Scholarships for adult students prove that you’re never too old to pursue your collegiate dreams.
Higher education is increasingly embracing students beyond the traditional age range of 18 to 22. College demographics are changing as over one-third of U.S. students are classified as adult learners. The NCES reports that the enrollment of individuals age 25 and over jumped by 16 percent from 2004 to 2014. According to the U.S. News, the average online bachelor’s student is 32 years old and working full-time. It’s also estimated that 4.8 million adult students are raising dependent children, often on their own.
Whether you’re brand new to the college classroom or returning to finish your degree, check out the following 25 adults-only scholarships for financial support.
1. Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarships
Deadline: April 17th
Founded by Lucille J. Perkins in 1938, the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarships are presented by 45 Executive Women International (EWI) Chapters nationwide for $500,000 total each year. Funding is intended for nontraditional female students typically age 23 or older who are entering and returning to college full- or part-time for associate, bachelor’s, and master’s study. Priority is given to economically challenged adults with young children.
Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarships
3860 South 2300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
2. Alpha Sigma Lambda Annual Scholarships
Deadline: April 30th
The Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society supports 12 adult learners seeking their first associate or bachelor’s degree with annual scholarships of $3,000 apiece. Qualified students must attend an accredited college with an ASL Chapter, have finished 24 semester or 36 quarter credits, exhibit significant financial need, and excel academically with a 3.2 GPA or higher. Application packets must include a faculty recommendation, resume, FAFSA form, transcript, and personal statement.
Alpha Sigma Lambda Annual Scholarships
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
3. BPW Foundation Career Advancement Scholarship
The Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation initiated the Career Advancement Scholarship in 1969 to further the education of women aged 25 and older who have significant financial disadvantages. For up to $2,000, candidates must have U.S. citizenship, be within two years of graduation, select STEM-related bachelor’s majors like chemistry or mechanical engineering, and be chosen by Legacy Partners nationwide. The average recipient is a 37-year-old single mother of two.
BPW Foundation Career Advancement Scholarship
1718 M Street, NW, Suite 148
Washington, DC 20036
4. Carolyn Cooney REACh Your Goals Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Valued at $2,000 each, the Carolyn Cooney REACh Your Goals Scholarships are gifted through the Resources for the Education of Adults in the Chicago Area to Illinois residents who are at least 25 years old. Eligible recipients must live in the Greater Chicagoland, have U.S. citizenship or residency status, be admitted at a member school like Loyola University Chicago or Northern Illinois University, have completed 12+ credits, and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Carolyn Cooney REACh Your Goals Scholarships
P.O. Box 4197
Wheaton, IL 60189
5. Cash Store Continuing Education Scholarship
Deadline: May 10th
Administered by Scholarship America, the Cash Store Continuing Education Scholarship offers $1,000 to five high school graduates or GED recipients at least 25 years of age who are matriculating full-time at accredited colleges in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. Only the first 200 applicants with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 are considered. Adults could also apply for the Catch a Break! Scholarship or Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship.
Cash Store Continuing Education Scholarship
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082
6. Dorothy M. Bolyard Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
The San Diego Foundation currently manages over 160 funds totaling $2.3 million total, including the Dorothy M. Bolyard Memorial Scholarship for adults age 25 years and older. It’s designed for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who’ve never taken college courses to enter an accredited two- or four-year institution in California’s San Diego County. Chosen recipients should have a record of community service, work experience, financial need, and a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Dorothy M. Bolyard Memorial Scholarship
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106
7. Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 1st
Organized by Executive Director Cheryl McKay, the Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Scholarship Program from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club (NANBPWC) recognizes women of substance who are at least 35 years old. Eligible African-American females must be U.S. citizens, gain admission at an accredited two- or four-year undergrad college, reach a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and write a 500-word essay on “Challenges to the Mature Student.”
Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Scholarship Program
1806 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
8. EWGA Foundation Women on Par Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Since 2007, the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) Foundation has promoted the Women on Par Scholarship to bestow one $500 and $1,000 award upon an outstanding female aged 30 or older who’s attending college for the first time or returning for completion. Interested golf enthusiasts must be legal U.S. or Canada residents, pursue their first associate or bachelor’s degree, demonstrate financial need, and provide three sealed references.
