Paying for College as a Working Adult: Financial Aid Options

Between mortgages, childcare costs and other obligations, returning to college poses financial barriers for working adults. However various aid offerings make career enhancement or reskilling more affordable through part-time course flexibility leveraging grants, employer tuition assistance and targeted funding streams benefiting non-traditional enrollment.

Completing the FAFSA

Despite earning current incomes, completing the federal student aid application qualifies adults for Pell Grants up to $6,895 annually based on overall household size and past year’s taxable earnings rather than just present pay.

Exploring Employer Education Benefits

Starbucks offers full tuition coverage for Arizona State University’s online program while companies like UPS and Verizon subsidize thousands in tuition aid annually for degrees boosting careers.

Investigating Special Programs

Scholarships like the Jeannette Rankin Grant cater to women over 35. Some states offer specialized aid for underserved demographics. Veterans receive full GI Bill funding as well.

Taking Limited Course Loads

Balancing just 2-3 classes per semester allows progressing towards career-advancing credentials or reskilling gradually while minimizing loan amounts borrowed.

Paying for College as a Working Adult: Financial Aid Options


Q: What barriers do adult learners face seeking aid?
A: Difficulties accessing financial documents or computing eligibility given complications from shifting incomes, family configurations and prior academic histories.

Q: Do colleges offer dedicated adult funding?
A: Sometimes. Ask academic advisors about possibilities like experiential learning credits saving tuition. For-profit colleges market robustly to adult learners as well.

Returning to the classroom and juggling the costs no longer needs to limit goal realization. Alternative aid combined with consistent perseverance consummates educational dreams on manageable budgets.

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