Fund My Future > College Planning > Non-Traditional Students > College Application Process

College Application Process for Non-Traditional Students


  • Your first step will be to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. The FAFSA is the federal document that calculates how much a student is expected to contribute, how much federal aid a student qualifies for, or how much a student family is estimated to contribute.
  • All federal scholarships, grants, and loans require this form. Many scholarships, both public and private, require a copy of the FAFSA with your application. Refer to the FAFSA sub-section in this section on this website for more information.
  • Search for scholarships, grants, and loans that apply to non-traditional students to get the most financial aid. Many of the resources that traditional students use do not have age requirements so apply for these as well.
  • Consider other financial resources that are available only to non-traditional students. These include: tax credits for lifelong learning, tuition reimbursement programs offered by employers, and low interest home equity loans. Research city, county or state “retraining” programs that cover many non-traditional students, or ask community or professional organizations if they have resources for non-traditional students, or if they might be willing to help you in other ways such as with daycare or the costs of textbooks.
  • Listed below are some online resources for non-traditional students. Just remember to be creative when looking for resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help!


College for Adults
College for Adults has a step-by-step guide to the process of finding financial aid, choosing a school, tax credits available for education, and uncovering community resources.  College for Adults is a project of the National College Transition Network.

Back to College:
Back to College has links to information about admissions, financial aid, career planning, credit options, and degree programs. The “Frequently Asked Question” section is a good starting place on this site.

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