Are college scholarships for non-traditional students easy to get compared to other general scholarships? The competition is much less because traditional students make up the majority by a large margin so they are ruled out from applying to them. Being a non-traditional student can be incredibly difficult at times, especially for those who are balancing careers or families. Between work and supporting children, going back to school can easily become a hassle, especially if students have to find funding on top of dealing with all the other stresses of their day-to-day life. Fortunately non-traditional student scholarships exist to help with the very problem of finding financial aid, in all hopes making a student’s return or fresh entrance to university life easier through removing some financial burdens.
There is of course no single easy scholarship for non-traditional students that every student can apply and gain access to, and these programs are often offered on the basis of financial need and general merit. However, the category of non-traditional students is wide including single mothers or fathers, full-time employees, older returning students and even those students who have a growing family. It is going to be important for students to identify what sort of non-traditional student they are, as this is going to help narrow the field down and give them more specific access to those nontraditional scholarships offered to individuals from certain demographic backgrounds. On top of this, keeping in mind income levels and the amount of dependents in a student’s life is going to help show financial need, so be sure to have ready access to this information during the application process.
Looking across available college scholarships for non-traditional students, it becomes quickly clear that there are a plethora of options to choose from. Amongst them is the Denny’s Single Parent Student Scholarship, established specifically for those running solo in parenting and trying to go to school. This non traditional scholarship awards from $500 to $1,500 in financial aid to those of Hispanic background in school who are also single parents. They must be a legal US resident, already be enrolled or accepted into a university program, and have maintained at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 grade point average scale. There are two final requirements for eligibility for the Denny’s Single Parent Student Scholarship which need applicants to show a financial need and agree to participate in the program’s publicity should they be asked to. Interested students should prepare an essay detailing their lives to some degree, explaining what they have done and why they are interested in pursuing a degree in high education. Students should also get one letter of recommendation from somebody they work with or they have studied under who can detail appropriately the dedication and interest of the applicant. All application materials must be received no later than January 16, 2011.
Another useful non traditional student scholarship is the Osher Reentry Scholarship Program offered by the Bernard Osher Foundation. This particular nontraditional scholarship is targeted at those students who have had an interruption in their schooling either for medical, personal or other reasons and are planning to go back to school. The Osher Reentry Scholarship gives non-traditional students up to $50,000 with the possibility to renew once in the following year. Because of the amount this scholarship awards, students should realize that it is highly competitive so when applying be sure to present yourself in the best possible light. Students interested in this scholarship should have been out of school for five or more years and are now interested in going back to school at the undergraduate level to pick up where they left off. They must also show a financial need, be able to display a likelihood of post-undergraduate employment and have a clear case of academic promise. Unfortunately the Osher Reenter Scholarship Program is only offered in a select number of states through specific universities, so the first stop for an interested student would be the local financial aid office to see if their school is enrolled in the program.
There are many college scholarships for non-traditional students available around the United States. Some will be easy scholarships to apply to, while others will be more demanding with a tighter qualifying criteria. Those students who are dedicated to coming back to school, or going to college for the first time but work in full-time positions or are raising a family should look around at their options to see which non traditional scholarship awards they may be eligible to apply too.
Other good student aid options for non traditional applicants are student loans with no cosigners needed and Pell grants. There are other non traditional scholarship ideas which also may help students find funding for college too – such as using unclaimed scholarship money to apply towards tuition.