There are plenty of sources of federal and state financial aid available for even students who are going back to college after some time in the work force. Read more about them here.
Get the tips you need to succeed

We know you’re busy, so we're here to take the guesswork out of financial aid, college applications, and how to survive college life. And best of all, it’s free!

Get exclusive test prep info now!

Since score matters, sign up and get our proven test prep tips & 40% off our test prep books. And best of all, it's free!

Petersons Free PSAT Sample Test
Free Sample PSAT® Test Questions & Answers

The PSAT® test is right around the corner. Our FREE sample questions give you a peek into the type of questions you can expect to see on the test.

Get Started

The government provides a huge chunk of all financial aid — about 70 percent — and even adults going back to college can qualify. This money can help pay for everything from a two-year technical program to a doctoral degree.

Learn everything you can and get your share.

Continuing education students are often "independent"

You're automatically "independent" at age 24. This can be a good thing because you may qualify for more aid. However, the government sets strict guidelines for defining independent students, so don't try to fool them. If you are independent and married, you will have to report your spouse's income.

Calculating financial need
From the federal perspective, need is pretty straightforward:

COA (Cost of Attendance) – EFC (Expected Family Contribution) = Need

You are considered to have need at a participating school if your EFC is less than the cost. That means you should qualify for financial aid.

Applying for federal aid
One form is your gateway to all government and much college-based aid when going back to college. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine what you'll pay and how much help you're entitled to.

Big important FAFSA rules:

  • Submit your form ASAP after January 1
  • Everyone should apply, even students returning to college
  • Respond immediately to requests for more information

Tax breaks and tuition
There are more ways to save on your tuition than squirreling away your pennies and searching for scholarships. Under a program promoted by the IRS, you can receive tax breaks if you paid tuition for yourself, a spouse, or a child.

Types of aid
If you're planning to go back to college or take continuing education courses, you may receive grants, work-study, and loans. Grad students generally don't receive grants from the government, but can still qualify for loans, work-study, and institutional awards. Every student should apply.

Peterson's is YOUR guide to college information
Get exclusive information on schools, scholarships, and test prep

Log in to Peterson's

Forgot your password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.


I certify that I am the subscriber to the provided cellular or other wireless number and I authorize {{SchoolName}} and its representatives and agents to contact me regarding educational opportunities at any current and future numbers that I provide for my cellular telephone or other wireless device using automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded messages, and/or SMS text messages, even if I will be charged by my service provider(s) for receiving such communications. Consent is not a condition for receiving more information from {{SchoolName}}, and I understand that if I no longer wish to receive communications, I will need to contact {{SchoolName}} to alter this consent.

Disagree Agree
Petersons Monthly Scholarship

Peterson's October $1,000 Scholarship

Not having money for school can be frightening! Take 2 minutes to apply for our $1,000 scholarship