All students are concerned about how they will fund their college education, and Non-Traditional students are no exception. While some of the funding opportunities may be different for their traditional counterparts, there are many avenues Non-Traditional students can take to find scholarships and grants. This guide is designed to help Non-Traditional students navigate this endeavor. Readers will find information on the types of scholarships and grants Non-Traditional students can receive, as well as resources to help them in the college environment.
Non-Traditional students have diverse backgrounds and there may be several factors that contributed to them going to college later in life. Generally, students are classified as Non-Traditional if they have at least one of the following characteristics:
As long as students meet scholarship criteria, they are eligible for any financial opportunities available. However, whether or not programs give preference to certain students depends on the institution. For example, because Non-Traditional students are more experienced and diverse than younger traditional ones, medical schools and law universities see them as noteworthy applicants.
Pam Andrews, CEO of The Scholarship Shark
Finding scholarships can take a lot of time and effort. To help Non-Traditional students get started, we compiled the following list of 40 scholarships that these students can apply for to help them pay for their higher education costs. From general scholarships to those for single parents, this comprehensive list includes many funding sources.
This scholarship is available to members of the American Legion, Auxiliary, or Sons of the American legion who are pursuing a two- or four-year professional, technical, or trade program. To be eligible, members of the organization must be up to date on their annual dues.
The University of Washington provides this scholarship to those who are enrolled in at least 12 credits at the school per semester. A 2.50 minimum grade point average is also required to win this scholarship.
This scholarship is available to adults who are returning to college or attending for the first time in Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico. Partnering schools may award the scholarship based on specific criteria such as being a former foster care youth, military personnel, or someone pursuing an EMT or early childhood education certification.
This award is available to students from Calhoun County, Michigan who have overcome adversity and want to change their lives by getting a higher education.
To receive this scholarship, applicants must be enrolled in a four-year program on a full-time basis.
This scholarship is for full-time students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Applicants for this scholarship should be Non-Traditional students enrolled in a four-year program. To win, students must demonstrate their participation in community activities.
Funds from this scholarship are available to Rhode Island residents who are 25 years old and older. Students who plan to enroll in an undergraduate degree at Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, or University of Rhode Island are given preference.
Funding is provided to students who live in public housing. Applicants must demonstrate need and academic achievement to be considered.
Students who are 25 to 50 years old and had at least a five-year educational gap are eligible to receive this scholarship. Students must demonstrate financial need and dedication to academic performance.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers this scholarship to students who demonstrate financial need and academic excellence.
Michigan State University provides this scholarship to its Non-Traditional students enrolled in any degree program. The school encourages students who have gone through a life-changing experience, such as the death of a partner, to apply.
Graduate students who demonstrate need, academic achievement, and a contribution to their local community are eligible to receive this funding.
Colorado State University offers this scholarship to Non-Traditional graduate students at its College of Health and Human Sciences. Applicants must have a least a 3.0 grade point average to be eligible.
Central New Mexico Community College provides this scholarship to single mothers who plan to transfer to a liberal arts program at a four-year college. Applicants are required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average to be eligible.
Arkansas single parents who have at least 50 percent physical custody of their child are eligible to receive this award. Students must be below the federal poverty level and have a high school diploma or GED to apply.
Custodial parents of dependent children who attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire can receive this scholarship.
Non-Traditional students who attend Westminster College at least half time can apply for this scholarship. They must be single parents and have at least a 3.0 grade point average to win the award.
Single parents at Northern Arizona University who maintain a 3.0 grade point average are eligible to receive this scholarship.
This scholarship is available to single parents who are at least 21 years old.
Single parents at Westminster College can receive this award if they have at least a 3.0 grade point average and prove financial need.
Female business majors who live in Calhoun County, Michigan can receive these scholarships. Students are required to have at least a 2.50 grade point average.
Non-Traditional students who are interested in studying agriculture and natural resources can receive this award.
Non-Traditional students who are majoring in business or social science are eligible for this award from Westminster College. Applicants must be a sophomore, junior, or senior with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
This scholarship is for human development and family studies majors at Colorado State University.
Students who are enrolled in the university's engineering school or arts and sciences school can apply for this funding.
