24 Scholarships for Adults Over 25 to Apply For in 2024

Age shouldn’t be a barrier to pursuing higher education, but thankfully, many institutions and scholarship programs recognize this. Although many think scholarships are exclusively for high school seniors or first-year college students, numerous opportunities await nontraditional students and adults over 25 eager to return to school. 

At ScholarshipInstitute.org, we recognize the courage and commitment it takes to pursue higher education later in life, so we’ve thoroughly researched and curated a list of 24 scholarships for 2023. Whether you’re seeking a career change, more profound knowledge, or skills to advance in your current career, this guide will help you find financial support. 

The 24 Best Scholarships for Adults and Nontraditional Students

After carefully reviewing all the available adult scholarships, we’ve found the top 24 opportunities for those over 25. Here are our findings: 

Cappex Adult Learners Scholarship

Adults in their mid-twenties or older planning to start or resume their Bachelor’s degree can apply for this easy scholarship by the nearest rolling deadline until August 2024. Applicants will receive access to several resources from Cappex. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000 (2 winners, $500 each)
  • Next Deadline: September 2, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: August 2, 2024

WayUp Dream Job No-Essay Scholarship

If you’re an adult student (whether attending college at the undergraduate or graduate level) planning to graduate between 2020 and 2026, you can apply for this annual scholarship. Applicants will automatically receive access to the WayUp platform with millions of job and internship opportunities. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Next Deadline: September 2, 2023
  • Next Winner announced: August 1, 2024

500 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship

Adult students with at least 500 Bold Points and noteworthy Bold.org profiles can apply for this annual scholarship. Anyone who meets these requirements is eligible, regardless of their education level, school, field of study, and GPA. 

  • Award Amount: $5,000
  • Next Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: December 1, 2023

Scholarship Institute’s Annual Women’s Leadership Scholarship

This scholarship aims to support the next generation of female-identifying leaders, including high school seniors, undergraduate adult students, and graduate students. To apply, write an essay about your leadership abilities and what you hope to achieve with them. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Next Deadline: July 1, 2024
  • Next Winners Announced: July 31, 2024

Future Dentists Scholarship

If you’re an adult student pursuing a career in dentistry, consider applying for this scholarship. Interested applicants must submit a 400–600 word essay about what inspired them to join the dental field and how the scholarship will help them. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: January 31, 2024
  • Winners Announced: February 29, 2024

VNutrition and Wellness’ Annual LGBTQ+ Vitality Scholarship

LGBTQ+ students (including undergraduates and graduates) can apply for this scholarship annually. If interested, submit a brief essay about how you plan to impact society with your education positively. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Next Deadline: July 1, 2024
  • Next Winners Announced: July 31, 2024

Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat Scholarship

If you’re an adult learner who loves everything, Harry Potter, show your appreciation by applying for this unique scholarship. Interested applicants must write a 400–600 word essay about which Hogwarts house they belong to and why they’re the perfect fit. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: October 31, 2023
  • Winners Announced: November 21, 2023

Bold.org No-Essay Top Friend Scholarship

If you’re an adult over 25 who has been invited by a friend to join Bold.org, you can apply for this annual scholarship by making the boldest profile on the platform. Everyone is eligible, and applicants are encouraged to apply by the soonest rolling deadline date. 

  • Award Amount: $5,000
  • Next Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: December 1, 2023

Barbie Dream House Scholarship

This scholarship is for adult students obsessed with the highly anticipated Barbie movie. Anyone can apply by writing an essay about their ideal Barbie Dream House, including its location, what it looks like, and notable features. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Deadline: October 1, 2023
  • Winners Announced: October 27, 2023

“Equal Opportunity” Scholarship

This annual scholarship seeks to promote equality by awarding motivated students who want to improve their life and the lives of those around them. Anyone with a 2.0 GPA or higher can apply, regardless of age and education level, by refining their Bold.org profiles. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000 (2 winners, $500 each)
  • Next Deadline: August 31, 2024
  • Next Winners Announced: September 1, 2024

Steven Penn Bryan Scholarship Fund

If you’re an adult in your late thirties pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling or a related field, you can apply for this scholarship by submitting a brief essay. Eligible applicants should write about what inspired them to get their Master’s, how the funds will help, and their plans to integrate mind, body, soul, and spirit into their work. 

