Learning is a lifelong activity. Many people find that their “golden years” leaves more time for things that they couldn’t do when they were younger, and that often includes going back to school and taking classes purely for the love of learning. If you’re an older adult (or if you know of someone) that’s dreamt of going back to school (perhaps to even get his or her degree), there are programs that exist that can financially help that become a reality! Here are four ways older adults can get financial aid for school.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a federal grant that any undergraduate student of any age can apply for. The grant is based on financial need, and other circumstances, such as the cost of classes and your status (part-time or full-time) as a student, also play a role in the final decision as to how much a senior going back to school might receive. For more information about the Pell Grant, click HERE.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Another federal grant is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Like the Pell Grant, eligibility for the FSEOG is based on financial need and can be used by a student of any age. Unlike the Pell Grant, however, the school the older adult is attending must be a participant in the FSEOG program. As of 2019, an eligible student could receive up to $4,000 a year. Once the FSEOG funds runs out for a participating school, no more awards can be given for that year. Each participating school also sets its own deadline for FSEOG applications. So it’s important to act quickly and apply as early as possible for this grant. The student must be an undergraduate student with no previous bachelor’s degree. For more information about the FSEOG, click HERE.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF Scholarship)
The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF Scholarship) helps support low-income women over the age of 35 pursue a post-secondary education. More than half of the women who receive help from this scholarship say that they would not have been able to go to school without the financial assistance from the JRF Scholarship. To see if you or someone you know might be eligible and to learn more, click HERE.
Segal Americorps Education Award
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a benefit that can be earned by older adults over the age of 55 who volunteer and complete an approved term of service in the AmeriCorps service programs. These programs give older adults the opportunity to serve their communities. In return for their service, volunteers can receive this award, which can be used to pay for education expenses at eligible post-secondary schools. It can even be used to repay any existing and outstanding student loan debt. For more information about the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, click HERE.