Useful Back to College Resources for Adults

Today’s campuses have grown age diversified since many adults are making the decision to go back to school. If you’ve dabbled with the decision to go back to college, returning after a lengthy period of time may feel intimidating. If you find you fit into this category you are not alone, many adults are finding they want to finally get that degree.

To help facilitate re-entry into school and offer flexibility, today’s universities offer students a multitude of options to take classes. There are evening, weekend and distance learning programs available to meet individual schedules and options to attend full time, part time, or even one class at a time.

The possibilities are endless and all are designed to meet your needs. The resources available for the non-traditional student are many. By taking advantage of all the resources offered will aid your transition.

Here are some tips to help you get reacquainted with going to school:

*Connect with Other Students

There are many other people just like you who are taking the plunge back into school. Networking with other students you can relate with are an invaluable resource and a wonderful source of support. It is often comforting to talk with others who understand your concerns of balancing a job, family or other obligations in addition to your coursework.

*Career and Academic Counselors

Counselors who work with adults that have decided to go back to college are a great resource to help ease your transition. When you meet with a counselor they can assist you in deciding on a major. During this process they can help you examine the forecast of career trends and also give you support in finding a good fit for you based on your interests and strengths.

Additionally if your chosen college allows life credit they can evaluate your life experience and determine how much additional credit you can receive from achievements you’ve made during your lifetime.

*Attend College Information Sessions

These increasingly popular informational gatherings contain a wealth of information. The sessions are not obligatory and provide an outline of programs and what is expected. Attending sessions at a few of the colleges you are thinking about enrolling in will help you define your goals and aspirations and match these with the right school.

*Online Discussion Forums for Students

Conversing with students from all over the globe is a great way to brainstorm ideas and provides another means of support. Picking one another’s brains is a great way to find out other tips and resources to explore as you continue your studies.

*Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)

In the US, filing the FAFSA is a must. This application determines if you are eligible for financial assistance or a low-interest student loan to pay for your education.

Adults returning to school often have other familial obligations to meet and paying for college may be a hardship. Filing the FAFSA is the first step in exploring ways to fund your studies. If you reside in another country, check with the schools you are considering to find out what financial aid opportunities might be available.

*Scholarships

With the increasingly number of adult students, many organizations are sponsoring scholarships directly geared towards non-traditional students. There are many great search engines on the Internet that can help you find them.

Your college can probably supply you with some great websites, and to get started, you can also explore www.fastweb.com, www.collegenet.com/mach25, and www.collegetoolkit.com. If you fill out a detailed profile, the search engines find scholarship opportunities that you can apply for that may assist in funding your degree program.

Continuing your college education is a wondrous journey to embark upon. The hardest part is taking that first step to make the decision to go for it. Once you get past that milestone, the rest begins to come together.
My last place of employment was in a continuing education department and part of my job was to assist students in making the transition of applying for and getting registered into school. Nothing gave me greater joy than when a student come back to visit and tell their success story. I myself returned to college after a ten year absence and have recently, for the second time, begun traveling the path.

While getting back to school is not always easy, the rewards at the end of the journey are priceless. Do not hesitate to tap into available resources to help you along the way because you’ll find there are a lot of supportive people waiting to aid you as you continue your education.