  • Award Amount: $10,000 (2 winners, $5,000 each)
  • Deadline: December 19, 2023
  • Winners Announced: January 19, 2024

“Be Bold” No Essay Scholarship

This annual scholarship awards the applicants who have the boldest profiles. Adults can apply by making their Bold.org profiles earnest, determined, and moving by the closest rolling deadline date–no essay required. 

  • Award Amount: $25,161
  • Next Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: December 1, 2023

Mary Schonfield PA School Scholarship

This scholarship is for female students over 27 who want to become physician assistants. Eligible adults can apply by writing an essay about what made them want to return to school to become a medical professional. 

  • Award Amount: $9,350
  • Deadline: October 15, 2023
  • Winners Announced: November 15, 2023

Conscious Consumer Scholarship

Adult students who want to make more conscious financial decisions and habits can apply for this easy scholarship by the nearest rolling deadline. Applicants will receive resources after applying; those who demonstrate financial consciousness will have better chances of winning. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Next Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: December 1, 2023

Windward Spirit Scholarship

Adult undergraduate students can apply for this scholarship if they want to make a difference in the world. After reading the provided “Ode to Millennials-Gen Z” text, interested applicants should write a 200–1,000 word essay about their thoughts or ideas. 

  • Award Amount: $48,000 (16 winners, $3,000 each)
  • Deadline: November 15, 2023
  • Winners Announced: December 15, 2023

Trudgers Fund

If you’re an adult student pursuing a college degree who has recovered from addiction, consider applying for this biannual scholarship. Eligible applicants must submit a brief essay about their experiences with addiction and how they plan to use their education to help others. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Next Deadline: November 1, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: December 1, 2023

Larry Leon Irons Culinary Memorial Scholarship

You can apply for this annual scholarship if you’re an undergraduate, first-generation college student pursuing a culinary career. Eligible adult applicants must also have volunteer experience and submit an essay based on the provided prompt. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Deadline: October 26, 2023
  • Winners Announced: November 26, 2023

Faatuai and Fatilua Memorial Scholarship

Pacific Islander undergraduate or graduate students with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply for this scholarship annually. Eligible adult students can get started by writing an essay about what it means to attend college and why they deserve the scholarship. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Next Deadline: November 25, 2023
  • Next Winners Announced: December 25, 2023

Elijah’s Helping Hand Scholarship Award

This annual scholarship is for students persevering through personal challenges. Adults can apply by writing about how they’ve been impacted by mental health, suicide, or LGBTQIA+ experiences in a 400–600 word essay. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Next Deadline: May 12, 2024
  • Next Winners Announced: June 12, 2024

Across Cultures “Expand Your Horizons” Scholarship

Adults over 25 who are open to learning about new cultures and sharing their own can apply for this no-essay scholarship. If interested, work on your Bold.org to demonstrate your passion for learning and exploring new cultures. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: April 28, 2024
  • Winners Announced: April 30, 2024

Dylan’s Journey Memorial Scholarship

Dylan’s Journey Memorial Scholarship will award one student with Neurofibromatosis (NF) or a learning disability, such as ADHD. Undergraduate and graduate school adult students can apply by submitting a 400–600 word essay based on the provided prompt. 

  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 21, 2024
  • Winners Announced: April 21, 2024

Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care

This scholarship seeks to support undergraduate students who want to help people. If you’re an adult pursuing a career in healthcare, social work, government, education, or a related field, apply by writing an essay about yourself and how you plan to impact the world positively. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Winners Announced: May 15, 2024

Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship

This biannual scholarship seeks to honor the life of Chris Jackson by awarding undergraduate students pursuing a computer science degree. Eligible adult learners can apply by submitting a 300–500 essay based on the scholarship’s three-question prompt. 

  • Award Amount: $5,000
  • Next Deadline: October 1, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: November 1, 2023

Tony Alviani Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Tony Alviani. It will be awarded to a high school senior or current undergraduate student planning to pursue a business or computer science degree in Pennsylvania. Adults enrolled in an eligible undergraduate program can apply by writing an essay about their father figure and why they’re special. 

