As a senior citizen, you may not find many scholarships designated for people in your age group, but you may not even need grants. Most schools offer a special tuition rate for people over the age of 62, and sometimes waive tuition completely. You also can qualify for grants intended for much younger people.
Dozens of grants are available to senior citizens. Northern Michigan University, for instance, has a full-tuition grant available to students 62 and older, but it does not cover fees and other expenses. Senior citizen associations are another major sources of grants for the elderly, such as the American Association of Retired Person's Women's Scholarship Program. This primarily goes to low-income women in the workforce for less than five years.
Do not restrict your search to grants specifically for senior citizens. You can qualify for funding meant for young adults, such as those 30 and older. At the time of publication, at least 50 scholarships for people over the age of 30 are available, according to FinAid. You also may receive state and federal financial aid regardless of your age. If you are pursuing your first bachelor's degree, you likely receive the most financial aid and qualify for choice aid, such as the Pell Grant.
Most states have at least one school that offers reduced or free tuition for senior citizens. State schools are more likely to offer free or reduced tuition to citizens. Another option is auditing classes. Schools often reduce the fees for taking a class that does not award credit. However, these classes do not counts towards a degree, but you will not have to take tests or any other requirements of the class unless choose to do so.
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, can never hurt your chances of receiving grants and scholarships. You'll want to ask your financial aid office for a "professional judgment" if you plan to quit a job to attend classes. The college might increase your award package to reflect a lower income. You should talk to several colleges about their tuition rates or programs for seniors. Schools often do not publicize their programs, according to Emily Brandon of U.S. News and World Report.
Russell Huebsch has written freelance articles covering a range of topics from basketball to politics in print and online publications. He graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.