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20 Scholarships for Non-Traditional Students

The typical high school graduate immediately heading to college isn't the only type of student who needs financial assistance. Many other non-traditional students also need help funding their education, and there are plenty of resources available for them.

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Scholarship Options for Non-Traditional Students

Scholarships for Senior Citizens

There's a saying that you're never too old to learn, and there are many senior citizens who decide to earn degrees in their golden years. The last thing someone in that position wants to do is take on student loan debt. Fortunately, senior citizens might be able to avoid debt by taking advantage of financial aid opportunities, be they grants or scholarships. Here are a few examples of the types of grants or scholarships available:

  • Senior Citizens Grants: These grants are awarded to Marygrove College students aged 65 and older. The grant could reduce these students' tuition by 50% as they pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree. Potential recipients must provide proof of their age.
  • Senior Citizens Tuition Waiver: The University of Montana offers a tuition waiver specifically for senior citizens. It can be applied only to tuition and is given to students who are at least 65 years old.
  • Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarships: Although not specifically for senior citizens, these scholarships are aimed at women 35 and older. They're given to individuals with low incomes and can be used for technical/vocational education, associate's degrees or to earn a first bachelor's degree.
  • Senior Citizens Scholarship: The Senior Citizens Scholarship is also offered at Alabama's Wallace Community College - Selma. It's meant for students 60 or older who are enrolled in the school's academic or technical division. It provides free tuition.

Scholarships for Single Parents

It's certainly not easy to raise a family and provide for them while also trying to earn a degree. The stress could be abated at least a little bit by receiving some financial assistance in the form of scholarships. Some of the scholarships for single parents include the following:

  • Ford Opportunity Program: Through this program, The Ford Family Foundation provides scholarships to single parents in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. According to the foundation's website, eligible parents are 'heads of the households...who are pursuing a bachelor's degree and do not have the support of a domestic partner.'
  • GFWC Women's Club of South County Scholarship: A woman who is 21 or older is awarded this scholarship. She must be a resident of Washington County, Rhode Island. When selecting a winner, preference is given to single moms.
  • Single Parents Program Scholarships: As part of its Single Parents Program, Champlain College in Vermont offers scholarships to such students. They must meet certain financial eligibility requirements, be undergraduates and be from Vermont.
  • Carl and Doris McClain Family Endowed Scholarship: At Kirkwood Community College, this scholarship is given to single parents who have a GPA of at least 2.5. They must also demonstrate financial need.

Scholarships for Learning-Disabled Students

Having a learning disability doesn't mean that college isn't an option for you. There are many organizations that provide financial support to students who have learning disabilities that don't get in the way of continuing their studies. These include:

  • Anne Ford Scholarship: This $10,000 scholarship is awarded to a learning-disabled high school senior by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The center looks for a student who, in addition to being a role model, 'plans to contribute to society in ways that increase opportunities for individuals with LD (learning disabilities).'
  • The Johnson Scholarship: This scholarship is offered by Florida State University. Students must have a documented learning disability, complete the FAFSA and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Anne & Matt Harbison Scholarship: Provided through the P. Buckley Moss Society, this is awarded to a student who has a learning disability related to language. It's worth $1,500.
  • RISE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.: Scholarships through this organization are given to high school graduates who have been diagnosed with some form of a learning disability and have a GPA of 2.5. They award $2,500.

Scholarships for Transfer Students

There are many good reasons that students transfer to new schools, but one thing that can hold them back is the fear of losing out on a lot of financial assistance. However, transfer students can be eligible for special scholarships, such as:

  • Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship: The University of Maryland awards this scholarship to Maryland residents who transfer to the school. The scholarship covers tuition for four consecutive semesters. The award is given to 30 high achieving students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • HSF/Wells Fargo Scholarship: Latino students are eligible for this scholarship, which is granted by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and Wells Fargo. Recipients must be transferring from a community college to a 4-year college or university.
  • Undergraduate Transfer Student Scholarship: Awarded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, this scholarship is given to community college students who will be going on to pursue bachelor's degrees. It's given to about 75 students each year and is worth $30,000 per student.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship Award: Transfer students to Boston University who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship is good for two years and is worth $20,000. Students must be nominated by the advisor of their chapter.

Scholarships for Veterans

After serving our country, many veterans might want to go to college to reach new career goals. Scholarships that are given to veterans can help them pay for their higher education pursuits. A few options are:

  • Paralyzed Veterans of America Scholarship Program: This program is for the organization's members, along with their spouses and dependent children. Recipients can pursue their studies full-time or part-time. Academic achievement is taken into consideration when selecting a winner.
  • Marna M. Kuehne Foundation Scholarship for Disabled Veterans: Recipients of this scholarship must attend Sheridan College or Gillette College in Wyoming and have been honorably discharged from their military service. Additionally, they're required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • AMVETS National Scholarship Program: Students who receive this scholarship are given $4,000 over the course of four years of study. Some of the factors taken into consideration to select a recipient are financial need, merit and academic promise.
  • Pat Tillman Military Scholars Program: This scholarship, created in memory of NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, provides financial support for the education of military veterans and their spouses. The scholarship is awarded to leaders who are committed to creating a positive change in society. Awards are given for the study of medicine, law, business, education and the arts.

If you're lucky enough to receive one of these scholarships, you might be required to send a thank you note.

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