Sure-fire Scholarship Tips For Non-traditional Students

Non-traditional students are those who are 22 years old or older, and are either going to college as first timers, or as re-entry or returning students — pupils who chose to leave their schools and decided to return. Though these people are not your usual college applicants or students, their days of being labeled as “non-traditional” may soon be over, as an increasing number of adults are deciding to enter or go back to college every semester. Nowadays, it’s becoming less surprising to see such a diverse group of people in one classroom. People with different social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds share the same vision in pursuing a college education — and older students are part of this diverse group.

As with all kinds of students regardless of age, it can be quite difficult to finance one’s education, especially with the rising cost of tuition as well as living expenses. Non-traditional students face this problem just as much as ‘traditional’ students do. Fortunately, there are many scholarships and financial assistance packages around the country that cater to different kinds of students — non-traditional students included. There are in fact several scholarships that are specifically created for these non-conventional students.

Financial aid from Different Foundations

There are currently a lot of associations and foundations around the country that are interested in helping college students finance their studies. Non-traditional students should be pleased to know that there are groups that are interested in helping adult students specifically. A good example would be the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship which is granted by each Executive Women International (EWI) chapter. Aside from this, 12 special awards are also given to 12 deserving recipients. The awards are worth $2,500 and these amounts not only pay for tuition fees and school books since these can also cover the pay for the applicant’s kids’ day care and other necessary expenses. Aspirants are considered based on their financial necessity, social, economic, and health condition. Another factor considered is if the candidates have children or are caretakers of children and if each applicant resides within the borders of the EWI chapter.

There are some foundations that are pretty generous in terms of financial aid. The great thing about them is that you can finance a whole semester (or even a whole year) in college using a single scholarship award. For example, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has Transfer Programs for undergraduates — scholarships for qualified alumni and students coming from a community college (or those who completed only a 2-year course) and are seeking to fulfill their dreams of completing a B.A degree at a four-year university or college. The amount differs depending on the recipient and awards can reach as much as $30,000. For this program, applicants need to be chosen by a representative from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

There are, of course, scholarships that are granted by colleges and universities. A school scholarship can either be a general financial aid package (with various requirements for eligibility), or a program geared towards a specific student type. For example, the North Iowa Community College Scholarship for Adult Students is for non-traditional adult students aged 23 and above. The award varies in amount and can range from less than 300 bucks to a thousand bucks.

Get Ahead of the (scholarship) Competition

While some scholarships have minimum requirements for eligibility (say, financial need), there are some that have multiple requirements. Competition can be tough but if you know these requirements ahead of time, you can better prepare yourself and improve your chances of becoming a scholarship recipient. The “Leading the Future” Scholarship, for example, has multiple prerequisites for eligibility. Aside from being non-traditional students, the candidates have to be U.S. residents who have plans to or are currently studying in a bona fide undergraduate school. The award also greatly depends on your application and essay, not to mention your achievements (academic and extra-curricular), dependability and leadership skills.

For these kinds of scholarships, don’t be intimidated by the many requirements that they ask from you; this is an opportunity for you to step up and show them your worth as a student. By knowing the requirements in advance, you can get a head start in boosting your grades, being involved in extra-curricular activities, and as well as preparing your winning essay. So look these scholarships up and start preparing!

There are more scholarships and financial aid opportunities out there for non-traditional students, especially nowadays when more adults are deciding to go back to school. Ask the school you wish to enroll in about their programs; look in your community for organizations that give out financial aid packages; and ask your employer for any available scholarship benefits since any of these sources might have the scholarship you are looking for.