How to Get Financial Aid and Scholarships for Your Second Degree

financial aid and scholarships for a second degree can feel like uncharted territory after the journey of financing your first degree. The good news is, depending on the type of second degree you’re pursuing, a whole new realm of scholarships may become available to you!

In this article, we’ll provide guidance on securing financial aid and scholarships for your second degree, tailored to different scenarios based on your current degree and the one you’re pursuing.

Navigating Financial Aid for Associate’s Degree Holders Pursuing a Bachelor’s

For students holding an Associate’s degree and aiming for a Bachelor’s degree, the avenues for financial assistance are similar to those available to most undergraduate students. Federal aid, including the Pell Grant and federal loans, is accessible by completing the FAFSA. Ensure you complete this crucial step to tap into these resources.

Moreover, students in this category remain eligible for many scholarships typically available to current undergraduate students. Most scholarships require enrollment or acceptance into a Bachelor’s degree program, opening up additional funding opportunities.

Exploring Financial Aid Options for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates Pursuing a Second Bachelor’s

For students holding a Bachelor’s degree who opt to pursue another Bachelor’s, various motivations may drive this decision. Some may develop an interest in a significantly different field from their initial major. In such cases, enrolling in another undergraduate program can provide foundational knowledge in the new field, setting the stage for pursuing more advanced degrees in the future.

However, unlike first-time Bachelor’s candidates, students seeking a second Bachelor’s degree cannot access the same federal resources. Pell Grants, typically available to first-time undergraduates, are not an option for them. Nevertheless, they remain eligible for Federal Stafford Loans, provided they have not reached their undergraduate loan limit.

Key Considerations for Bachelor’s Degree Pursuers

scholarships emerge as the primary financial aid avenue for individuals pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree. Many undergraduate scholarships stipulate enrollment or acceptance in an undergraduate program, with no specific requirement regarding prior Bachelor’s degrees.

For those embarking on a second Bachelor’s journey, sharing the compelling narrative behind their educational shift can significantly bolster scholarship applications. Given the relatively uncommon nature of pursuing a second Bachelor’s, leveraging personal stories can help applicants stand out.

Moreover, exploring scholarships tailored to nontraditional students, adults, or parents can prove fruitful. Platforms like Scholarships360 curate comprehensive lists of scholarships catering to these demographics, offering tailored opportunities aligned with individual backgrounds and experiences. Be sure to delve into these resources to uncover relevant scholarship opportunities suited to your unique educational path.

Navigating Graduate Studies with a Bachelor’s Degree

Individuals holding a Bachelor’s degree and eyeing enrollment in a graduate program are poised to tap into a plethora of resources to fund their education. Graduate programs often provide paid opportunities like research and teaching assistant positions, which not only align with coursework but also offer better compensation compared to undergraduate on-campus jobs.

Moreover, graduate students can leverage Direct Unsubsidized federal loans, which extend up to $20,500 annually. While these loans carry higher interest rates than subsidized federal loans, they remain a preferable choice over private loans. Additionally, numerous external scholarships cater specifically to graduate students, presenting further avenues for financial support.


Regardless of whether you’re pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree or advancing to graduate studies, there are various avenues to secure financial aid and scholarships. While federal loans and assistantship opportunities are available for graduate students, scholarships play a crucial role in funding both undergraduate and graduate education. By exploring these options and leveraging your unique circumstances, you can pave the way for your academic and career pursuits without being burdened by financial constraints.