Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarships By Type > Scholarships For Returning Students

Scholarships for Returning Students

Trying to search for available scholarships when you’re no longer a high school senior can be a daunting task. So many scholarship resources are tailored especially to the younger crowd, assuming that everyone follows the straight and narrow path from high school diploma to college degree. But we all know that that’s just not the way life works. For whatever reason, your path diverged, and now you’re a returning student, looking to go back to college after some kind of hiatus. When you’re doing something outside the “norm,” it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but be proud of yourself! Attending college now is a great move for your life and your career. Also, don’t panic. There are scholarships for returning students and you will be able to find financial aid to help pay for school.

So, where to start looking? The college or university you’ll be attending may provide some scholarships for returning students, so it never hurts to start looking there. Your current employer may also pay part of your tuition, especially if your degree is related to your line of work—some businesses have even footed the bill for an employee’s PhD program! Many programs exist to provide scholarships for returning students, especially women who are going back to school after raising a family. The free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com can connect you with information on a number of scholarships for returning students, whether they are general scholarships open to everyone, or scholarships specifically for students returning to college. You can also check out our resource page on scholarships for adult students for a partial list of scholarship opportunities for students like you.

While you might feel like it’s unlikely that you’ll receive any scholarship money, returning students may have certain advantages over high school seniors in the scholarship hunt, especially when it comes to essay scholarships. You’ve probably taken a college composition class or two in your day, while your high school competition hasn’t. Even if you think your writing’s not the greatest, just think about how much it’s improved since you were 18. Additionally, as a returning student, you probably have something to write about in your scholarship application. When the prompt asks you to discuss a challenge you’ve overcome or a significant event in your life, you won’t be stuck choosing between the time your dog got run over and the summer you got a paper route to buy your first video gaming system (which probably wasn’t a Playstation 3). Chances are you already have a great topic in your decision to return to school! Many scholarships have an essay component and few have an upward age limit, which makes these great scholarships for returning students.

You don’t know what you’ll qualify for until you look, so start your scholarship search and apply for scholarships for returning students today!

AAUW Return to Learning Scholarships
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
The Lombard Area Branch of the American Association of University Women offers up to one $2,200 Return to Learning Scholarship to a qualified woman returning to school after a significant break in attendance.

To apply for The AAUW Return to Learning Scholarships, you must be a female resident of the Lombard, Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, Wheaton, Addison, Glendale Heights or Glen Ellyn, Ill. [...] More

Adult Students In Scholastic Transition Scholarship (EWI of Los Angeles)
Application Deadlines: April 15, Annually
The Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship is a non-discriminatory, educational scholarship program for the benefit of non-traditional students. These include persons who are past high school age and who are entering a college, university or trade schools and/or the workforce for the first time, non-traditional students already enrolled in a college/university or trade [...] More

Arizona Business & Professional Women's Foundation Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
Scholarships are awarded to women 25 years old or older who are starting or returning to a community college or trade school in Arizona to advance their career/job opportunities. Applications are available online or through your community college financial aid office and must be postmarked on or before March 1st to be [...] More

Camden County American Association of University Women
Application Deadlines: July 31, Annually
The Camden County Branch of the American Association of University Women is offering scholarships to women who:
- have completed at least one year of post-secondary (high school) work
- are currently enrolled in a program
- are residents of Camden or Burlington counties in New Jersey

Primary consideration is given to students who have returned to school after a break in their education. [...] More

Emerge Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
Emerge Scholarships Inc. (Emerge) has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships since its founding in 2001. While each year hundreds of applicants apply for the scholarships, we are only able to recognize a small number of winners. The selection committee is focused on identifying special women – non-traditional students whose education was delayed or interrupted, individuals with a vision to [...] More

FACT Second Chance Scholarship
Application Deadlines: January 15, Annually
Each year, scholarships are offered in four categories: (1) for current high school seniors; (2) for people who graduated from high school four or more years ago and are now planning to enroll in a college or university; (3) for students currently enrolled in a college or university; and (4) for trade or technical school aspirants.

