There are many students returning to school at a later age. The reasons vary from pursuing a degree for a promotion to “empty nesters” chasing a new dream now that their children are in college themselves. Many people who begin to seek help to pay for school are pleased to learn that many scholarships have no age limit or requirement. There are some scholarships and other financial aid options that are geared specifically toward older students. The organizations listed below are just a few.
Federal Student Aid
ALL students are eligible to apply for federal student aid regardless of age. The free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA, is available at the FAFSA website. There is a very clear and thorough checklist to apply and create an account with FAFSA to include a PIN number. Once completed, applicants can follow the status of their application at every step. Additionally, the Federal Student Aid website has a published a chronological guide for adult, non-traditional students is provided to help students assess themselves and consider their options for education and funding.
State Level Funding
Older students can also apply for college scholarships and financial aid at the state level. The Department of Education has put together an extensive list of state organizations that provides financial aid to older Americans and other minority groups. The Education Resource Organizations Directory is an excellent starting point for anyone in the 50 states and U.S. Territories.
Air Force Aid Society
The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant is supported by the United States Air Force and is designed to support service-members and their families by providing financial aid for college. The grant provides up to $2000 for service-members, retirees and their spouses who are returning to college to complete their degree. Application details can be found at the Air Force Aid Society website.
Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL)’s Scholarship for Adult Students
Adults that are in the undergraduate programs with a chartered Alpha Sigma Lambda chapter can also apply for the Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL)’s Scholarship for Adult Students. There are over 300 current US chapters. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.2 and be able to prove they need the extra financial help.
Americorps Silver Scholars
The Americorps Silver Scholars Program grant was established by Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act for adults over the age of 55. For every 350 service hours, the senior receives a $1000 education award. The program is especially attractive because the grant money can be transferred to the recipients’ child or grandchild.
Association On American Indian Affairs (AAIA)
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. These scholarships are 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 or divorced and had to leave college to care for their children. Details can be found at the AAIA website.
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW) maintains a list of scholarships and fellowships aimed at women who are returning to school to upgrade their career skills, train for a new career or re-enter the job market. Dollar amounts depend on the program and/or need of the applicant. For more information on scholarship amounts, deadlines and how to apply, visit the BPW website or write to:
Scholarships BPW Foundation 2012 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036
Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA)
The Women in Transition (WIT) scholarship is available to women who have worked as homemakers most of their adult life and have no college degree. Awards are up to $16,000 over a four-year period in order to pursue a bachelor degree in accounting. Applicants should be entering school as freshman. Application information is available at the EFWA website.
Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.)
The Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) is one the earliest foundations established to educate women in North America; founded in 1869. The organization offers grants for seniors and women of all ages whose education was interrupted for at least 2 years. Individual chapters sponsor women in their local area within the US and Canada. The P.E.O. Award is for tuition only and cannot be used for living expenses.
William E. and Phoebe Clark Scholarship
This scholarship is managed by Michigan State University. Applicants must be adult students who are about to begin their academic journey or are returning to college to pursue a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Priority is given to single parents and students who are returning to school following the death of a spouse. Award amounts vary according to financial need, academic achievement and course of study. Applicants requirements can be found at the Michigan State University website.
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.