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7 Tips For Adults Returning To School

Updated on April 22, 2010
Student takes notes during lecture
Student takes notes during lecture

You Can Do It

Maybe you have always wanted to get a college degree and never had the time. Or maybe today’s uncertain economic climate has convinced you that it makes good sense to acquire some kind of skill or training in case yours should become obsolete. Whatever the reason, increasing your education is always a good thing. Today, it is easy to get a degree online, but there are many advantages to learning in a classroom setting as against sitting at home alone in front of a computer. If you want to experience the benefits of a classroom, but are scared of taking the plunge, then the following tips may help.

1. Do your homework first. Decide what skills you have and what type of program you may be best suited for. Once you have done that, pay a visit to your local library or go online and research the program/s you have in mind.

2. Talk to an advisor. Pay a visit to your community college and study their course listings. The college may have updated information that you didn’t pick up at the library. Take a few handouts of the courses you are interested in and ask to speak to an advisor. He/she will be able to advise you on availability, schedules and the like.

3. Seek out financial aid. Nowadays there are more ways for adults to finance their college education than ever before. You may qualify for grants or scholarships, loans or tuition reimbursement. And if you work for the federal government, you may be eligible for financial aid or a work-study program.

4. Be flexible. It may turn out that the program you set your heart on is either sold out for that semester or no longer being offered. You may have to either change locale, choose another program or wait.

5. Try community college. It’s usually more affordable in terms of fees and commuting distance. Also, you are more likely to meet people from your neighborhood with whom you can make friends. However, you want to meet and interact with as many new people as possible to enhance your educational experience.

6. Be open minded. Things may have changed a lot from the days when you were in school. Open yourself up to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Accept these chamges without sacrificing your values.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many college professors are helpful and don’t mind students asking questions. However, they may be restricted in the amount of time they can spend with a student outside of regular class time. Labs exist for this very purpose and are staffed with knowledgeable people who can help. Also, joining a study group can not only make studying and learning easier, but may also help you forge a few friendships.

So, be brave. Take that plunge and do something for yourself that will benefit you for a lifetime. Going back to school as an adult can open up new horizons for you that you never dreamed possible.


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    • quildon profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Joseph 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Good for you. I did too.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I returned to school as an adult and thoroughly enjoyed it!


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