my degree unless one is so smart or have a Masters or Doctors degree. Since I’ve been working for almost 4 years now most of the stuff I learned I already forgot. Am I still eligible to get a scholarship for a new degree?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Generally, scholarships are reserved for your first degree only, unless you are working on an upper-level degree (master’s or PhD) to enhance your current education. There are many schools looking for qualified math teachers. You may want to look into some programs that could give you certification within 18 months or less. With a BS, you could teach at an elementary or a high school.


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