  • Award Amount: $500
  • Deadline: October 1, 2023
  • Winners Announcement Date: November 1, 2023

About Scholarships for Adults Over 25

adult over 25 scholarships

Pursuing higher education during any stage of life poses unique challenges, especially when considering the financial implications and potential student loan debt. But returning to school as an adult is an entirely different circumstance that may involve families, work commitments, and less flexibility than a traditional college student. 

Adult scholarships aim to support these challenges and help recipients pursue a career change, personal development, or just the fulfillment of a long-held dream. In addition to other forms of financial aid, such as federal assistance or grant opportunities, scholarships make higher education more attainable for those starting or returning to school. 

What are Scholarships for Adults Over 25? 

Scholarships for adult students are financial awards that help offset the cost of education (or pay for it entirely in some cases). They are different from scholarships curated for high school or college students since they only target those over 25, addressing the distinct needs and challenges many adult students face. These scholarships may take into account the life experiences, previous education, work history, and personal journeys of applicants. However, all scholarships have varying criteria, so check with each one to determine if you’re eligible. 

Types of Scholarships for Adults Over 25

Although adults have different backgrounds than traditional students, they still qualify for several scholarships. Here are some of the most common scholarship types for adults: 

Merit-Based Scholarships

These scholarships recognize adult learners’ diverse talents and experiences, whether in academics, arts, work experience, or other fields. While some may require a minimum GPA, others focus on life experiences, professional achievements, or community involvement that demonstrate merit. Merit-based scholarships are typically available for those pursuing an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, or technical or vocational education.

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships help adults with financial challenges that prevent them from pursuing higher education. Applicants typically provide financial documentation, ensuring those with financial concerns receive adequate support. When determining applicants’ financial needs, these programs may also consider other factors, like child expenses and housing payments. 

Student-Specific Scholarships

Adults may qualify for specific scholarships depending on their personal background. Student-specific scholarships are based on various factors, such as ethnicity, gender, or life experiences, and encourage qualifying adults to continue or start their education. 

Career-Specific Scholarships

If you have a distinct career path or field of study in mind, you may qualify for a career-specific scholarship. These opportunities target students who want to become a particular profession, such as future teachers, nurses, or engineers. Whether funded by a private donor or local company, these scholarships help adults find new careers. 

College-Specific Scholarships

Many colleges and universities value the experiences of adult students and, resultingly, offer scholarships to encourage enrollment. Even if your school doesn’t offer college scholarships specifically for adults, they may offer other incoming scholarships based on your previous academic or work experience. 

How To Find Scholarships for Adults

You can search online for adult scholarships, but Bold.org is the best platform to find opportunities. Dedicated to connecting students with scholarship opportunities, Bold.org has a substantial selection of awards for various demographics, including adults returning to school. You can also find other scholarships, such as career or student-specific programs, to get as much financial aid as possible. 

Additionally, consider contacting the financial aid offices of the institutions you’re interested in, as many colleges offer scholarships for non-traditional students and adults. Local community organizations, employers, and professional associations might also have scholarship programs for adults pursuing further education.  

How to Apply for Adult Scholarships: A Step-by-Step Guide 

When you’re ready to start applying for scholarships, we recommend using Bold.org to streamline the process. Here’s how to get started: 

Step 1: Visit Bold.org

Head to Bold.org, a scholarship platform with numerous opportunities for adults. You can sign up for a free account and then create a profile highlighting your journey as an adult and why you’re returning to school. 

Step 2: Browse Scholarship Programs

You can start searching through the available scholarships when you’ve created your account and profile. You can sort scholarships to find the ones specifically for adults or use the search tool and experiment with keywords to find suitable opportunities for your educational goals. 

Step 3: Determine Your Eligibility 

Before diving into the application process, take a moment to assess your eligibility. As an adult student, you’ll find scholarships for your unique life experiences, career aspirations, and educational goals. Ensure you fit the criteria of the scholarships you’re eyeing and can submit the required parts of the applications on time. 

Step 4: Work on Your Applications

Given everything you’ve experienced, you have compelling wisdom and lessons to share. Customize your application to resonate with the scholarship’s intent while highlighting your perspective. Additionally, optimize your Bold.org profile to match the scholarship’s scope, showcasing why you deserve to win based on your experiences. 

