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If you’re an adult considering a return to school, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate. But if you’re worried about how you’re going to afford going back to school — rest assured you’re not alone. According to a recent survey of adults aged 23 – 55 conducted by Champlain College Online, 60 percent of adults have considered going back to school, but cited financial barriers, including student loan debt, as holding them back. 

But just because you’re not considered a “traditional” student doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for financial aid. There are plenty of scholarships, grants, and prizes available to students of all ages.

To help you get started on your quest to secure funding, we compiled a list of 15 scholarships designed to benefit adult learners. Whether you’re a single parent, working parent, attending college for the first time, or returning for your graduate degree, our list has something for you!

1. Adult Students in Scholastic Transition

Sponsored by: Executive Women International

Description: This scholarship is designed for adult students at transitional points in their lives. Applicants may be single parents, individuals just entering the workforce, or displaced homemakers. Applications are available on the organization’s web site, http://www.ewiconnect.com.

Amount awarded: Varies between $250 – $2,500

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be an undergraduate student 
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college, two-year college or a vocational-tech school 
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Must study full-time

Deadline to apply: April 15, 2021

2. Working Parent College Scholarship Award

Sponsored by: Job-Applications.com

Description: Are you a working parent currently in college or other accredited post-secondary educational institution? Job-Applications.com offers a college scholarship, awarded once a year, designed to help working parents currently enrolled in higher education. 

Amount awarded: $1,000

Eligibility requirements: The Working Parent College Scholarship Award Program is open to any person who:

  • Is a full or part-time student attending an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution (including, but not limited to, college, university or trade school, or similarly accredited program) with a current cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher at that institution; and
  • Has worked an average of at least 12 hours for each of the previous four weeks at the time of applying; and
  • Is a residential parent of at least one minor child; and
  • Is a legal resident of the United States of America; and
  • Is currently enrolled and furthering his or her education at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution or program; and
  • Is 18 years of age or older at the time of applying; and
  • Completes and submits the official application form within the relevant periods for the periodic scholarships to be awarded.

Deadline to apply: August 15, 2020

3. Jeannette Rankin Scholarship

Sponsored by: Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund

Description: Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF) provides scholarships and support for low-income women ages 35 and older across the US to build better lives through post-secondary education.

Amount awarded: $2,000

Eligibility requirements: An applicant for a JRF Scholarship must be:

  • A woman, age 35 or older
  • Low-income (based on income guidelines)
  • A U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • Pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree.
  • Enrolled in or accepted to a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution.

Deadline to apply: March 1, 2021

4. Custody X Change Single Parent Scholarship

Sponsored by: Custody X Change

Description: The Custody X Change Giving Fund awards three scholarships to single parents each year. To apply, you must be a full-time student at an accredited college or university within or outside of the U.S. and have the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

Amount awarded: Varies between $500 – $1,000

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must have primary physical custody of one or more minor children
  • Must be enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university
  • Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher or be a first-semester student 

The scholarship is open to single parent students around the world. 

Deadline to apply: Ongoing

5. Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP)

Sponsored by: Imagine America Foundation

Description: The Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP) offers scholarships to non-traditional students who decide to pursue career college training. This $1,000 award is available to any qualified adult student for attendance at a participating career college.

Amount awarded: $1,000

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be an undergraduate student 
  • Must attend a four-year college, two-year college or a vocational-tech school 
  • Must be at least 19 years old
  • Citizenship requirements: US
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Must study full-time

Deadline to apply: Ongoing

6. Garrett Scholarship

Sponsored by: Texas Library Association

Description: Scholarship awarded to Texas residents concentrating on studies in children’s, young adult, or school librarianship in graduate study. Must be studying at a Texas institution.

Amount awarded: $1,000

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a graduate student 
  • Must attend a university or a four-year college 
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Both full-time and part-time students
  • Restricted to residents of Texas
  • Restricted to students studying in Texas
  • Restricted to students studying Library and Information Sciences
  • Must be affiliated with American Library Association

Deadline to apply: January 31, 2021

7. Ford ReStart Program

Sponsored by: The Ford Family Foundation

Description: The Ford Family Foundation established the Ford ReStart Scholarship Program to encourage adults, aged 25 or older, to begin or return to full-time, post-secondary education. Each year, up to 46 applicants are selected from Oregon and Siskiyou County, California to receive a Ford ReStart scholarship who have significant financial barriers to college.

Amount awarded: Varies between $1,000 – $25,000

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be an undergraduate student, a graduate student or a postgraduate student 
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college or two-year college 
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must be at least 25 years old
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Must study full-time
  • Restricted to residents of California, Oregon
  • Restricted to students studying in California, Oregon

Deadline to apply: March 1, 2021

8. Zelus Recovery $1000 College Scholarship

Sponsored by: Zelus Recovery

Description: Zelus Recovery specializes in treating adolescents and young adults with substance abuse problems. Their goal is to help young people find their way back to health and happiness so they can become contributing members of society. 

