13 Top Grants For Non-Traditional Students

You may be wondering if only traditional students are open to scholarships or grants. Well, this is not so as there are several financial aids for non-traditional students too. Thus, contained in this article are details of top grants for non-traditional students.

Scholarships, grants, and loans are designed to help students to pursue their education. A grant is usually free money that requires no repayment. Additionally, most of these grants are sponsored by Federal or state governments, corporations, or professional associations.

Research shows that more adults are returning back to college for studies. These adults are mainly displaced workers, single parents, returning veterans, and adults who are seeking new careers. Most of these non-traditional students are enrolling in college for the first time to improve their careers. However, other non-traditional students are returning to college after dropping out of school due to family problems or financial insolvency.

Meanwhile, the grants listed in this article will help non-traditional students to fund their college education while pursuing any program of their choice.

Who is a non-traditional student?

A non-traditional student is someone who attends college in a format or time frame that is different from the typical route. Students that fall in this category are usually over 24 years of age and they have more responsibilities and established work, family, and other life commitments.

Additionally, these students are mainly displaced workers, single parents, returning veterans, job switchers, and older students.

Students are considered non-traditional if they went to college previously but did not complete their degree due to family or financial issues. On rare occasions, students who commute a long distance like 10 miles to school are considered non-traditional.

Can non-traditional students get financial aid?

Yes, they can. To get financial aid as a non-traditional student, you will have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid just like other students. This will help you to declare your financial need.

Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for any grant for non-traditional students.

Luckily, there are several grants that are available to non-traditional students. Continue reading below to see the grants

Top Grants For Non-Traditional Students

The grants for non-traditional students include:

  • The American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Career Development Grant
  • The United Negro College Fund
  • College Access Challenge Grant/Disengaged Adults Returning to College Program
  • The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship for Non-traditional Students
  • Kentucky Go Higher Grant
  • The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant
  • Jeannette Rankin Foundation Women’s Education Fund
  • Iowa Tuition Grant
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Live Your Dream Awards
  • Students Incentive Grant Program

AAUW Career Development Grant

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) set up a career development grant in 1972 aimed at encouraging and funding its members who wish to recommence academic programs for credit toward career or employment advancement.

Meanwhile, the grant provides funding to women holding a bachelor’s degree and wish to advance careers or re-enter the workforce in education, health, and medical sciences, or social sciences. The grant will enable them to pursue their studies at a recognized two or four-year college or university or an accredited technical college in the United States.

The value of the grant ranges from $2,000 to $12,000. It will cover tuition, accommodation, dependent child care, and travels to professional meetings. This financial aid is one of the grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States
  • Candidates should hold an earned bachelor’s degree on or before June 30, 2013. Honorary bachelors are not required.
  • Applicants must not hold an earned (not honorary) graduate or professional degree.
  • Candidates should be willing to enroll or are enrolled in disciplines that are required for professional employment or advancement.
  • Applicants will be ready to enroll or are enrolled in (Bachelor’s or associate degree program that is different from the field of study of the previously earned bachelor’s degree, master’s degree program, certification program, or technical school)
  • Candidates should be willing to enroll or be enrolled in any of the following fields of study including education, health & medical sciences, or social sciences.

Scholarship website

The United Negro College Fund

The UNCF is one of the oldest and most successful minority education assistance organizations in the U.S.A. Every year, this organization offers scholarships, grants, and fellowships to African-Americans to enable them to pursue their studies at recognized colleges in the U.S.

Most of these students are non-traditional students looking to advance their careers or gain employment opportunities. The UNCF is one of the grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a participating college or university.
  • Candidates will have to possess outstanding academic records.
  • Applicants must show financial needs.

Scholarship website

College Access Challenge Grant/Disengaged Adults Returning to College Program

The state of New Jersey offers financial aids in the form of grants to adult students that are 20 years and above, who dropped out of a college or university in New Jersey within the past ten years.

The value of the grant varies. In addition, recipients are determined by the student’s college of attendance. This aid is one of the top grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must show financial needs.
  • Applicants should possess high academic records.

Scholarship website

The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship for Non-traditional Students

The HOPE Scholarship for non-traditional students is a state-based grant for adult students who are 25 years or older and are entering college as freshmen. It is also for students who have not been enrolled in any college for at least two (2) years from the date of last enrollment in college.

Students who wish to receive this grant must have an annual gross income of less than $36,000. It is one of the top grants for non-traditional students and it is renewable.

Recipients in four-year institutions and two-year institutions will receive up to $1,750 per full-time enrollment semester as freshmen and sophomore; then up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester as a junior and senior. The award will cover tuition and on-campus housing.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants will have to be listed as Tennessee residents pursuant to TCA 49-8-104.
  • Candidates must be 25 years of age or older and will have to enroll in a baccalaureate degree program at a recognized university on or after August 1, 2018, as either an entering freshman or with at least (2) years after last attending any postsecondary institution.
  • Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 after 12 attempted semester hours or the required GPA at subsequent benchmarks. (Attempted hours and college grades prior to re-enrollment at a recognized institution after at least a two-year break in enrollment are not considered.)
  • Candidates must be enrolled in one of the public colleges, universities, or private colleges in Tennessee. Click here to see the list.
  • Applicants should have a student’s and spouse’s adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less on the IRS tax form.

Scholarship website

Kentucky Go Higher Grant

The Go Higher Grant is a need-based grant designed for non-traditional undergraduate students that are 24 years of age and older and are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution in Kentucky.

The value of the grant is $1,000 and it is subject to the number of funds available. It is one of the top grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be residents in Kentucky or be citizens or permanent residents in the United States.
  • Candidates should be at 24 years of age or older.
  • Applicants must show financial needs.
  • Candidates should be ready to enroll in a participating Kentucky post-secondary institution less than half-time.
  • Applicants must never have any past financial obligations to KHEAA or to any Title IV program.