EWGA Foundation Women on Par Scholarship
8895 N. Military Trail, Suite 102-E
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
9. Georgia Harkness Seminary Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) offers $5.5 million on average per year through funds like the Georgia Harkness Seminary Scholarships. These $5,000 grants are reserved for faithful women over age 35 who are attending an ATS-accredited seminary full-time for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree and elder’s ordination. Career changers can submit the required transcript, essay, and reference letters online starting in January.
Georgia Harkness Seminary Scholarships
1001 Nineteenth Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37212
10. Imagine America Scholarships for Adult Students
Deadline: June 30th
Formerly called the Career College Foundation, Imagine America confers $1,000 tuition scholarships through its Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP) to support post-high school students at least 19 years old who are taking career-specific training. Qualified candidates must attend a participating vocational school recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, hold a diploma or GED, pass the NCCT Educational Success Potential Assessment, and need financial assistance.
Imagine America Scholarships for Adult Students
12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 203
Reston, VA 20191
11. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 17th
Named after a trailblazing feminist and pacifist who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Montana, the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF) has helped over 1,000 low-income females since 1976. Eligible ladies must be at least 35 years old, pursue undergraduate study at regionally or ACICS-accredited colleges, and meet maximum net household income limits. These $2,000 scholarships for adults could apply toward tuition, books, childcare, or living expenses.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
1 Huntington Road, Suite 701
Athens, GA 30606
12. Larry McDonald LGBTQ Scholarship
Deadline: June 10th
The Equity Foundation in Portland announces $85,400 in scholarship funding from 23 programs each year, such as the Larry McDonald LGBTQ Scholarship. It’s intended for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer mid-life adults over age 35 who permanently reside in Oregon of Clark County, Washington. Adult learners must be enrolling at accredited, nonprofit colleges in the Pacific Northwest for degrees in the arts, humanities, or foreign languages.
Larry McDonald LGBTQ Scholarship
221 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 208
Portland, OR 97209
13. Lenice Christine Merrill Eskritt Scholarship
Deadline: March 6th
At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), the College of Professional Studies awards the Lenice Christine Merrill Eskritt Scholarship for $1,500 to support adult learners with dependent children who are enrolling full- or part-time. Suitable applicants would have completed at least four semesters for 48+ credits and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater in health sciences programs, including the Athletic Training B.S., Clinical Laboratory Science B.S., and RN to BSN completion.
Lenice Christine Merrill Eskritt Scholarship
2001 Fourth Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54481
14. Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships
Ranging from $1,000 to $9,000 each, the Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships are available for full-time university students, including adults up to age 40, who are finishing their first bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees. Eligibility criteria includes being a U.S. citizens or permanent resident, attending a regionally accredited four-year college, sustaining an overall GPA of 3.2. or higher, verifying significant financial need, and passing an interview in New York City.
Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships
950 Third Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10022
15. KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship
Deadline: March 3rd
The KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship presents up to $5,000 annually to adults age 24 or older who are returning to college for a degree or credit-bearing certificate. Applications are only accepted from the Kansas City Metro counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Platte, and Wyandotte. Interested adults must already hold 12+ credits, attend a participating Title IV-eligible institution, have U.S. residency or DACA status, and have an Expected Family Contribution below $12,000.
KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64116
16. Mary and Donn Random Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 6th
Empowering ladies since 1881, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers countless local scholarships for adults, such as the $2,000 Mary and Donn Random Memorial Scholarship from the Sacramento Branch. Based on merit, the program selects women age 25 or older who are attending American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, or California State University-Sacramento. Having completed 12+ units with a minimum “B” average is necessary.
Mary and Donn Random Memorial Scholarship
Sacramento, CA 95819
17. NCCF Cancer Survivor Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 15th
The National Collegiate Cancer Foundation (NCCF) sponsors the Cancer Survivor Scholarship Program yearly to competitive award $1,000 to several college students, including adults up to age 35, who’ve been personally diagnosed with cancer. Eligible recipients must be U.S. citizens or green card holders, register at an accredited college, have displayed a “Will Win” attitude throughout cancer treatment, exhibit financial need, and submit two quality recommendations.
NCCF Cancer Survivor Scholarship Program
4858 Battery Lane, Suite 216
Bethesda, MD 20814
18. Oregon Ford ReStart Program Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
The Ford Family Foundation funds the ReStart Program to present 46 scholarships annually to adults in Oregon and California’s Siskiyou County based on FAFSA financial need for a maximum award of $25,000. At application, candidates must be 25 years or older, possess a high school diploma or minimum GED score of 700, pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree full-time, obtain a cumulative GPA above 3.0, and have considerable years of employment ahead.
