Are student loans the only form of financing for older students?
Apply for a Loan
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011
Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident loan decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one loan provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about loans. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything loan related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
While younger students are offered many different forms of financial aid, older students also have several different methods of financing their educational pursuits—student loans just being one of them. In fact, depending things such as employer, kids, age, and gender, an older student can qualify for a variety of payment plans and scholarships to help fund their college expenses.
First Step: Talk to the Boss
Many companies offer some sort of compensation to employees who wish to go back to school. Depending on the size and type of company a student works for, a simple talk with superiors may result in full or partial payment for school tuition.
For example, many fire departments pay for their fire fighters to go to paramedic school. That’s a savings of thousands of dollars, and years of monthly student loan payments, if the employee seeks the aid offered by the employer.
Keep in mind, most employers will pay no more than the employer assistance they receive from the IRS for funding employee’s higher education pursuits. Currently that number hovers just about $5,000 per year.
Borrowers need to also be very sure they want to pursue and complete their education if they seek assistance from an employer. More often than not, the employer will require full compensation if the employee drops out of the program before graduating.
Seek a Scholarship
There are some scholarships available exclusive to older students. Often times these scholarships have very specific requirements, but that limits the amount of competition in the event a specific student qualifies.
For instance, collegescholarships.org advertises the Elizabeth Pfiffner Debot Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship for single parent mothers age 25 or older attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
There is also the Life Enrichment Scholarship, available to both male and female students age 35 and older who are taking short-term courses.
Students and prospective student loan borrowers should do some research on available scholarships, as there are many that go unclaimed each year.
Student Loans—Old Faithful
Student loans are available to everybody. Contrary to popular belief, student loans are not restricted to recent high school graduates, as there is no age limitation. If an older prospective student doesn’t gain employment benefits, can’t qualify for scholarships, or is without savings, they can apply for and obtain a federal student loan to help pave their way through college.