Nontraditional Student Scholarship Opportunities

Every student has a different educational journey. If your path was a nontraditional one, unique to you, please review these scholarship opportunities that may be available to you.


The Cox Access Scholars Program provides for hard-working, nontraditional, Indiana residents who are academically strong, have demonstrated financial need, have a commitment to employment, and have a cumulative gap of five years or more in their college education. Students selected as Cox Access Scholars earn a scholarship for 100% of the total cost of attendance, as determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance, and must complete 8-10 hours per week of campus programming throughout the academic year. Please note this is a highly competitive award with only one or two new recipients chosen each year.

To be eligible for a Cox Access Scholarship, a student must:

  • Enter IU classified as an Indiana Resident, with a cumulative gap of five years or more in your college education.
  • Be pursuing your first baccalaureate degree.
  • Be a full-time student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours upon arrival and throughout your academic career at IU Bloomington.
  • Be earning a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or higher (4.0 scale) at time of admission.
  • Demonstrate financial need by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15 for the upcoming academic year.

*Please note: NCAA athletes are not eligible for the Cox Scholarships.

We strongly recommend that you learn more about the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Scholars Program before applying.


Thanks to a generous gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation, IUB is able to award Osher Reentry Scholar awards to a minimum of 20 recipients each year. Award amounts vary from $1250-$3000 depending on enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time) and available funds.

To be eligible for an Osher Reentry Scholarship, a student must:

  • be entering or returning to IUB after experiencing a cumulative gap of at least five or more years in their higher education
  • be pursuing their first baccalaureate degree
  • demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA
  • anticipate participation in the workforce for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation
  • show academic promise and a commitment to obtaining their degree

Apply for the Osher Reentry Scholarship here.


The scholarships under this category are funded by various local and civic organizations and are for undergraduate students who have experienced a gap in their education and are committed to returning to school to complete their degree. Preference for these scholarships varies by donor intent. All new and returning adult students are encouraged to apply. Award amounts can vary from $250-$1500 for the academic year.

Apply for the Returning Student Scholarship here.


You should check with your employer, along with any civic, religious, or community affiliations you may have, to inquire about possible scholarships. We’ve listed a few possibilities here as well.

BUEA Incentives for Bloomington Residents
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association (BUEA) offers direct and indirect benefits to those who live within the Enterprise Zone.

IU Credit Union
Available to part-time and full-time IU students who are members of the IU Credit Union.

Indiana Women's Education Foundation
Scholarships for women in a variety of fields of study and life circumstances. Check out their website for more information and the application.

PEO Scholarships
For women who have had a 24 consecutive month gap in their education and are within 24 consecutive months of completing their degree. The application is due at least 10 weeks prior to the start of the semester. For more information and the scholarship application, email Lou Moir at .