Scholarship website

The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant

The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant is provided to eligible Air Force dependents to pursue full-time undergraduate studies. These Air Force dependents are selected sons and daughters of Active Duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, Retired, Retired Reserve and deceased Air Force members; spouses of Active Duty members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists; and surviving spouses of deceased personnel.

The worth of the grant ranges from $500 to $4,000 and it corresponds to a student’s particular level of financial need. It is one of the top grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must be undergraduate students.
  • Applicants will have to be enrolled full-time in a recognized university, two-year college, or a vocational-tech school.
  • Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Applicants should be in or a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Scholarship website

William E. and Phoebe B. Clark Scholarship for the Returning Adult Student

The William and Phoebe Clark Scholarship is provided for non-traditional students who are enrolled in a degree program at Michigan State University. It is aimed at helping single parents who have experienced life-changing circumstances such as the death of a spouse or partner.

The value of the grant is $1,500 and it covers the cost of the beneficiary’s undergraduate or graduate degree program. Additionally, the worth of the grant varies according to financial need, academic achievement, and course of study.

Preference will be given to single parents and to students returning to school after the death of their spouse. This financial aid is one of the grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must be adults who wish to start or resume college so as to pursue a bachelor’s or advanced degree.
  • Applicants will have to show financial needs.

Scholarship website

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Women’s Education Fund

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Women’s Education Fund provides grants to low-income women who are 35 years of age or older and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The grant is designed to help these women to pursue an undergraduate degree or a trade skills certification at a recognized college or university in the U.S.

The grant is renewable for up to 5 years and the award amount is $2,000 annually. The JRF Women’s Fund is one of the grants for non-traditional students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be females who are 35 years or older.
  • Candidates will have to come from low-income families.
  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Candidates should be enrolled in a recognized technical or vocational institution to pursue an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.

Scholarship website

Iowa Tuition Grant

The Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG) is designed for Iowa residents enrolled or intending to enroll full-time or part-time to pursue associate or bachelor’s degree programs at public accredited colleges or universities in Iowa.

Additionally, the grant is available to students that are studying abroad or taking courses through a consortium agreement through the home institution in Iowa. This can only be possible if they are enrolled at a recognized institution in Iowa, receive credit from that home institution, and pay tuition and fees at the home institution.

Students holding bachelor’s degrees may be eligible for the grant if they enroll in undergraduate degree programs to receive additional bachelor’s degrees. Alternatively, students pursuing initial teacher certification in the State of Iowa may receive the grant.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S citizens.
  • Candidates should be undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time or part-time in a recognized four-year college or two-year college.
  • Applicants must be attending high school currently.

Scholarship website

Federal Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant is sponsored by the U.S Department of Education. This grant is available to undergraduate students who show financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

Recipients of the award will not have to pay back the Federal Pell Grant because it is free money.

The value of the Federal Pell Grant will depend on recipients’ EFC, the cost of attendance at the chosen institution, the number of academic years they intend to study, and the student’s enrollment status as part-time or full-time. Recipients will receive $6,495 annually. The Pell Grant is renewable.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants will have to show financial needs.
  • Candidates must be U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens of the United States.
  • Applicants will have to be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at their college or career school
  • Candidates must be enrolled full-time or part-time at an accredited institution. However, part-time students might not receive as much funding as full-time students.
  • Applicants who are enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program may be considered for the Pell Grant.

Scholarship website

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is designed for undergraduate students who show severe financial need. It is offered to students through partnership colleges and universities.

FSEOG is awarded to students on a first-come, first-served basis. It is one of the top grants for non-traditional students.

The value of the grant ranges from $100 to $4,000 per academic year. In addition, it is determined by financial need, time of application, and the availability of university funds.

Eligibility Requirements

Scholarship website

Federal TEACH Grant

The Federal TEACH Grant is available to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate students who are pursuing a degree in teaching or education administration.

It is an award for service program whereby beneficiaries are required to serve as a teacher in an under-served, or at-risk school or community. The TEACH Grant is one of the grants for non-traditional students.

The value of the TEACH Grant is $4000 per academic year.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants will have to perform the teaching service as a highly qualified teacher at a low-income school or educational service agency.
  • Candidates must carry out the teaching service in a high-need field.
  • Applicants should provide ED with documentation of their progress toward completing their service obligation.
  • Candidates will have to serve as full-time teachers for a minimum of four academic years within eight years after completion.

Scholarship website

Live Your Dream Awards

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards (formerly the Women’s Opportunity Awards) is a unique education award that is designed to offer financial assistance to women who are the main source of income for their families.

It will help to fund the education of women who are returning to college to complete their degrees so as to advance their careers. Live Your Dream Awards is one of the top grants for non-traditional students.

This grant comprises three levels of the award including first-level ($1,000), regional level ($3,000 to $5,000, and international level ($10,000).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must be the main source of income for themselves and their dependents (children, spouse, partner, siblings, and/or parents).
  • Applicants must be ready to enroll or be enrolled in a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program.
  • Candidates will have to reside in one of Soroptimist International of the Americas’ member countries/territories (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
    Ecuador, Guam, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, United States of America, Venezuela).
  • Applicants should not hold a graduate degree.
  • Candidates must possess a Social Security number or Tax ID number.
  • Applicants will have to show financial needs.

Scholarship website

Student Incentive Grant Program

The Students Incentive Grant Program is provided by the New Mexico Higher Education Department. It is available to resident New Mexico undergraduate students studying at public or selected private non-profit postsecondary institutions in New Mexico.

The worth of the grant is $2,500 per academic year.

Scholarship website

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