Step 5: Proofread and Submit

Before submitting your applications, double-check your work and ensure they’re ready. Correct any errors and confirm it conveys the message you want to communicate When you’re comfortable with the applications, submit and await a reply. 

Step 6: Stay Updated

After submission, you can check your dashboard on Bold.org for any updates or communication from the scholarship provider. You may also receive emails with status updates, so be sure to stay alert in case you move forward or need to provide additional information. 

Tips for Winning an Adult Scholarship

If you want to increase your chances of winning an adult scholarship, follow these expert tips when you apply: 

Tip 1: Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start your scholarship search; instead, start as early as possible to research scholarships, gather necessary documents, and craft compelling applications. Plus, early birds often have the advantage of accessing scholarships before they’re widely advertised. 

Tip 2: Embrace Your Life Experiences

Your journey as an adult learner is unique, filled with experiences that younger students might not have. Emphasize your life lessons, previous challenges, and the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. Remember, your perspective is worth sharing and can make your applications stand out. 

Tip 3: Tailor Your Applications

Generic applications are easy to spot, so customize yours to align with the scholarship’s intentions. Dive deep into what the organizer values and customize your responses to resonate with their goals. 

Tip 4: Highlight Your Commitment to Learning

As an adult, returning to education is a significant decision to make. Express your commitment to learning, your reasons for pursuing further education, and how it aligns with your career and personal aspirations. 

Tip 5: Write a Strong Essay

If you have to submit an essay for a scholarship, use it as a chance to tell your story. Focus on clarity, authenticity, and passion. Discuss why you’re returning to school and what you hope to gain while adhering to the requirements of the prompt (if provided). 

Tip 6: Apply for Multiple Scholarships

Bold.org has hundreds of scholarships you may qualify for, and you aren’t limited to just one. The more you apply, the higher your chances of winning, so take advantage and submit as many applications as possible. 

Tip 7: Solidify Your Bold.org Profile

Your profile is often the only requirement to apply for scholarships on Bold.org. You want it to showcase everything you want to demonstrate to the scholarship panels, so take time to make it stand out and appeal to them. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships for Students Over 25

For more information, we’ve found frequently asked questions and provided thorough answers to help you with your scholarship search. 

Are scholarships for adults over 25 available for graduate students?

Yes, scholarships for adults over 25 are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Many organizations and institutions recognize adult learners’ unique challenges and offer financial help for several education levels. However, each program’s eligibility criteria will likely vary, so ensure you qualify as a graduate student.  

What happens if I win a scholarship but choose to defer my admission? 

If you win a scholarship but decide to defer your admission, the award may carry over to your future start term. Some scholarships may allow you to defer, while others may require you to reapply. For more information, contact the scholarship provider with any specific questions. 

Is it too late to look for scholarships?

It’s never too late to return to school and look for scholarships! While many scholarships target high school seniors or first-year college students, adults at various stages of their lives qualify for numerous scholarships. To get started, head to Bold.org and create a free account to find adult scholarships today. 

What are some other resources for adult students? 

Adult students can reach out to their local adult education center, community college, or professional organizations to find resources in their area. Many of these programs offer flexible schedules and financial aid opportunities tailored to adult learners, but it depends on your area and desired services. 

Can you get FAFSA after 25? 

Yes, you can apply for FAFSA after 25. Generally, any US citizen enrolled in an eligible degree or certification program can apply for the FAFSA. In fact, after turning 24, you’re considered an “independent student,” meaning you won’t need to provide parental information, potentially increasing your eligibility for financial aid. 

How do you pay for college later in life?

Paying for college later in life is achievable through a combination of scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, employer tuition assistance, or personal savings. Exploring community colleges or online courses can also offer more affordable options. Qualifying applicants can also apply for student loans. 

Are scholarships taxable income?

Scholarship money for qualifying expenses like tuition, fees, and required books and supplies is generally tax-free. However, amounts used for incidental expenses like room and board are taxable. It’s essential to consult IRS guidelines or a tax professional for specific questions. 

How many scholarships can you get?

There’s no limit to the number of scholarships you can receive. You can apply for as many scholarships as possible to fully cover the cost of tuition and related expenses. Each scholarship has its own criteria, and meeting these can increase the chances of winning multiple awards. 

Similar Posts