Bay College Planning Specialists

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Scholarships for Non Traditional Students


California Certified College Planning Specialists


By Ben Liles

In times of economic hardship scholarships for non traditional students are more important than ever as conventional financing options for college become increasingly scarce.

Logically, when economic prosperity is abundant there is a surplus of cash into general scholarship funds as well as a greater likelihood that parents of college aged children will be able to comfortably afford to send their kids to institutions of higher education. Non traditional students are generally defined as adults (22+ years old) entering college for the first time. Needless to say an overwhelming majority of scholarships are geared towards recent high school graduates with far less money being earmarked for the slightly older students. This article will outline some of the options available for non traditional students seeking scholarships.

Undergraduate transfer programs

While the vast majority of scholarship money is funneled directly to students attending four year colleges directly out of high school there is still a significant amount of money being awarded for students of all ages that are transferring from two year community college to four year universities. As more universities have grown to directly align themselves with local community colleges the funds for these scholarships have become increasingly accessible. Although in many cases initially intended for students only a couple of years removed from high
school these scholarship opportunities are almost always open to anyone showing merit worthy of the financial incentive to continue their education.

One popular source (among many) for these transfer program scholarships can be found through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. While complete information is available at the website of the foundation ( the basic parameters are that students progressing from a two year college program (junior college) to a four year college or university can be awarded as much as $30,000 for their continued educational pursuits. The complete process involved with applying for this financial aid can be found at the aforementioned website that is overseen by the foundation.

Continuing education for adults scholarships

Most people are not aware that while a small minority of total scholarship money goes towards continuing education for adults there is a still a significant amount available that is readily accessible when searched for in the right places. Far too many adults considering beginning their college careers are quick to use the excuse that “there is not any scholarship money for someone my age” when in fact that simply is not true. It would behoove those adults considering going to college to contact the local schools that they are considering attending and inquiring about the scholarship opportunities. Many schools around the country are embracing the positive impact they can have on their communities by instituting money specifically set aside for non traditional students. A short list of the many schools on this list includes Providence College, North Iowa Community College, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Consider sports scholarships

For many adults reading this article the very idea of being awarded sports scholarship money may initially sound completely ridiculous. The truth of the matter though is that the majority of sports scholarships are far less competitive and require less athletic prowess than the young athletes playing football on Saturdays that most people associate with full ride scholarships. Collegian athletes encompass a very wide range of sports that range from swimming, to tennis, to fencing, and golf. A little known fact is that every year hundreds of girls golf college scholarships go unused because primarily second tier universities can not find enough women interested in the sport to fill the available scholarships. Whether a non traditional student is shooting for an archery, handball, or bowling scholarship there is a realistic chance any student can find a sports scholarship in their area that they have a realistic chance of earning.


Someone that is proactive in their search for scholarship money will undoubtedly be pleasantly surprised with the opportunities they find. Active research, continued persistence, and thinking outside the box are the keys for non traditional students to find scholarships.

About the author:
Ben and his wife are the happy end products of finding scholarships for non
traditional students
. Now a golf coach and father of two beautiful daughters Ben shares his knowledge on his blog:

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Filed under: Admissions, athletics, California Colleges, Campus Lifestyle, College Financing, College Planning, High School, ncaa, Scholarship, Students, Universities, , , , , , , , , , ,

Free San Francisco Bay Area College Planning Workshops


Bay Area College Planning Workshops will help you to learn about the many issues College financial aid funding can typically present to a family. We will present useful information which can assist in safeguarding your families future. Our San Francisco Bay Area College Planning  Workshops will teach your family about:


  •  Tax Scholarships: What are they?
  •  Ways to get Thousands of Free dollars from the Colleges of your choice.
  •  How to keep on top of college admissions, FAFSA and scholarships.
  •  How some families have reduced their out of pocket college expenses by thousands.
  •  How some middle and or upper-middle class families send their kids to college for free.
  •  How to double or even triple your eligibility for Financial Aid.
  •  How to pick colleges that give the best Financial Aid packages. 
  •  Unlocking the unknown – How to win at the College funding game.
  •  The 5 myths concerning College funding.
  •  How to help your student find direction in the College search process.


December 2009 Workshops
Alameda Free Library Workshop
1550 Oak Street,
Alameda, CA 94501
Date: Tues Dec 8th
Time: 6:30pm-8pm
Redwood Christian High School Workshop
1000 Paseo Grande, 
San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Date: Tues Dec 8th
Time: 7pm-8:15pm
Webinar: “Learn the Insider Secrets to Get Free Financial Aid for College!”
Click on the link to register:
Date: Wed Dec 9th
Time: 6:30pm-8pm PST
Moraga Library Workshop
1500 St. Mary’s Road,
Moraga, CA 94556
Date: Sat Dec 12th
Time: 11am-12pm

Find out about the many more College funding secrets many Colleges hope you will never discover.  

 – Prior registration required for all workshops and teleseminars –



Filed under: Admissions, AP Courses, Applications, athletics, Banks, Bay Area, California Colleges, Campus Lifestyle, Career Path, Career Search, Classes, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Consultants, Graduate School, Graduation, High School, Home Schooling, Internships, Junior College, Law Schools, Major, Med School, ncaa, Nursing, Out of State Tuition, Parental Guidance, Public Service, Recruitment, Refinance, Scholarship, single parent families, Students, Tax Credits, Tuition, Universities, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Five College Recruiting Steps for the High School Senior Athlete

By Laurie Richter

College recruiting activities for senior year for every student athlete will be focused primarily on applications, visits, and financial aid. But what else you do will depend on the-college-pros4how much recruiting attention you have received. If you now have a group of schools that you’re interested in and that are expressing interest back, you can move on to the next set of activities.

But if you don’t, you will need to cycle back to the steps mentioned in my articles about junior year and tactics for contacting coaches. The majority of Division I scholarship spots are filled at this point even if the letters of intent haven’t actually been signed. Despite this, there are plenty of schools that will still need athletes to fill their rosters in partial and non-scholarship spots.

Here are five steps that need to happen during the first part of senior year:

1. Get your college applications in, the earlier the better. 

Make sure you know the application deadlines as there are some variations but the majority of applications need to be in by January 15 or February 1. You shouldn’t wait this long if you can avoid it. Many schools offer rolling admissions which means that applications are considered as they are received, and once the spots are gone, they’re gone. As an athlete with a competition season coming up, it’s great to know where you’re going sooner rather than later.

You also need to decide if you want to pursue early admissions at your top school. This will be most relevant if you don’t have a scholarship offer and you’re applying to very selective schools where early admissions may increase your chances of getting in. Also, at the Division III schools where there are no athletic scholarships and therefore no commitments, early admissions might make sense for another reason: if a coach is pursuing two athletes for a spot and one gets in via early admissions, they may stop pursuing the other one.

2. Make official and unofficial visits to any schools you’re considering but haven’t seen yet.

Official visits are paid for by Division I and Division II schools. You can take a total of 5. Unofficial visits are paid for by the student athlete and you can take as many as you want. Most Division III visits are unofficial. Do not make a decision about a school without visiting it. Liking a coach is not a good enough reason if you know nothing else about the school and keep in mind that if you sign a letter of intent and the coach that you are so fond of leaves, you are still committed to playing at that school.

These visits should all be done by the late fall if possible although this will be tough if you’re participating in a fall sport. Try to go when the team is not in season so both the coaches and players will have more time to spend with you, and you may be able to informally scrimmage with them.

Bring your parents or another responsible adult with you if possible. You will be starry eyed during these visits, you need someone else to help keep it in perspective for you.

3. Take care of the financial aid application process.

If you plan on applying for need-based financial aid (and most people do), make sure you get the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form filled out and submitted on time. This will help schools figure out how much your family can contribute and how much aid you will need.

You should also check the websites of your top schools and see what kinds of merit based scholarships you can apply for. Many of these require additional applications with essays and letters of reference and they have varying deadlines. If you have decent grades and test scores, you can finance a lot of your education through these kinds of scholarships . There may also be lots of scholarships available through your local community. Check with your high school counselor as they usually have lots of information about local scholarships.

4. Here are a few things to do if you don’t have the kind of interest and offers you were hoping for.

E-mail or call coaches at schools you’re applying to. Let them know how much you’re interested, that you are applying, and that you’d like to be able to walk on. If they still have a need for someone in your position, they will let you know and you may get an 11th hour offer if they see your profile and like what they see. If they’re already full, they may agree to have you try out as a walk-on. It’s unlikely that you’ll get a scholarship that first year but you may end up being able to play where you want to.

Check for showcase types of events. Some sports have unsigned senior competitions so that coaches who still have needs can see who is still available.

Ask your high school coach and athletic director to help. They may have some contacts that know about openings that you wouldn’t know about.

5. Breathe easy and enjoy the rest of your senior year.

Once you’ve taken care of the applications, the financial aid, and the visits, you’ve done what you can. With a little luck and some good planning, you’ll have this all out of the way so you can enjoy your senior sports season without it hanging over your head. Making the final decision is a topic for another article. Hopefully, you’ll have some choices to decide between.

About the author:

I am the author of Put Me In, Coach: A Parent’s Guide to Winning  the Game of College Recruiting. Find it at, or I successfully navigated recruiting with my son. The book is for athletes who want to take charge of their own recruiting.

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Filed under: Admissions, Applications, athletics, California Colleges, Campus Lifestyle, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Consultants, High School, Home Schooling, ncaa, Out of State Tuition, Recruitment, Scholarship, single parent families, Students, Universities, , , , , , , ,


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