This award is for education majors who are minorities with at least a 3.0 grade point average. This scholarship can be renewed provided students maintain their GPA.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers this scholarship to juniors and seniors majoring in business.
To receive this award from the University of North Texas, students must major in audiology, rehabilitation counseling, industrial-organizational psychology, speech-language pathology, or counseling psychology. Students should have at least a 3.50 grade point average.
Colorado State University awards this scholarship to Non-Traditional students who are in a major related to family and consumer sciences.
This award is given to women who are economically, socially, and physically disadvantaged.
This scholarship is for women 25 years old and over who want to return to college to advance in their careers.
African-American women can receive this scholarship if they are continuing their education after a life situation disrupted their ability to attend college.
Women who are at least 25 years old can receive this award.
Women at Ohio University can receive this funding if they live in Lawrence County. Students must have at least a 2.50 grade point average and demonstrate financial need.
This scholarship is for low-income women who are at least 35 years old.
Women who are 35 years old and over can qualify for this scholarship.
Women in north San Diego County who are at least 23 years old can receive this scholarship from the American Association of University Women.
This scholarship is for women who are continuing college after a long interruption. It is available to Illinois residents in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Villa Park, Addison, Oakbrook Terrace, Glendale Heights, and Lombard.
This funding is provided to women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse.
As a Non-Traditional student, you have years of experience and personality traits that are exclusive to you, and when these are used in scholarship applications, they can separate you from the competition. When applying for scholarships, make sure to highlight your strengths (things learned from raising children, working, living independently, etc.) and make your weaknesses your strengths (a circumstance that taught a life lesson, overcoming a roadblock, etc.).
Pam Andrews, CEO of The Scholarship Shark
Grants are another great resource people can use to fund their education. However, unlike scholarships, grants are provided solely based on financial need and not academic performance. The following are some grants available to Non-Traditional students.
Students who are 55 years old and above can receive this grant.
The Alabama Commission on Higher Education offers grants for residents who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at a college in the state.
State residents who attend participating colleges can receive this grant.
Women who hold a bachelor's can receive this grant in order to go back to school to earn an advanced degree.
Students who had to leave college and want to continue their education are eligible to receive this grant.
This grant is available to undergraduate students.
Undergraduate students who attend participating schools can receive this grant.
Members of the Air Force who want to return to college can apply for this grant. In addition, military spouses can receive this funding.
This grant is for residents who are enrolled in a private college or university in the state.
Iowa students enrolled in an undergraduate college in the state are eligible to receive this award.
Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority provides this grant to state residents who are at least 24 years old.
Soroptimist International offers grants to women who have been accepted in bachelor's degree or vocational programs.
Students can receive this grant if they attend one of the participating Minnesota colleges.
This grant is provided to New Mexico residents attending a public college or university, or a tribal college, in the state.
Oregon offers grants to students enrolled in a participating college in the state. Students should be attending college at least half time.
There are many reasons a student may not have yet completed their degree (they had other pursuits, a relative fell ill, they had a family to support, their financial situation was unfavorable, etc.). Colleges understand this and want to provide opportunities to all of their prospective learners.
Pam Andrews, CEO of The Scholarship Shark
Many Non-Traditional students are busy trying to balance their education with a full-time job and a family. In order to do this effectively, attending an online school can be a good option for them. The following guide provides helpful information about online education, such as the personality traits online students need, the tools available to them, and how these institutions are accredited.Guide to Online Colleges
Non-Traditional students may face many challenges when navigating higher education, whether they are returning the school after a break or going to college for the first time. The following resources can help these students gain the knowledge they need to be successful as they embark on this journey.How to Go to College Without a GED or High School Diploma
This guide provides information on how students can get a college education without completing a high school diploma or GED. It includes information on the programs and organizations that help high school dropouts, the steps students need to take to earn a GED, and tips for passing the examination.Help for Single Parents in College: Scholarships & Resources
It can be challenging for single parents to get the funds they need to go to college as they raise their children. This guide provides valuable information that single mothers and fathers can use as they advance in their education, including where to find scholarships and grants.Guide to Online K-12 Schools & College
Parents who are interested in online schools for their children can get started with this guide. There is information on synchronous and asynchronous schools and massive open online courses, as well as a side-by-side comparison of traditional and online schools.