Returning to School as an Adult

Did you know that the average age of students in college keeps getting higher?  The home page of a resource for adult learners "Back2College" features a great quote by George Elliot.  

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." 

More adults are going back to school - for first degrees, to upgrade job skills, to prepare for a new career or to finish a program started many years earlier.  Although the decision to return to school can be intimidating for adults who have not been in a classroom for years, most are surprised by how accomplished they are as students.  

The options for higher education are wider than ever.  Students can enroll in traditional classroom programs, distance learning classes, electronic courses, TV/video classes, weekend classes - the list goes on. Think about what kind of program best meets your individual needs. There are a variety of resources that explain the various options and help you discover which is right for you. Our advisors can also help you decide which programs fit your needs and goals.  If you have been out of school for some time and think you may need to brush up on reading, math or writing skills, take advantage of Learn-A-Test, courtesy of the D.C. Public Library. Learn-A-Test offers a wide variety of tests and online courses to help you improve your skills. 

Funding your education is an issue for students of all ages.  Remember:

  • Adult learners can apply for most of the same federal and state programs that are available to 'traditional' aged students.  We can help you obtain and complete most of your applications.  
  • Find out if your employer will help with costs. 
  • Ask the colleges you are considering if they will give you credit for prior knowledge or courses.  Reducing the number of classes you have to pay for can reduce your costs. 
  • Contact professional associations for the career field you are preparing for. Many offer scholarships or grants to students in related programs.  
  • Visit the College Info Center and pick up one of our newest publications "Scholarships for Adult Learners."  

Throughout the year, the CIC offers workshops on returning to college for adults.  Check our schedule of events for the next session.  Links to several other web sites of interest to adult students can be found in our More Resources section.

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