updated Mar 6, 2014
More adults are returning to college today than ever before. Statistics published by Northeastern University show that college enrollment is up 42% for students over 25 years old, compared with only a 34% increase in students under 25. In fact, the over-25 age group of students now makes up close to 40% of all undergraduate college students nationwide! Although adult students may be enrolling for the first time, many are seeking additional degrees and certifications to advance their careers, while others are starting on second careers in midlife, either because their interests have changed or because the recent economic downturn has made it necessary.
Obtaining advanced degrees makes a lot of financial sense for adult students. Employees with graduate degrees are earning an average of 35% more money than those who hold bachelor’s degrees. And that’s just an average—graduate degrees in some areas of the arts and humanities, social sciences, and health fields are estimated to have 55%–70% more earning potential!
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But the potential of earning more money down the road does not pay for going back to school now. There are multiple paths budget-conscious adult learners can take to save money on a college degree. Adult students can compare college costs and programs at universities and community colleges, check out low-cost online degrees, and search for scholarships to help pay for college. Start your search with ScholarshipAdvisor’s up-to-date list of 26 scholarships for Adult Learners.
[Search hundreds of degree and certificate programs at LearningAdvisor.com.]
Get the ball rolling with these 5 scholarships for adult learners. Visit our Scholarships for Adult Learners list for the rest!
1. Accelerated Adult Degree Completion Program Scholarships at DePaul University
Students admitted into one of DePaul’s three Accelerated Adult Degree Completion programs will automatically be eligible for a scholarship worth just over $12,000 that will be applied to tuition over the two-year schedule of classes. This will lower the cost of these two-year programs to approximately $36,000.
2. Emerge Scholarships
The selection committee is focused on identifying exceptional women—nontraditional students whose education was delayed or interrupted and those with a vision to succeed regardless of any obstacles that life has put in their way.
3. American Legion Auxiliary Nontraditional Student Scholarship
Getting a job or staying competitive in today’s workplace involves showing employers you have the skills and experience to get the job done. In many cases, returning to college is a must. This scholarship helps people who are part of the Legion Family pursue a college degree later in life or allow them to pick up where they left off when their studies were interrupted.
4. The Shirley Holden Helberg Grants for the Mature Women
Specifically for women over the age of 35, this scholarship promotes the creative talents of women and encourages them to pursue futher education. Awards are available in three fine arts fields: art, letters, and music. Applicants should submit original copies of their work along with their background and statement of purpose.
5. Kaplan University Success Scholarship
This scholarship awards transfer students with prior success in an academic environment and who want to continue their education at Kaplan University. Applicants must be a new students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at Kaplan University.
As more and more adult learners go back to school, scholarships specifically for the adult learner’s aspirations are on the rise. If you’re contemplating going back to school, start searching for scholarships and find out how much you could save by taking advantage of the resources designed just for your unique position.
What suggestions do you have for funding college as an adult?