It is no secret that we at Saylor Academy are passionate about educational access and college affordability. With nearly 100 full length college courses (33 of which transfer to college credit), Saylor Academy is a great option for any learner looking to START, STUDY and SAVE on a college degree today. However, our superpowers do not stop there. We want to also highlight other opportunities for students, especially adults, to save money as they complete a degree.  

If you are a woman 25 years or older and considering getting a college degree, you are in good company. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there is an increase of women enrolling in post-secondary institutions; with women outnumbering men 11.7 million to 8.8 million in the fall of 2016 alone. These numbers are projected to grow over the next decade. That’s right. In the words of the late, great, Queen of Soul; Aretha Franklin – “Sisters are doing it for themselves.” Despite the crunch of being allotted only twenty-four hours in a day, adult learners are finding the time to manage it all; with 58% working while enrolled in college and 26% raising children.

To lighten the load and to provide support, colleges and universities such as University of Maryland University College and University of Louisville, to name a few, are revamping their programs to become more welcoming to adult learners and working students. The red carpet has been stretched out and institutions are offering accelerated programs, redesigned schedules, flexible majors and on-campus caregiver services for students with children to better help adult students stay in, and graduate from school.

Many foundations and institutions are following suit and committing themselves by financing the academic pursuits of women adult learners through grants and scholarships. No matter the academic focus or profession, there may be a financial opportunity awaiting you. Here is a list of resources that can help you complete or advance your degree without incurring debt. Check out our list below:

Scholarships for Returning Learners – Women

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
To account for the lack of gender equality within the global workforce and to encourage women to pursue education and careers in business, the Zonta International Fund provides thirty-two scholarships; $2,000 each at the district/regional level and six international scholarships in the amount of $8,000 each. To be eligible, you must be a women of any age, pursuing an accredited business or business related program demonstrating outstanding potential in the field. Applications must be submitted via a Zonta club. You may locate one near you here.

Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
Since its inception in 1976, the Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has been operating under the belief that a college education can mean the difference between making a living and making a life. It was the hope of Jeanette Rankin; the namesake of this foundation and the first woman elected to the United States Congress in 1916, to assist in the academic and professional maturation of low-income women. Scholarships are awarded to women ages 35 and older who have decided to return to school to earn a bachelor’s or technical degree. Funds received can be used to cover a wide-range of expenses aside from tuition including living expenses such as childcare, rent and transportation. To review additional details and eligibility requirements you may visit the site here.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation
The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation aims to honor the legacy of Patsy Takemoto Mink; the first woman of color elected to the United States Congress, by furthering her commitment to providing educational access, opportunities and equity to low-income women, especially mothers, as well as ensuring educational enrichment for children. To be considered for one of the five $5,000 education support awards, applicants must be a woman of at least seventeen years or older, a mother with minor children, and pursuing one of the following: (1) a vocational degree/certificate, (2) associate’s degree, (3) a first bachelor’s degree or a professional/master’s/doctoral degree. More information on this foundation can be found here.

Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
The Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund was established to provide educational grants and scholarships to women actively pursuing post-secondary educational goals and professional development in order to secure career advancement within their respective fields. Eligible applicants for this scholarship must be female, a United States citizen and enrolled in a licensed, accredited, or state approved institution. Additional criteria (i.e. scholarship value, academic institution, field of study, and grade point average) may be added and are under the discretion of the elected Trustees. For more details, check out their site here.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education
Established in 1973, this needs based grant program offers one-time financial assistance for women who have decided to return to school to acquire a degree or certification that will enhance their marketability within their careers after previously having their education disrupted. This grant is directed solely towards women who are citizens or legal residents of the United States and Canada with the intention of improving employment through the attainment of a degree or certification. The funds may be used towards academic or technical courses including those offered at online institutions in the United States and Canada. Awardees may receive up to $3,000 in assistance. You can find more details about this resource here.

With student-focused programs, plenty of ways to earn low cost college credit, and scholarships/financial resources available, there is no better time than now to be an adult student in college.

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