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College After Thirty
(Continued from 1)

Never been to college and wondering how to take the first step?
First of all, many colleges and universities have established special programs and/or offices that cater to the needs of re-entry students. Check to see if the college of your choice has an office that specializes in adult services. If that doesn't pan out, most every college has somebody on staff who takes telephone and walk-in inquiries from people just like you. Simply call any college admission office and ask for an admission counselor.

Never took the SAT and goofed off in high school?
Relax. Many university systems have special admission rules for re-entry students. Often, colleges will offer a placement test in place of traditional test scores. And here's even better news: many universities don't consider high school performance for re-entry students.

You want to go to college, but you're not sure which degree to pursue?
No need to rush. Many students attend college for years before they decide on a major. You're allowed to be undecided, and special advisors will help you select course work that will fit into various degree programs. Feel free to take a variety of courses and see what fits you best.

Think you can't afford to go to college?
Sorry, no excuse. There are plenty of ways to address the money issue. First, call or stop by your institution and ask for a schedule of classes. You may find that classes are offered at hours that enable you to work full time and attend classes at night or on the weekends. Next, talk to your employer. You may be surprised-many corporations have tuition assistance programs. Then, apply for financial aid. You may be eligible for a federal grant, or you may want to take out a student loan. Either way, the first step is the application. Finally, do some homework in the library and on the Internet. There are plenty of scholarships out there, just waiting for someone to claim them! A financial aid counselor can help you get started with all these steps. Call the Office of Financial Aid and schedule an appointment.

You're already in college and you want to be involved?
Contact your university's office of Student Affairs or Student Activities to obtain a list of clubs and societies. If you've been in college a while, you probably have some idea what topics interest you most. If you love writing, find out if there is a poetry club or writers' group to join. Be creative! Do you love history? If there is an archaeology department, they may be looking for volunteers to help out on a dig.

Don't put it off. Get started on your life's dream today. It can all begin with a simple phone call!

Grace holds a Master's in Education, and is an instructor at Armstrong State University.

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