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Financial Aid: Yes, you can get a scholarship!

Erin Pettus / Abound: Finish College »

If you think scholarships are not meant for students like you, think again. With a bit of digging, you’ll find plenty of them for nontraditional students. In this section of our series, we’ll guide you through the world of scholarships so you can find the funds to go to school.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a grant awarded to students that meet the criteria of the awarding institution, which could be a corporation, organization, school or other entity. Generally, recipients do not need to pay back the scholarship so long as the funds go towards tuition costs. Good grades are the most common consideration, but sometimes the criteria is more concerned with demographic factors such as gender or ethnicity. In order to apply, applicants must often submit essays, but not always. Each awarding institution will post their individual criteria, which will vary from one to the other.  Scholarships are a great way to pay for school without having to take out student loans.

Important Scholarship Facts

Many people view scholarships as lofty awards given to young adults with exceptional talents, but this is only partially true. Here is the truth behind some common scholarships misconceptions:

1) Scholarships Exist for Nearly Every Kind of Student

You might think scholarships are only for young adult students, but this is not actually the case. Scholarships are for nearly ALL students! In many cases, single parents, women, and corporate employees are the target recipients.

2) Adult Students are Eligible for Most Scholarships

In fact, some scholarships are specifically aimed at those returning to complete their degree. Be sure to check the eligibility details before you write them off. Your eligibility will often depend on the amount of time that has passed since you left school.

When looking at your application, refer to the term: “Apply Year.” This term describes the year of school you wish to fund (First – Freshman, Second – Sophomore, Third – Junior, Fourth – Senior). This means if you completed your junior year, you are eligible for scholarships whose “Apply Year” is “College seniors.”  

3) High GPA’s are not the Only Qualifier

Though good grades are one common criteria for scholarships, they are not the only one. Adult students can find many opportunities specifically designed for them, no matter their education level, marital status, ethnicity or other factors. Now, one can find scholarships for a variety of needs, through multiple sources. Military veterans may also qualify for certain scholarships.

Final Thoughts

Scholarships are a great way to fund your school experience. It’s well worth your time to look into them. The options available may surprise you!

We will explore some of those particular options in more depth in the next part of our financial aid series.

More About Abound: We’re here to help. Abound: Finish College narrows down your options and gets you in touch with schools that we can confirm are Accessible, Affordable, Accelerated, and Advanced. Take a look at the schools we trust and find the program that works for you.

More Helpful Resources:

Employer Assisted Tuition: 8 Strategies to Persuade Your Boss

Financial Aid: Funds for Adult Students

Getting College Credit for Life Experience You Already Have

Why Choose a BSN Over Other Nursing Degrees?

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