Adults who plan on either going back to school to learn new skills or want to earn their first college degree have a lot on their minds. They not only have to carefully balance work and home life, but they also need to find a way to pay for college. While student loans can help, they do eventually have to be paid back.
The best option is scholarships. While it seems like they wouldn’t be open to adult students, but you’d be surprised how many options there actually are. You just need to find them and apply for them.
Fill Out a FAFSA
The first step to finding college scholarships is to fill out a FAFSA. Known as the Federal Application For Student Aid, this form lets you know which student loans you’re available for, as well as the amounts. However, since the information is also sent to the college that you plan to attend, it allows them to see if you qualify for any scholarships. Even adult students are put through this system, so you may get a surprise letter from your school informing you of any scholarships you’ve received.
Check With Your School
Although schools receive your FAFSA information, there may be other scholarships on offer that you need to apply for. Some schools have an entire department designed to help adult learners succeed, and this department may offer a scholarship or two. In addition, there are plenty of school-based scholarships for which you might qualify. You’ll likely just need to fill out an additional application, depending on the scholarship requirements.
Search Community and Other Local Organizations
Community groups, government organizations and non-profits usually like to see adult students succeed, so they may have a scholarship or two designated just for them. You’ll have to spend some time searching for these scholarships, often contacting the organizations themselves to see what’s available and how to apply or qualify for the opportunity. If you really need funds for college, this is one way to find them.
Ask Your Employer
An additional option is to ask your employer. The company might offer scholarships to employees who want to go back to school or have a tuition reimbursement program. The terms and conditions of these programs tend to vary, but often require you to major in a subject that relates to the industry or helps you with your job, and to stay employed with the company for a certain period of time after finishing your degree. Of course, if you get a scholarship from them, that’s different, but any type of help counts.
Scholarships for Adult Learners at Dean College
If you plan to attend Dean College, either through our School of Continuing Studies or through a slightly more traditional route, make sure to take a look at our scholarship opportunities. With plenty of options available, including those based on academics, major or other specifics, you’re sure to find something that you qualify for, making the cost of education even more affordable.