I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up with young students. Will I be out of place?

Adults are generally very motivated and view the college experience as a wonderful learning opportunity as well as a chance to fulfill their goals. Whether it be personal enrichment or professional advancement, they usually want to get the most from their investment. Instructors also enjoy and welcome the adult student’s input and experience in classroom interactions. Not only do adult students “keep up”, they are excelling in their studies.

Some adult accelerated programs require that students be at least 23 years old with 2-5 years of work experience for admission, so in some cases you wouldn’t be in class with recent high school graduates at all.

It’s been awhile since I was in school, so my skills are a little rusty. Where can I get review in English or Math to be better prepared?

Many adults who have been out of school for some time feel they need a refresher in certain subject areas. Most colleges and universities offer learning centers or other academic facilities to help you assess your abilities, and also offer remedial programs that enhance your skills to help you succeed. Many of these programs are available on campus or online as well as through distance education. We periodically have workshops in our community for students to refresh their skills. WorkOne and Adult Basic Education have resources as well.

I doubt that I will qualify for Financial Aid. Should I still apply?

Yes, you should! Never assume you don’t qualify for financial aid. Many adult students believe they don’t qualify and miss out on many sources of aid, including grants and low interest loans that are offered regardless of grade point average, financial need or credit history. Most federal and state aid programs don’t have age limits, although some scholarship programs might. For financial aid based on low income, all that is necessary is to demonstrate financial need, and some of the most eligible students are single parents. Also, it isn’t necessary to be admitted to a college or university before you can apply for financial aid. Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form as soon as possible after October 1 and no later than April 15 (Indiana’s deadline. This varies from state to state). Don’t wait until you complete your tax return, but use estimates of income. Any errors can be corrected later.

I don’t think I can afford college without a job, so can I work and attend class at the same time?

Adult students have many options for financing their degree along with increased academic flexibility. A first step is to reach out to the colleges or universities you are interested in attending and request information on their flexible adult learning programs. Often classes are scheduled at night and on the weekends. Some programs are even offered in an accelerated format. Many colleges also offer online programs and live online classes.

For help with tuition costs, many companies have tuition assistance programs or special scholarships for employees. We can help to find grants, scholarships, low interest loans, tuition payment plans, and work-study opportunities that may be available. You can also research scholarships in libraries or through scholarship search services on the web. Be sure to take advantage of education tax credits such as the Hope Scholarship Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. We also have many local resources for scholarships as well. See our Resources page for links.

How long will it take to complete my degree?

That depends on your academic goals. A certificate program for a specialized field or career (non-college credit or credit) generally takes one year. Examples of certificate programs are in culinary arts, computer technology, childhood education, emergency medical technicians, office administration, pharmacy technician, real estate and teacher’s aide.

An associate degree requires 60 credits and takes two years for full-time students to complete. A bachelor degree requires 120 credits and generally takes four years, but can be accelerated through several academic options!