Financial Aid for Adult Learners

Diverse group of adult students

Although many schools restrict eligibility for the school's own financial aid programs to the first Bachelor's degree, many scholarship and fellowship programs do not have age restrictions, and there are no age restrictions on eligibility for federal student financial aid. Older students should conduct a search for aid just like younger students. Here is some information that you should know when researching how to pay for your postsecondary education:

Scholarships
Check with the college to find out if it offers scholarships. You can also search for scholarships for free at www.studentaid.ed.gov/scholarship and www.unigo.com.

Tax breaks
You should read IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education or check with your tax preparer to see how you might benefit from federal income tax credits for education expenses.

Your employer
Ask your employer if they offer a tuition assistance program; some employers will help pay for your education.

Community college
Check into attending a community college. Tuition at community colleges can be significantly lower than at four year colleges, especially for Maryland residents.

Choosing a program
Assess your needs before you apply for admission or register for courses. Make sure your classes fit your goals or count toward your degree or certificate. If you are unsure, visit and speak with a college advisor or professional.

Part-time enrollment
Consider part-time enrollment if you are having difficulty paying for a full-time program, or if you have other work or family obligations that limit the time you have to attend class and study.