No matter your stage of life, college is always an option. Many people wait to pursue higher education opportunities, and there are many resources available for these adult learners to go back to school to earn degrees, licensures, certificates, etc.
JUMP TO RESOURCES
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADULTS
Many scholarships don’t have any age restrictions and are open to any student. Some scholarships – Indiana’s Adult Student Grant and Workforce Ready Grant – are specifically designed for working adults.
The State of Indiana recognizes that adult learners have different needs and are usually already working, so many resources are there to make sure they can succeed. To learn additional tips for searching and applying for scholarships, check out our scholarships page.
INDIANA’S “YOU CAN. GO BACK.” ADULT STUDENT GRANT
You Can. Go Back. is a statewide campaign that aims to help Hoosier adults who have completed some college but have not earned a degree. The Adult Student Grant is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of working adults starting or completing an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or certificate by providing a $2,000 grant. The grant may be used toward tuition and regularly assessed fees.
NEXT LEVEL JOBS WORKFORCE READY GRANT
The Workforce Ready Grant provides the opportunity for students to pursue job training programs such as manufacturing, health and life sciences, construction, IT and transportation. This grant pays for all tuition and regularly assessed fees for qualifying high-value certificates at any eligible training provider. Workforce Ready Grant recipients earn nearly $7,000 more after getting a certificate.
WHERE CAN I FIND INDIANA SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADULTS?
There are many other additional options to help adult learners pay for college. For example, 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 are specifically for single parents, working mothers, those dealing with disability and more.
FEDERAL GRANTS FOR
ADULTS GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
There are many opportunities for adult learners to receive grants to attend college. To see if you qualify for these opportunities, file the FAFSA. Learn more about the FAFSA and how to file it.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
Federal Pell Grants are awarded students who display financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree. Adult learners are qualified to receive this grant as well as younger students. Find out how to apply for the Pell Grant at Student Loan Hero.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another grant awarded to students who display exceptional financial need. Not all schools participate in this grant so it is necessary to check with your intended college’s financial aid office. Students who utilize this grant could potentially qualify to get between $100 and $4,000 per year. Learn more or apply for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
Some employers may provide financial assistance or incentives for adult learners to go back to school. This helps to motivate and retain talent while also empowering students to further their education. There are several different types of programs that an employer could enact.
$5,250 EXCLUSION FROM INCOME
Your employer can 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. Ask your employer about their reimbursement program.
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. Ask your employer about a scholarship!
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.
Adult learners can receive student loans. To receive access to student loans, anyone who is considering college should file the FAFSA. Learn how to file your FAFSA with our Ultimate FAFSA Guide for Hoosiers
College programs can be extremely flexible for adult learners who may have busy lives and sometimes hold full-time jobs. Options such as night classes, virtual learning and taking only a few credits at a time are available to students who need it. Look into programs such as these or ask your desired college if they offer flexible options.
There are 4 different types of financial aid that you could receive.
1. Grants: Free money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back
2. Scholarships: Free money for college based on merit, talent or academic study
3. Work Study: Different types of academic related jobs that can help students earn money while taking classes
4. Student Loans: Money that students receive to help pay for college but they have to pay back at a later date
After you file your FAFSA, colleges will be able to tell you which scholarships and grants you could receive as well as how much money you can borrow in federal loans.