Is there specific aid for returning students?

The cost of returning to school may seem overwhelming, but there are ways to pay it. Some of the basics are covered on our cost page, like filing your FAFSA and applying for scholarships — but there are also great ways for returning students to find money to pay for their education.


Many scholarships don’t have any age restrictions and are open to students of any age. Other scholarships – like Indiana’s Adult Student Grant and Workforce Ready Grant – are specifically designed for working adults. To learn more tips for searching and applying for scholarships, check out our scholarships page.

There are some scholarships that have age restrictions, and are specially offered to returning students, or students over a certain age. The FastWeb scholarship database lists more than 230 awards with a restricted minimum age of 25, and more than 50 awards with a minimum age of 30. These awards are designed for adult learners and aren’t available to high-school students — increasing the likelihood you’ll earn one.

Some scholarships and grants have been set up for specific populations, like single parents, working mothers, individuals with disabling conditions, and more.

Special Programs

Some colleges have onsite daycares available for parents.

Many colleges offer free courses to senior citizens who wish to audit certain classes, or offer reduced course fees if the classes will count toward a degree.

Employer Reimbursement

$5,250 Exclusion from Income
Your employer may provide you with up to $5,250 (tax-free) in employer education assistance benefits for undergraduate or graduate courses each year. This money can be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies. It is a combined limit, so even if you work for several employers, the maximum amount you can receive per year is $5,250.

Employer-Sponsored Scholarships
Your employer may have scholarships available to employees. Employers are allowed to set their own scholarships and are not allowed to require past, present or future teaching, research or other services by the student to the employer as a condition for receipt of the award.

Tuition Waivers and Reductions
If you are an employee of a college or university, your employer may offer tuition waivers or reductions for undergraduate or graduate education.


Planning to borrow money for college?

Worried about the cost of going back to college?

File your FAFSA to see if you qualify for financial aid.