Educational grants are available for non-traditional students, if you know where to find them. The definition of a non-traditional student is accepted to mean someone who has enrolled in a university or college past the age of 24. The most important thing to remember when you’re researching and applying for grants is to stay persistent. If you have been declined for several grants, don’t give up as eventually you’ll find a grant that suits your needs.


Some tips to keep in mind when applying for a grant:


Find the right school.

Most of the grants available for non-traditional students require that the school be officially accredited. If you’re not sure that your university or college of choice is accredited, just call up the admissions office and ask.


File your FAFSA Form ASAP.

As soon as you’ve made your final decision on which school to attend, it is imperative you fill out your FAFSA form. Also known as the Free Application for Student Aid, this form allows you to apply for grants directly offered by the federal government.

Be aware that this form requires information you may need to research. Taking the time to fill out your FAFSA form accurately will improve your chances when applying for grants. You may even consider having someone in your school’s financial aid office review your FAFSA form to ensure it is filled out correctly.


Look into Pell Grants.

As a non-traditional student, one of your best bets is the Federal Pell Grant Program. It is designed to provide financial aid to both post-baccalaureate and undergraduate students with a low income. However, these grants have stipulations. First, the Department of Education looks at your income level, assets, dependents and how many people in your household are currently enrolled in postsecondary institutions. Next, they decide on how much they believe your household should provide as an expected family contribution or EFC, toward your education. If the Department of Education determines that your household is not in a position in which it could be expected to provide a certain EFC, you may be eligible for a Pell Grant. However, be cognizant that these grants are offered for students attending certain institutions and your eligibility may depend on whether you are enrolling as a full time or part time student.


Reach out to your local government.

Your local governments, such as those of your city, county and state, may offer grants for non-traditional students as well. Start by looking at their websites, or give them a call.


Consider In-house College and University Grants.

Definitely look into your school’s educational grants. Most major colleges and universities offer a number of grants which are tailor-made for non-traditional students in particular situations. Keep in mind that applying for an in-house grant may take some time.


Non-traditional students have an abundant number of opportunities when it comes to grants. The most important tips are be persistent, research your different avenues and definitely fill out your FAFSA form with as much information as you can provide.


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