Higher education is not just for teenagers and young adults. Today, nearly 40% of college students are 25 years of age or older. Continuing education may be the key to a promotion or a career change. However, financial aid may make or break one’s chances of starting or continuing their education. In the past, financial aid was more the less reserved for traditional students. However due to the increased enrollment of nontraditional students, financial aid is readily available for students of all types.

Financial aid is available for students enrolled in eligible programs at accredited colleges and universities. Programs that lead to academic or vocational degrees or certificates are eligible.

You may think that enrollment full or part time is necessary to receive financial aid. Think again! You can even be enrolled less than half time to be eligible.

Like all students, non-traditional students will be required to fill out a FAFSA form. This will determine the types and amount of aid a student is eligible for. Once again, grants are free money and loans will need to be paid back. The following are types of financial aid available (please see prior posts for detailed descriptions):

• Pell Grants

• Perkins Loans

• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

• Stafford Federal Family Education Loan

Will you be working during school? If the answer is no, be prepared to appeal your financial aid award. Because your FAFSA is based off of last year’s income, your aid offers are likely to not be as high as if you need. If you quit a full time job, financial aid officers may be willing to adjust your aid to coincide with your income while you are a full-time student. If you are working full-time and attending school, you will have a higher Expected Family Contribution. Meaning, you will be taking out loans to pay for your education. Also remember to check with your employer, the may offer tuition advancement or reimbursement. Call your HR department!

Scholarships! Not all scholarships have age requirements. Check with your school, employer, religious organizations and search on the internet to see what you can come up with!

Categories: Financial Aid | Grants | Scholarships | Student Loans
Tags: federal supplemental educational opportunity grant nontraditional student pell grants perkins loans stafford federal family education loan

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