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If you’re an adult who is considering going back to school, chances are you are juggling a lot—a full-time job, family, tight budget and an already full plate of responsibilities. But, we are here to help.
Whether you are looking to complete a college degree, certificate or credential for the first time, or you are going back to school to start a new career path, here’s some advice.
First—Find your “WHY.” Whether you are seeking the personal feelings of accomplishment that come with completing college or looking to increase your earning potential, it is important to identify why you are going back to school. This will not only keep you motivated when times get tough, but it will keep you focused and on track towards earning your college credential.
Second—Find your college fit. Explore the types of colleges and degrees offered to determine the college that will fit your needs as an adult learner. Four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees and advanced degrees such as master’s and doctorates. Two-year community colleges are often more economical and offer two-year associate degrees and certificates and diplomas that take less than two years to complete.
Third—Find a program that fits your schedule. Unlike traditional students, adult learners have a lot on their plates and schools are more often offering flexible and accelerated programs that seek to meet the unique needs of adult learners including evening or weekend classes and online degree options.
Fourth—Connect with the colleges you are interested in attending. Even if you can’t schedule an in-person visit, it is important to connect with an admissions counselor at the schools you are considering attending. Ask questions about admissions requirements and learn whether or not you will need to take the ACT or the Accuplacer placement exam. Get information about important deadlines for admissions, scholarships, federal and state financial aid, and student loans. If you have previously attended college, have someone at the college review your transcripts to determine if you will receive transfer credit. Be sure to ask about specific campus resources available for adult students.
Finally—Apply for admission. Complete the admission application and be prepared to pay the application fee. Separate applications are typically required to be considered for college-based scholarships.