A minimum of eight scholarships are awarded annually: One for [...] More

GRCF Altrusa International of Grand Rapids Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
Student must be from Kent, Allegan, Ionia, Ottawa, Montcalm or Muskegon counties (six-month residency minimum) and returning to college or entering college after sitting out of school for at least two years. Must demonstrate financial need and provide two letters of recommendation.

For more information on this and other Grand Rapids Community Foundation scholarships, please visit the GRCF [...] More

Herbert Lehman Educational Fund Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
Herbert Lehman Scholarships were initially awarded in 1964 by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) to help African-American students attend the formerly segregated four-year colleges and universities in the South and to increase the number of African-Americans in the legal profession. Lehman Scholarships are highly competitive, prestigious grants that have been awarded to [...] More

Maine State Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 11, Annually
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce Scholarship program recognizes three Maine students planning to pursue education at a two- or four-year degree-granting college. Preference may be given to a student attending a Maine college and seeking a degree in a business- or education-related field. One scholarship is for a high school student pursuing an associate degree in a technical program, one [...] More

Nashville Athena Scholarships for Non-Traditional Students
Application Deadlines: March 27, Annually
Since 1991, the ATHENA Award and Scholarship Program has been honoring outstanding women of Nashville for their skills in business, leadership and service to their community.

The ATHENA Awards for Non-Traditional Students are given to enable the recipient to continue her education to pursue her career ambition. Awards are given to women who reside in Davidson, Wilson, Williamson, Robertson, [...] More

Oregon Ford ReStart Program Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
The Ford ReStart Program is need-based and was created to encourage adults, age 25 or older, to begin or return to full-time post-secondary education to earn a degree at an eligible college.

-Must be at least 25 years of age by March 1 of the application year
-Be residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County, California
-Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
-Must be pursuing [...] More

Soroptimist's Live Your Dream Award
Application Deadlines: November 15, Annually
The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards has disbursed more than $30 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, domestic and sexual violence, divorce, the death of a spouse, or other life challenges. Recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, including books, hildcare and transportation. Most regions grant [...] More

The CCC Graduate Awards
Application Deadlines:
Unlimited scholarships awarded per year to all students who hold a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university or foreign equivalent.

Candidates must submit a completed scholarship application. These will be reviewed by the Award Committee and selections will be made within one month of submission. Awardees must enroll at Career College of California within four weeks of award [...] More

Urban League of Nebraska, Inc. Multicultural Association Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 03, Annually
The Urban League of Nebraska, Inc. Multicultural Association Scholarship is an award to assist graduating high school seniors and/or currently enrolled college students. The criteria to be eligible for this award include the following:

- Applicant must reside in Nebraska
- Submission of your transcripts from your high school, college, and/or a notarized copy of your G.E.D.
- For [...] More

Women's Re-Entry Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
The Women's Re-Entry Scholarship is awarded by the Poway-Penasquitos Branch of the American Association of University Women and is intended for a woman who is returning to school of higher education to complete her education.

To be eligible for this award, applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Female high school graduate without a bachelor’s degree
- Re-entry student who has not [...] More

Last Edited: November 2015

Scholarships by Type

Latest College & Financial Aid News

University Suspends Free Yoga Class Over "Cultural Issues"

November 24, 2015

by Susan Dutca

The University of Ottawa recently suspended their yoga class after students raised concerns that the exercises were offensive and a form of "cultural appropriation." Instructor Jennifer Sharf, who teaches the class for free, feels "people are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find." The Student Federation, who also happen to be the ones to invite Scharf to the [...]

International Men’s Day Cancelled Following University Male Student’s Suicide

November 19, 2015

by Susan Dutca

According to Breitbart news, a 21-year old student at the U.K.'s University of York committed suicide 24 hours before the university's cancellation of International Men's Day. After 200 feminist campaigners, students, staff and alumni expressed their fury over a professor's comments about International Men's Day, the university decided to not observe the November 19 holiday and instead continue [...]

International Men's Day Cancelled at University After Complaints Surface

November 17, 2015

by Susan Dutca

The University of York cancelled International Men's Day (IMD) on Thursday after outraged students, staff, and alumni protested comments made by a male faculty member and requested an apology for "the manner in which it [the release] was framed." Dr. Aidan Lee of the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee stated that "[although there's focus on] raising awareness about - and removing [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed