Looking for financial aid as an adult student seems as though it should be different, especially if you’re thinking about going to school part-time. The basic steps to finding the money you need are the same regardless of your age or situation, though, says George Walter, associate dean of enrollment management at Villanova University.
“If you’ve decided on a school, their website is the best place to start,” Walter says. “They’ll break down their programs — part-time, full-time, online, traditional, adult learner — and provide the specifics of what is available for each of those options.”
Next, fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), through which you provide the financial information used to determine your eligibility. The FAFSA is used not just for federal aid, but for state aid and for aid through individual schools as well. Specify which school or schools should get your FAFSA.
There are other sources of help beside the government, of course, including private scholarships. Walter recommends Fastweb.com as a resource that can help you find funding based on the key words in the profile information you provide when you create an account. “Don’t assume you make too much money to get financial aid,” Walter emphasizes.
Follow Judy Weightman on Twitter at @JudyWEdu.