In several instances people have to leave their studies and get a break in their education due to financial constraints or family responsibilities. However, they would like to complete their education later on in their twenties, thirties forties or even older, once they are free from their children’s educational needs, or have enough finances to pursue higher education. Usually students older than twenty five and in some cases thirty years of age qualify as mature students, ideal for funding by grant agencies or for government scholarships.
Need for mature students funding
There is a need for mature students funding for a variety of reasons. The courses mature students want to do now may not have been available at the time they completed their education. Another reason is that they may want to change career mid-stream, in which case they want mature students funding for pursuing a graduation or a doctorate in the chosen field. Secondly their finances are stable with supporting income from the spouse, so they can take a year or two off to pursue their educational goals. Many times the companies where mature students work are willing to fund course fees for them, so there is no problem of spending from their own pocket.
Types of mature students funding
Set goals for yourself, as regards the course you want to pursue, the fees for the entire course and how will arrange for funding for mature students. Check your savings and see if you can pay a part of the fees by yourself. Check what scholarships and grants are available from the government or local agencies. Federal and local government agencies offer various types of mature students funding so that interested students do not miss out on a chance to pursue their educational dreams simply for a lack of resources. You can get mature students funding more easily if you plan to pursue higher studies in fields like nursing and education and intend to work with economically under-privileged sections of society. Many social organizations easily give mature students funding for war veterans or women and even under-privileged mature students. Secondly, there will be loss of income in your family as you take off for a few years to complete your education. So preferably search for mature students funding that gives a stipend to support your living expenses as you pursue the degree. Most colleges give a stipend or student allowance to mature students living alone or with their families on campus, as they wish to promote demographic diversity among students and encourage older students to join the educational mainstream,. Hence check with the college or university was you have taken admission regarding mature students funding. So it is advisable to apply to more than one source for funding for mature students as there is a greater chance of success this way in getting a supplemental income along with reimbursement of tuition fees.
Getting mature students funding
Search for all possible sources of mature students funding for the selected course in the selected university or college were you have got admission on the Internet. Various websites like scholarshipexperts.com and college-scholarsips.com offer all possible scholarship sources listed and unlisted making it easier for you to start your search for mature students funding .Check eligibility criterion for the same and understand if you meet the required educational standards, income criteria and age limit. You will be required to submit a written application to the agency offering mature students funding along with the admission letter of the university that has selected you, a complete set of references and annual income details as well. Ask in advance what is specifically required for mature students funding, so that there is less chance of rejection. Ask the human resources department of your company for mature students funding as most companies have an employee education allowance for employees and their families. Request your employer for study leave and enquire if they will sponsor some or all of the course fees, since your higher qualifications will benefit their business in the long run. Employees of local government agencies like firemen, utility providers and the local municipality get subsidy for education and qualify for mature students funding. Check with your local councilor or representative to guide you towards government bodies or private trusts that give mature students funding.
Local rotary clubs or chambers of commerce offer educational grants and partial or full mature students funding depending on their economic status and annual income. Women can benefit with funding from American Association of University Women or approach the Jeannette Rankin Foundation for mature students funding, if you are a woman above the age of 35 years. Army veterans who have served between 1977 and 1985 can apply to Veteran’s Educational Assistance Program for mature students funding or apply for General John Paul Ratay Educational Fund Grants and Senior Grants that has a Designated Scholar Program. In case you have been associated with fund raising for some social organizations or professional agencies like IEEE, in your town or county you can approach them for educational grants or loans.
The Federal government runs the Pell Grant educational funding for students of all ages with a grant of $5350 per annum. They give mature students funding for full-time as well as part –time programs ranging from $100 to $4000. There are different grant programs of mature students funding, for subjects like mathematics and science with maximum annual grants of $4000 per student per annum. Under this system there is a TEACH grant program wherein you get $4000 if you belong to the low income group and intend to teach in public or private schools meant for children from under-privileged backgrounds.
There are other grants for mature students funding, that have a cumbersome and detailed application procedure and you need to give details of your finances, tax returns and pay slips along with banking information. The government will evaluate your form and then inform you about the amount of mature students funding you will be eligible for. Therefore first set your educational goals and then prospect for sources of mature students funding so that you get maximum financial benefit and can complete your long cherished educational dreams.