Grants, Scholarships – Federal, state governments and private organizations offer educational scholarships or grants for older adults.
Some colleges and universities have scholarships just for older adults. Check with your local college/university to see if they offer such scholarships.
The Veterans Administration provides education benefits to veterans, and in some cases their spouses and immediate family members. There may be some restrictions related to the number of years since discharge and the type of discharge received to qualify for these grants.
You can qualify for the Federal Pell grant by completing a FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is not age dependent but based on economic need.
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides scholarships to seniors, aged 55 and over, who contribute a minimum of 350 hours of community service hours to the program. The scholarship may be transferable to children and grandchildren.
The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion.
The ASIST scholarship is available to adults facing economic, social, or physical challenges, who are looking to improve their situation through educational opportunities. This scholarship is provided by the Executive Women International (EWI).There number of scholarships is very limited.
The FastWeb scholarship database includes more than 50 awards that have a minimum age restriction of 30 years or older. There are more than 230 awards with a minimum age restriction of 25 years or older. There are more than 1,800 awards with no age restrictions.
The Talbots Charitable Foundation provides a scholarship program for women looking to return to college later in life. Up to thirty (30) scholarships of $5,000 each and one (1) $30,000 scholarship will be awarded for the 2014 academic year. Only applicants seeking a bachelor’s degree are eligible to receive the Nancy Talbot Scholarship Award. Awards are one-time only and are not renewable.
The Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement (HILR) is a community of retired and semi-retired academics and professionals who are engaged in lifelong learning through a variety of classes and activities at Harvard University. A limited number of new members are admitted each year, in February and September. There is an $800 annual fee (2 semesters). Each semester 50-60 courses are provided. Members typically attend 1-3 classes per semester.
The American Opportunity tax credit (currently extended through 2017) can lower taxes for students of any age spent on tuition, fees and course materials. The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels.
And if you are currently employed, ask your employer’s human resources office about the availability of employer tuition assistance.