Six Grown-Up-Friendly College Scholarships

job interviewBy Robyn Tellefsen

You're all grown up now, which means no one's giving you cash for doing your chores, minding your manners, or losing your teeth. But you're not completely on your own -- especially if you're going back to school. Check out these six grown-up-friendly scholarships that can help you make your own education dreams come true.

1. Walmart Associate Scholarship

A college scholarship you can win through your job? Scholarships don't get more grown-up than this. As long as you've worked for Walmart for at least six months -- even part-time -- and you can demonstrate financial need, apply away. You can score a scholarship whether you're participating in Walmart's Lifelong Learning Program through American Public University or you're pursuing higher ed at another accredited school.

Award: Up to $1,500 a year for a certificate program; up to $2,000 a year for an associate or graduate degree; up to $3,000 a year for a bachelor's degree. Awards are renewable.

Application deadlines: Quarterly (March 1; June 1; Sept. 1; Dec. 1)

Apply online:

2. Talbots Women's Scholarships

Not everyone gets to go to college when they're 18. If you're a woman who's pursuing a college degree later in life -- at least 10 years after high school -- you could be a contender for these competitive awards from the Talbots Scholarship Foundation. You'll need to be enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate course of study for the full upcoming academic year.

Award: A $15,000 or $30,000 scholarship. Additional goodies for scholarship winners include gift cards, school supplies and career tools.

Application deadline:Mid-January

Apply online:

3. Mary Tabacchi Scholarship

Some careers seem to lend themselves naturally to the more mature set. Case in point: the average age of massage therapists is in the late 40s, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. If you're discovering spa as a second career, the International Spa (ISPA) Foundation has your education hookup. Part- and full-time undergrads in their second year of a two- or four-year spa-related degree program with a demonstrated interest in spa management are encouraged to apply for this award.

Award: A $2,500 scholarship. Other perks include registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations to attend the ISPA Conference & Expo.

Application deadline: March

Apply online:

4. Russ Griffith Memorial Scholarship

Who says life experience doesn't pay? This is one scholarship you can only get if you've been out of school for five years or longer -- kids need not apply. If you're back in school at least part-time for your undergraduate or graduate degree at an eligible Datatel client college or university (there are more than 750 throughout North America), you could be looking at some free money from the Datatel Scholars Foundation. Winners are chosen based on personal essay and GPA.

Award: A $2,400, $1,600 or $1,000 scholarship, depending on the tuition at your school.

Application deadline: Check site for details.

Apply online:

5. Adult Students in Scholastic Transition

Going back to school as a grown-up is challenging, no matter what your circumstances, but some economic, social and physical challenges can make the task seem insurmountable. Whether you're a single parent, a displaced worker, or you're just entering the workforce, Executive Women International's (EWI) Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) scholarship program is available to help you improve your situation through educational opportunities.

Award: Chapter awards vary; corporate awards are $2,500.

Application deadline: Contact your local EWI Chapter for its specific timeline.

Apply online:

6. Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund

Sometimes government jobs give more than a paycheck. Current civilian federal and postal employees with at least three years of federal service may compete for a Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) scholarship. The merit-based program is open to employees enrolling at least part-time in an associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree program at an accredited college or university.

Award: Regional scholarships range from $250 to $2,500. Top students in each region may also win a FEEA-NTEU Scholarship ($5,000) or a Cooke Scholarship ($1,000 to $3,000).

Application deadline: Applications are available January-March each year.

Apply online:

Your allowance days may be long gone, but the well hasn't dried up completely. Cash in on one of these grown-up-friendly scholarships, and keep your education dreams alive.

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