Oregon Ford ReStart Program Scholarships
44 Club Road, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
19. Sophie Greenstadt Scholarship for Mid-Life Women
Deadline: May 1st
Established in 1987, the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles (NCJW-LA) has provided over 260 scholarships for $340,000 total, including the Sophie Greenstadt Scholarship for Mid-Life Women. This $1,000 prize assists women aged 35 or older who are continuing college in California to become financially self-sufficient. Residing in Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, or Orange County is required. Preference is given to women who’ve suffered trauma, loss, or domestic violence.
Sophie Greenstadt Scholarship for Mid-Life Women
543 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90036
20. Susan and Marvin Whatley Scholarship Fund
Deadline: February 15th
Worth $1,000 per year, the Susan and Marvin Whatley Scholarship Fund stands out among the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) 230 funds by catering solely to nontraditional female students aged 25 or over. Qualified ladies must be pursuing ABET-accredited baccalaureate education in engineering at Iowa State University, Louisiana State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Clemson University, University of Virginia, or University of Tennessee with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Susan and Marvin Whatley Scholarship Fund
130 E. Randolph Street, Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60601
21. Tennessee Nontraditional HOPE Scholarship
Deadline: September 1st or February 1st
The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) offers the Nontraditional HOPE Scholarship biannually for up to $1,500 at public two-year and $2,250 at nonprofit four-year institutions in-state. Appropriate applicants would be age 25 or older, be incoming freshmen or returning students, continuously enroll in 9+ credits, achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater, have an adjusted gross income below $36,000, and complete the FAFSA form.
Tennessee Nontraditional HOPE Scholarship
404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1510
Nashville, TN 37243
22. Towson Pathways Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 31st
At Towson University in Maryland, the Pathways Scholarship Program grants $2,000 per year for $4,000 total to low-income adults who are the parents of at least one child under 18 years old. Interested moms and dads must have completed an A.A. or A.S. degree at an accredited community college, transfer to register for 6+ credits per term, carry a minimum 2.5 average, have significant financial need for Pell Grant eligibility, and attend the Pathways Family Day event.
Towson Pathways Scholarship Program
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252
23. Twin Cities Adult Education Alliance Scholarships
Deadline: August 1st
Since 2002, the Twin Cities Adult Education Alliance (TCAEA) has lowered the cost of attendance for nontraditional students aged 25 or older through scholarships for $250 to $2,000 apiece. Eligible adults must submit a FAFSA form showing financial need for registering in credit-bearing degree or certificate programs in-state. Recipients can attend 14 HLC-accredited member schools, including St. Catherine University, Bethel University, Augsburg College, Rasmussen College, and University of Minnesota.
Twin Cities Adult Education Alliance Scholarships
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
24. West Virginia Adult Part-Time Student Grant
The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) confers the Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student Grant for up to $2,000 to support nontraditional students in the “Mountain State” who will continue their post-secondary education part-time. Scholarship criteria requires living in West Virginia for 12+ months, having a high school diploma or TASC, verifying financial need, complying with the Military Selective Service Act, and not being in loan default.
West Virginia Adult Part-Time Student Grant
1018 Kanawha Blvd. E, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
25. Western Fraternal Life Non-Traditional Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Western Fraternal Life proudly distributes 25 scholarships nationally, including one Non-Traditional Scholarship valued at $1,000 for adults aged 25 and older. Selected recipients must be WFLA members in good standing for two years, attend a college or vocational institute full-time, carry a minimum “C” average, and demonstrate unmet financial need. Additional scholarships for adults are reserved for residents of Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan.
Western Fraternal Life Non-Traditional Scholarship
1900 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hefty college tuition bills can be tough to cover at any age. Adults should remain aware that the average published tuition is $3,440 at public two-year, $11,814 at public four-year, and $32,410 at private four-year colleges annually. Luckily, there’s no age requirement on most federal and state grant programs. Nontraditional learners between 24 and 29 years old represent 20.9 percent of Pell Grant recipients in bachelor’s programs according to FinAid. Adults could also make their education more affordable with employer tuition assistance, military benefits, institutional financial aid, and the 25 scholarships for adult students above.