While most college students are in the 18-to-24-year-old age group, it is not unusual to see adults over 30 years of age on campus. These non-traditional students are subject to the same tuition costs as any student. Fortunately, many scholarships, fellowships and grant programs do not have age restrictions. Following are three scholarships for which students over the age of 30 can apply, along with suggestions about how to find additional money for college.
Orville Redenbacher Second Start Scholarship
As its name indicates, this scholarship is sponsored by the popcorn company. It is a $1,000 award for students over the age of 30 who are either returning to college to complete a degree or who are first-time college students. Applicants can be either a full-time student or a part-time student. Students can obtain an application form by writing to:
Orville Redenbacher Second Start Scholarship Program Box 4137 Blair, NE 68009
Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship Program
This $1,000 scholarship award is available to any high school student, college undergraduate or graduate student or any returning adult student. Students can apply online and they must submit a personal statement of no more than 250 words, addressing one of three topic choices listed on the website.
$1,000 Gen and Kelly Tanabe Student Scholarship 3286 Oak Court Belmont, CA 94002 650-618-2221 http://www.gkscholarship.com
Sponsored by College Is Power, this $1,500 award is available to high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate students or non-traditional adult students. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Applicants must plan to attend a two-year or four-year college and can be enrolled as a full-time, part-time or online student. The scholarship application is available online and includes a 150-word essay addressing, "What is your No. 1 goal for going to school?"
SuperCollege.com Scholarship Dept. 673 3286 Oak Court Belmont, CA 94002 http://www.supercollege.com/scholarship
Tips for Finding Scholarships
Aspiring college students of any age should begin the scholarship search process by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine what, if any, government assistance is available. Federal financial assistance is not restricted by age, and the over-30 student may be eligible to receive some money from the government.
Non-traditional students should also contact their college's financial aid office to determine what awards are available from the school. Most colleges limit their scholarship awards to students working toward their first bachelor's degree. However, many schools will waive that restriction for students who are returning to school to earn another degree in preparation for a career change.
Finally, all college students should conduct a scholarship search using one of the many free scholarship search engines available online. College-Scholarships.com lists about 40 free online search sites. Each site maintains its own database of scholarship information, so students should consider registering with several sites.
Based in upstate New York, Teresa Nagel has been freelance writing since 1994. She has written for an assortment of publications, including "Today’s Christian Woman," "Lefthanders International," "The DeltaSig" and "The West Seattle Herald." She holds a Bachelor of Science in nautical science from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.