Don’t let the thought of attending school intimidate you if you’re above the age of traditional students. The rewards of learning often outweigh any potential problems. There are a number of scholarships and grant programs designed to assist those 55 and older in paying for school. In some states, such as Connecticut, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, those above a certain age can attend school tuition-free. In other cases, nonprofit organizations grant financial assistance to older students.
Jeannette Rankin Foundation
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation offers scholarships to women 35 and older. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, be enrolled or accepted into an accredited school, meet income eligibility and be pursuing either a technical or vocational education toward an associate's degree or first bachelor's degree. Factors such as an applicant’s goals, plans for reaching the goals, challenges encountered and financial hardship are all taken into consideration. Two reference letters are required either from professional or academic sources.
Jeannette Rankin Foundation 1 Huntington Rd., Suite 701 Athens, GA 30606 706-208-1211 rankinfoundation.org
University of Arkansas System
Any Arkansas resident 60 years of age and older can enroll in classes on any University of Arkansas campus tuition-free on a space-available basis. In order to participate in the program, you must provide age verification, apply for admission prior to the senior citizen registration period and complete the Senior Citizen Tuition and Fee Waiver form. All classes can be taken for credit and a degree can be earned.
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 72701 479-575-6237 uark.edu
Free Missouri Tuition
Missouri state law grants free tuition at any state school to residents who are at least 65 years old on or before August 1 of the upcoming school year. Residents must meet entrance requirements of the school, present documented proof of age and complete required forms. All prerequisites must be completed before enrolling in specific courses.
Lewis-Clark State College
Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho grants special reduced tuition rates to those at least 60 years of age on or before the first day of classes. Students must be Idaho residents and present proof of age before enrolling in class.
Lewis-Clark State College Controller’s Office 500 Eighth Ave Lewiston, ID 83501 208-792-2202 lcsc.edu
Sarah Schreiber has been writing since 2004, with professional experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors as well as small business. She now focuses on writing about travel, education and interior decorating and has been published on Trazzler and various other websites. Schreiber received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications.