Top Stories in Literacy: April 9

Top Stories in LiteracyMore adults earning college credit for “life experience”
Getting credit for life experience such as working in jobs, starting businesses, serving in the military and volunteering time is attractive to adults who want to go back to school but feel overwhelmed by what it entails.

Jobs are there, for the right skills
One of the populations that holds the greatest promise is adults who started college but never finished. Many of these are people who are unemployed or underemployed and require new skills and training. According to the Stronger Nation report, there are now 2,136,681 adults across Florida that have completed some college but never earned a degree.

The Financial Literacy Movement
Some have blamed economic policy makers on Capitol Hill, while others like the Occupy Wall Street protesters have channeled their anger toward large corporate executives. However, a growing number of people point to the education system, in particular the lack of financial literacy education in the United States for our economic crisis.

Information Superhighway ‘Bypassing Adult Learners’
This British report concludes that although the internet has helped generations of young adults, adults continue to be disengaged from this learning opportunity.

The cost of high turnover in fundraising jobs
The average amount of time a fundraiser stays at his or her job: 16 months. The direct and indirect costs of finding a replacement: $127,650.

Scholarships for Continuing Education

To go along with the GED theme of this month, I decided to include a post that has information on scholarship opportunities for adults looking to continue their education. Jan Smith put together a wonderful blog post a while back that went over several free resources for financial aid. Be sure to check that out, along with visiting these other sources.

The following are different scholarship sources. Before you give up the search, be sure you have covered all battle grounds. I found these from a great website focused on Continuing Education. 

Federal Grants
Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants are available through the federal government. The money eligible adults receive from these two grants range from a hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. You cannot apply for the grants directly to the federal government. You must apply through your college or school of choice and they will forward it to the federal government. The earlier you apply through a school, the more likely you are to receive a federal grant. Additional information is avialable at Federal Student Financial Aid.

State Grants
Most states provide grants to residents. Some of these grants are based on financial need, others are based ethic orientation, and for those enrolling in designated college programs such as technical fields. Some states even provide grants for adults desiring to continue their education. Unlike federal grants, application must be made directly to a state’s commission on higher education.

College Grants
Many traditional online colleges, universities, and technical schools provide students with grant money for tuition not funded by other sources. Many schools offer these grants to minorities, low economic background students, and older students returning to school for continuing education. Not only do adults benefit from these grants, schools benefit financially for enrolling these students. This in turn enables the school to provide additional grant money for adults returning to school.

Corporate Scholarships
Corporate scholarships are targeted for adults from underprivileged backgrounds, outstanding scholarship, community involvement, or enrollment in specific programs such as nursing. Although corporate scholarships have deep scholarship money pockets, the competition is steep. Applying to these scholarships must be early, along with accurate applications.

Private Grants
These grants offered through charities, religious organizations, community associations, fraternal orders, unions, and other organizations. For example the U.S. Navy Relief Society provides grants for active and retired members, along with their families for continuing education programs.

List of scholarships available for non-traditional students. 

FastWeb scholarship database includes more than 230 awards with a minimum age restriction of 25 years or older. FastWeb also has tips for writing your essays, so check that out before you start applying.