Adults going back to college have access to many of the same funds as traditional college students. Some funds are made specifically for the returning to school student. It takes research and determination to find the funds, but the research could be worth thousands of dollars in the long run.
Grants are based on financial need. Collegescholarships.org points to broad categories that can help in the search of funds for adults. Many colleges have their own grants for adults returning to school. The Federal Government opens the Pell grant to adults as well as traditional students. Women and minorities also have specific grant opportunities available.
Financial aid officers at the college an adult student is considering can often point the student in a direction and save countless hours of research.
CollegeScholarships.org says, that many grants available to adults are targeting just that adults. Others have a specific focus for veterans, minorities, women, those still in the military, international students, disabled students and more.
The most common federal grant available for the non-traditional adult student is the Pell Grant, which was valued at over $5,000 in 2009.
All students in need of financial aid will need to fill out the Financial Aid Form (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov). This form goes more smoothly when using tax return information so individuals that wish to apply for aid should also do their taxes in a timely manner.
The FAFSA has become standard for many funders.
Grants are not required to be paid back after students complete their coursework. They lower tuition costs immediately, making the return to college more affordable for many students.
Grants come in many categories and meet the needs of almost every returning adult student. Those for adults also do not require a full course load, compared to the grants given to tradtional students.
According to Sandra Block of USA Today's Your Money page, "The good news: Financial aid isn't just for the young. Even if you use Facebook to share pictures of your grandkids, there's a good chance you qualify for direct grants or low-interest loans."
Patrice Athanasidy has been writing freelance stories for over 20 years in the New York metropolitan area. Her publications include weekly newspapers and regional magazines. She also works with not-for-profits, handling public relations and grants projects. Patrice graduated from Manhattan College and Fordham University with a masters in public communications.