Nontraditional students, or those older than 24, may find it necessary to go to college for the first time or return to school to learn new skills. As of 2010, the average tuition at a four-year public college is approximately $9,000. Students over 50 may need to rely on financial aid; it is merely a matter of doing the research to locate these grants.
The Pell Grant is not limited to students under a certain age – in fact, college students of any age qualify, as long as they are able to prove financial need when they fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), according to the School Grants Resources website.
Older students who are going to college for the first time to earn their first undergraduate degrees qualify for the Pell Grant award. The amount the student receives depends on the income stated in the FAFSA and the Expected Family Contribution assigned by the Department of Education.
Life Enrichment Scholarship
The Royal Neighbors of America awards the Life Enrichment Scholarship to students over the age of 35, male or female. Students who qualify must be beneficial members of this group, taking short-term courses to further their learning. The Royal Neighbors of America awards five $250 grants each year, according to College Scholarships.
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Jeanette Rankin Foundation Grant
The Jeanette Rankin foundation awards grants to older women (over the age of 35, including 50, 60 and older). Women who qualify must be pursuing a two-year degree, four-year degree or a professional or technical qualification and prove financial need, according to the School Grants Resource website. As with the Pell Grant, applicants must fill out and submit a FAFSA application to be considered for this grant.
New Horizons Scholarship
Women who are beneficial members of the Royal Neighbors of America, and who are 35 years old or older, may qualify for the New Horizons Scholarship. This award of $5,000 is granted to "nontraditional" students who enroll part-time or full-time at an accredited vocational school, junior college, university or college, according to College Scholarships.
Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting
Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 are awarded to women of all ages – meaning women over the age of 50 can qualify for a grant, allowing them to enroll in an undergraduate accounting program. In addition, this grant is open to women from any ethnic group, according to the School Grants Resources website.