Going Back to School as an Adult Learner

The start of school was always a favorite time of mine. Fresh school year, new school supplies, new classmates and professors, the feeling of “anything is possible”. Along with the excitement of starting something new, there was apprehension about the course load and work involved – would I be up to the challenge?

For those who may have been out of the learning arena for awhile, these apprehensions may be magnified. However, there are steps that you can take to set yourself up for success:

  • Talk to your educational consultant about the enrollment process and options available for adult learners. If possible, take a physical tour of any campus locations. Make connections with those in charge; they will become valuable assets to you during your learning process.
  • Fill out your application for admission. Make sure that your learning institution has all the necessary paperwork it needs to enroll you, including past transcripts.
  • Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).There is no age limit for federal or state aid. Learn more about Financial Assistance here.
  • Complete required placement tests or, if your college offers them, take exams to see if they can offer you credit for “prior learning” experiences.
  • Make an appointment with an educational consultant or advisor to map out your course load and project out courses necessary to complete your degree or certification. This “map” or plan will come in handy every semester when it comes time to register for courses.
  • Sign up for your courses, being realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to learning.  If you are not a morning person, it might be best if you sign up only for afternoon or evening courses. If you are signing up for online courses, make sure that you are aware of assignment due dates to ensure you’ll be able to meet those deadlines.

If you are returning from the military:

  • Make an appointment with an educational consultant or veteran’s counselor at your college. Your military transcript may be worth college credit. Take the time to talk to someone who is familiar with the military to civilian transfer so they can offer advice and assistance.
  • Check to ensure that you are taking advantage of all military financial aid available to you and your branch of service. Learn more about Military Tuition Assistance here.
  • Seek out and network with other military students online and in person; your experiences may give you common ground and allow you to offer support and motivation to one another. The admissions office may offer programs to bring students together on or off campus. If a program isn’t currently available, consider starting one yourself!
  • Understand that your time will not be as tightly structured as when you were in the service. You may need to put systems in place to keep yourself on track. Use online calendars and reminders to schedule assignment due dates and exam dates.

Ed4Career has valuable resources built into our programs and curriculum to help ensure student success. We have skilled Educational Consultants on staff, we offer an Online Student Center as well as Career Coaching. Visit us today to learn more about the Ed4Career difference!