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Bryant & Stratton College Blog Staff

Financial Aid: Tips for Nontraditional Students

Whether pursuing a degree for the first time, or returning to school in order to make a career change, more and more adult learners are enrolling in traditional and online degree programs. Many nontraditional students, a term that generally refers to students who are age 24 or older, assume that because of their status, they do not qualify for scholarships and federal aid. This is certainly not the case, as there are a wide variety of financial aid options available to adult learners. Here are some tips on how to acquire financial aid if you are a nontraditional student. 

1. Look for relevant adult scholarships

Like any college student, adult learners can apply for a variety of scholarships, as most general scholarship funds do not have an age limit restriction. But there are also a multitude of scholarships that are offered specifically for older students. Many scholarship databases, such as Fastweb.com, allow you to search for scholarships by category, making them a great resource for identifying scholarships for nontraditional students that are relevant to you.

2. Apply for federal financial aid for adults

Every student, including adult learners, should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Depending on your age and education history, you may be ineligible for certain grants (for example, if you already have a bachelors degree, and are pursuing a second degree, you may no longer qualify for the Pell grant). But there are still many opportunities for nontraditional students to earn federal aid; depending on your income and family status, you may actually qualify for more aid than a traditional student.

3. Check with your college regarding nontraditional student grant programs

Many colleges restrict their grant programs to students who are earning their first bachelors degree. However, some schools may waive this restriction for individuals who are pursuing a second degree in order to make a career change. Don’t assume you won’t qualify – check with your school to make sure that you aren’t missing out on an opportunity to earn financial aid.

4. Consider student loans

As a nontraditional student, you can still qualify for student federal loans as long as you have not already maxed out your loan eligibility, are not in default on any previous student loans, and are at least a halftime student. But, be wary of over-borrowing in order to minimize your school debt.

If you have questions about financial aid for nontraditional students at Bryant & Stratton College, contact our admissions office or check out financial aid options here.


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