If you were unable to attend or finish college or university when you were younger, you may think that your time has passed. You might believe that your opportunity to get a college education or go back for a master’s degree is long gone and that you’ll have to struggle to make ends meet and to try to advance your career without it. Stop right there. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. You can get an undergraduate or graduate degree with the help of scholarships for adults.

“But college tuition is so expensive!” you might think, or, “How will I be able to juggle work and school?” With the right scholarships, you’ll be able to get the financial aid you need to succeed in class without working overtime to make ends meet. In fact, you might even be able to get a full-ride scholarship or get funding assistance through your job.

Types of Grants and Scholarships for Adults

First of all, depending on your financial situation, you may actually be eligible to receive a need-based government or private college grant for adults. Grants and scholarships are very similar in that they’re both college-funding opportunities that you don’t have to pay back. If you receive a grant or scholarship, you won’t need to concern yourself with paying off student debts when you graduate.

So, what’s the difference between a grant and a scholarship for adults? Basically, grants are almost always awarded on a financial need basis. Scholarships, on the other hand, are usually awarded based on your aptitude, achievements, and/or academic merit.

The US government provides most grants available for college funding, while most of the scholarships you’ll find are funded by private organizations. However, there are some exceptions. For example, in Tennessee, Georgia, and some other states, the HOPE Scholarship is funded by the state lottery. This merit-based scholarship is not only available to students graduating from high school but also to adults enrolling as freshmen in colleges, universities, or trade schools within the state.

To be eligible for this kind of government-funded scholarship, for any government grants, and/or for loan assistance through the federal government, you’ll first need to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Your FAFSA will be submitted to both the US Department of Education and the school(s) you’re applying to, and the financial and tax information you provide therein will give them the information they need to determine how much and what kind of assistance and aid you’re qualified for.

How to Find Scholarships for Adults

Once you’ve filled out a FAFSA, you’ll have done everything you need to apply for governmental aid for your education. With your application, they’ll be able to determine whether you are eligible for the Pell grant or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Whether or not you qualify for any or all of this financial assistance, you should also start looking for other funding opportunities and scholarships for adults. If you know where to look, these are actually not hard to find at all. Between online and local sources, you have a lot of opportunities to find scholarships for adults that you qualify for.

Start at Work

Employers benefit from having trained, skilled, and knowledgeable workers on staff. For this reason they are often willing to pay for college classes in related subjects to their industry. You may not be able to get a full-ride scholarship for a full course load through your employer, but you might be surprised at what you can find.

In fact, many businesses will actually pay you to attend class in addition to paying your tuition. To find out about ongoing education programs at your job, talk to someone in your human resources department or go online to your company’s website and check out any established programs available to you. You can also discuss opportunities with your supervisor, as well.

When you speak to or write to the people making the decisions on this kind of funding, be sure to highlight what they’ll get out of sponsoring your tuition. Describe how this will help the company, increase your productivity and capacity for leadership, etc. Keep this in mind when you find other scholarships for adults to apply for, as well.

Visit These Sites Online

You might also be able to find some scholarship opportunities by going to local charity and outreach organizations. However, the rest of your search for scholarships for adults will most likely happen entirely on the Internet. The top sites for finding scholarships of any kind are:

  • CareerNetInfo.org – The US Department of Labor maintains this searchable database of scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities. Just click on “Search By Keyword” and enter keywords that apply to you, like “adult”, “single mother”, “single parent”, etc.
  • ScholarshipChart.com – Search for scholarships on ScholarshipChart based on deadlines, how much money is awarded, your own skills, and much more.

Did you know there are scholarship opportunities available to you that you can apply for in just seconds? Scholarships4WorkingAdults gives away one $10,000 scholarship each month. All that you have to do is register with their website, check your email to confirm your registration, and you’ll be automatically in the running to win a scholarship that you can use toward your education anywhere and anyway you want. Find out all about this scholarship here.

As you search through scholarships for adults, don’t waste time worrying about the ones you don’t qualify for. If a scholarship isn’t applicable to your college, university, or trade school, move on to the next one. If it has a certain minimum GPA or test score that you don’t meet, pass it. The people making the decisions to award funding to potential students will not choose someone who didn’t read the rules about eligibility.

Instead of wasting your time on the ones that you can’t qualify for, focus on finding scholarships for adults that apply to your situation and that you are eligible for. Then, as you put your applications together for these, don’t be afraid to tell your story in your scholarship essay(s).

Show that you’ve struggled and stuck through hard times to provide for yourself and your family. Show that you have the initiative and skills necessary to be a good representative at your school. And, above all else, apply for as many scholarships as you can. The more you apply for, the greater your chances are of getting funding.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.