Amount awarded: $500

Eligibility requirements:  

  • Must be an undergraduate student, a graduate student or a postgraduate student 
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college, two-year college or a vocational-tech school 
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Both full-time and part-time students

Deadline to apply: August 1, 2020

9. Beacon Scholarship for Rural America

Sponsored by: Carrot-Top Industries, Inc.

Description: The Beacon Scholarship for Rural America helps low-income students living in rural areas with their college endeavors. College-bound graduating high school seniors, current college students or adult learners may apply. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded every year. Applicants must reside in a rural area and meet low-income criteria outlined in their online application.

Amount awarded: $1,000

Eligibility requirements: Restricted to students who are residents of and studying in: Alberta, Alabama, Arizona, Guam, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Newfoundland, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Quebec, Saskatchewan, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa

Deadline to apply: June 30, 2020 and October 1, 2020

10. Sylvia Lask Scholarship

Sponsored by: Mental Health Association in New York State Inc.

Description: The Sylvia Lask Scholarship Committee is awarded annually by the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc (MHANYS). It was named in honor of Sylvia Lask in 2018. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage the education of individuals to assist in the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses, the promotion of mental health, and the empowerment of adults, children, and families whose lives have been affected by mental illnesses.

Amount awarded: $2,500

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be a graduate student 
  • Must attend a university or a four-year college 
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Both full-time and part-time students
  • Restricted to residents of New York
  • Restricted to students studying in New York
  • Restricted to students studying Behavioral Science

Deadline to apply: June 30, 2020

11. Boundless Opportunity Scholarship

Sponsored by: Daniels Fund

Description: The Boundless Opportunity Scholarship (BOS) is designed to benefit highly-motivated, non-traditional students who recognize the power of education to create a better life for themselves and their families. The scholarship is available at select two- and four-year colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. 

Amount awarded: Varies

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Each school chooses to offer the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship to one or more of these student populations:
    • Adults entering or returning to college
    • GED recipients
    • Veterans entering or returning to college
    • Former foster care youth
    • Former juvenile justice youth
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college or two-year college 
  • Must be at least 24 years old
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Both full-time and part-time students
  • Restricted to residents of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
  • Restricted to students studying in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

Deadline to apply: Ongoing

12. Guardian Debt Relief Scholarship

Sponsored by: Guardian Debt Relief

Description: Guardian Debt Relief is offering a scholarship for students entering into or already enrolled in college. Guardian Debt Relief realizes the importance of higher education and wants to lend aid to those who pursue a degree. 

Amount awarded: $1,000

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be an undergraduate student or a graduate student 
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college, two-year college or a vocational-tech school 
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S.
  • Both full-time and part-time students

Deadline to apply: December 31, 2020

13. BHW Women in STEM Scholarship

Sponsored by: BHW Group

Description: The Women In STEM Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate female students. You must be pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics to be eligible for this award.

Amount awarded: $3,000

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be an undergraduate student, a graduate student or a postgraduate student 
  • Must attend a university, a four-year college, two-year college or a vocational-tech school 
  • Restricted to female students
  • Must study full-time
  • Restricted to students studying specific majors. For a complete list, visit thebhwgroup.com.

Deadline to apply: April 15, 2021

14. Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.

Sponsored by: Nurses Education Funds Inc.

Description: Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. awards scholarships to registered nurses seeking masters and doctoral degrees from accredited nursing programs in colleges and universities within the United States.The application process is completely online at www.n-e-f.org and is open from October 1, until February 1, of the following year.

Amount awarded: Varies between $2,500 – $10,000

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Restricted to students studying nursing

Deadline to apply: February 1, 2021

15. World’s Easiest Scholarship

Sponsored by: Peterson’s

Description: Are you a high school senior or an adult learner planning to go back to school? We know how expensive (but valuable!) college can be. In order to further our mission of promoting education after high school, Peterson’s is proud to sponsor a $2,500 scholarship good toward undergraduate or graduate tuition.

Amount awarded: $2,500

Eligibility requirements: Open to individuals at least 18 years of age and who have an intended enrollment year of 2020. Residents of the state of Maine are not eligible to participate. Employees of Peterson’s, LLC or any of either parent, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, advertising and promotion agencies, web site providers or other parties involved in any aspect with the creation, production, operation, execution and fulfillment of the Sweepstakes and the immediate family members (parents, siblings, children and spouse) and/or those living in the same household (whether or not related) of each are not eligible to win. 

Deadline to apply: July 31, 2020

And did you know Petersons.com has a scholarship search tool? You can search our online database for hundreds of scholarships, grants, and prizes with the click of a button.

Looking for something else? Visit Peterson’s Adult Learner Resource Center for college and career resources designed specifically for adults going back to school.