Scholarships for Returning Students

Contrary to popular belief, scholarships are not only meant for students who have recently graduated high school. Several awards are dedicated to those who decide to return to college after years or even decades! Here are just a few scholarships for returning students that you’ll want to look into.

Student on laptop applying for scholarships

1. Return2College

Return2College is one award that has no age limit (as long as you’re over 17 years old. Winners will receive $1,000 and the application process is extremely simple. All you need to do is enter your contact information, and details about your education and career goals, and write a three-sentence “essay” on why you want to get your degree. And, you can even enter multiple times with different essays! Applications are due at the end of January.

2. Herman Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

The Herman Lehman Scholarship is designed to support those with financial need and transform racial equality. Thus, students can receive $3,000 for up to four years as long as they continue to meet the criteria. To be eligible, applicants need to

  • First, one must be a U.S. citizen
  • Additionally, one must be attending college for the first time or transferring to a four-year university prior to their junior year
  • So, one must demonstrate financial need
  • Have a history of commitment to public service
  • Have a history of academic achievement
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Submit an essay, two letters of recommendation, a resume, application form, and acceptance letter to the college
  • SAT and ACT scores, though there is no minimum required score to qualify
  • Professional photo if selected

Applications for the Herman Lehman Scholarship tend to be at the beginning of April.

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3. Unigo $10k Scholarship

Anyone over the age of 14, including adult learners, is welcome to apply for the Unigo $10k Scholarship as long as they are legal U.S. residents. The application process is simple, too! Students only need to submit a 250-word or less essay that answers the question “Would you rather be smart, funny, or rich?” Essays are judged on writing ability, creativity, originality, and overall excellence. 

Applications for this particular award are due at the end of the year (December 31st).

4. Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship

The Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship is dedicated to adult women who intend to return to school to study accounting, and the award grants up to $1,000 and is available to both full-time and part-time students. 

To apply, students need to:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Not currently be in high school
  • Complete the application form
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Demonstrate experience in accounting and/or business
  • Have clear goals related to accounting

Students who are returning to college after being in the workforce or have raised children receive preference. Those interested in this scholarship can apply on the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) website, where there are several other awards listed for women interested in pursuing this major. Other awards include:

  • Women in Transition

    • For women who are the “primary source of support” for their family.
    • Awards up to $16,000 over four years
    • Need to be enrolling as an incoming freshman and have a 3.0 GPA for renewal of the award.
  • Women in Need

    • For women who are the “primary source of support” for their family
    • Awards up to $2,000 per year over 2 years
    • A 3.0 GPA is required for renewal
  • Institute of Management Accountants IMA

    • Awards are $2,000 and cover student membership to the IMA, the CMA exam entrance fee, and the CMA exam registration fee.
  • Rhonda J.B. O’Leary Memorial

    • Students have to be attending undergraduate or graduate school in the State of Washington
    • Awards up to $2,000
  • Moss Adams Foundation

    • Lastly, for women of a minority who are returning to school as juniors or seniors, attending undergraduate school for a 5th year, or are graduate students
    • Awards $1,000

Applications for all of these awards are due by the end of April, and students should hear back by the end of June.

5. Working Parent College Scholarship Award

Additionally, for adult learners who have at least one child under the age of 18 and are currently attending college, there is the Working Parent College Scholarship Award Program from The award is annual and grants $1,000 to winners. 

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Attending college, university, or a trade school full or part-time
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Be working at least 12 hours each week over the last 4 weeks before applying
  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Complete an application that includes contact information, current GPA, area of study, and employment information
  • Write a 600-to-1,000-word essay that covers the three keys to balancing work, school, and parenting

The application for the Working Parent College Scholarship Award is due in early to mid-December.

These are only a few of the many scholarships for returning students that you should look into! Using scholarship databases and talking to your college’s financial aid department can help you unearth others that you may qualify for, and remember scholarships are year-round, which means you should be looking for them year-round, too!

Also, did you know that College Raptor has its own scholarship database that can help you find further scholarships for returning students? To get started, check out our Scholarship Search Tool right here and begin applying for FREE MONEY!


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