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Grants for Adult Education

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

If you're an adult looking to further your studies or gain an education while working, there are grants that you can apply for. Get details on some of the options that are available to you, along with resources that can help you with the application process.

Federal Grants For Adult Education

The first thing to note about federal grants is that there isn't a set age requirement. The primary focus is financial need. Grants might be of particular interest to adult learners, especially if you have a family or other expenses to consider since you don't have to repay grants. To apply for these federal grants, simply submit your FAFSA.

The Federal Pell Grant is available to those who would like to study in an undergraduate program. Applicants must show they are in financial need to be considered for the grant. Financial need determines how much of this grant you'll actually receive. The Pell Grant also takes into account the cost of the institution you're attending, whether you're a part-time or full-time student, and whether you intend to study for an entire academic year. For the 2016-2017 school year, the maximum amount of grant money you can receive is $5,815. After covering your tuition and fees, the remainder of the grant is yours to use for whatever you need, including housing and other living expenses, or to save.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is ideal if you already have an undergraduate degree and are looking to go back to school for further education. The FSEOG is intended for students of greater than average need, and priority is given to those who have already qualified for the Pell Grant. Before applying for this grant, make sure your institution is among the 3,800 schools that participate in the program. Grants up to $4,000 can be awarded.

Individual College and State Grants

Many universities, colleges, and other institutions offer grants for potential students with financial need. Sometimes these grants focus on specific fields of study, such as the sciences or continuing education. For example, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a continuing education grant for adult students returning to school after a period of absence. Some grants, such as the one mentioned, are available for students who don't qualify for federal aid. However, this might not be standard. Be sure to carefully read through all the eligibility requirements for each grant you wish to pursue before beginning the process.

Many college grants are funded by the state they are located in, and as such, only apply to students who will use the grant money to study at a state university or college. Adult learners are eligible for many of these state grants but may have to find one that is in line with their needs. For example, the Alliss Two-Year Opportunity Grant will fund students attending a Minnesota State College up to $2,000 a year, but only for undergraduate students who are enrolled in specific degree programs that will transfer to bachelor's degree programs.

Non-Traditional Student Grants

In addition to the general federal and state grants, other organizations offer grants to adult students with financial need.

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards provide grants for women who are the principal income provider for their families and are returning to college to enhance their education and career opportunities. Amounts can vary up to $10,000.

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is dedicated to helping all African American students who are in need of financial aid. These grants are open to all ages. The UNCF offers both need-based and merit-based grants. Requirements vary, but for both types, an applicant's academic performance and financial need play an important role in eligibility as well as enrollment status.

Imagine America's Military Award Program (MAP) awards money to retired, active duty, honorably discharged, and even reservist military members who are pursuing an education at a career college. The award for this program is $1,000.

Student Aid Resources

The key to any successful grant application is preparation. Study.com's How to Apply for College Grants & Scholarships course can help you get started by providing general knowledge on how to go about looking for grants and financial aid opportunities that will best suit your individual needs. You'll also learn specific information about the types of grants available, and get step-by-step instructions on how to fill out your FAFSA as well as other useful information on the subject.

If you're interested in other avenues to fund your education, consider looking into this course on Finding & Applying For Student Loans to help guide you along the way.

With both courses, you'll find self-assessment quizzes and worksheets to help gauge your comprehension of each topic. These courses are also available via mobile app, so you can use them while you're on the go.

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