Going Back to College: Frequently
(Continued from page 2)
I Don't Think I Can Afford
College or Won't Be Able to Work and Attend Class at
the Same Time.
Adult students have many options for financing their
degree along with increasing academic flexibility. A
first step is to visit the colleges or universities
you are interested in attending and request a college
catalog. Often classes are scheduled that enable students
to attend classes at night and on the weekends, or programs
are offered in accelerated format. Many colleges also
offer programs via broadcast television, the Internet,
multi-media, and video conferencing. (Please see Degree
Programs for a directory of degree programs, traditional
For help with tuition costs, many companies have tuition
assistance programs or special scholarships for
employees. To maximize your chances for aid, visit the
financial aid office of your college to find out what
grants, scholarships, low interest loans, co-operative
education programs, tuition payment plans, and work-study
opportunities are available. You can also research scholarships
in libraries or through scholarship search services
on the Internet, and take advantage of education tax
credits such as the Hope Scholarship Credit and the
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. We have compiled a special
report on associations, organizations and programs
that especially assist the adult returning to college.
Visit our Financial
Aid section for more information about these resources
and options. Some great tips on time
management are also available.
What is the G.E.D.? If I Only
Have My G.E.D. Can I Still Attend College? Where Can
I Find my G.E.D. Transcripts?
The G.E.D., or General Education Development Test, certifies
that the student has attained high school-level academic
skills. 97 percent of colleges accept a G.E.D. diploma
as equivalent to a high school diploma for admission
purposes. For information on getting your G.E.D. or
high school diploma, see Adult Education.
Need to find your G.E.D. transcripts? Information is
available from the General
Educational Development Testing Service.
Can I Attend College Part-time,
or Do I Have to Go Full-time to Get Financial Aid?
There is no minimum course load; you can register for
as many or as few classes as you like. Part-time students
are also available for financial aid (however, the amount
awarded depends upon the number of units being taken.)
I Doubt I 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 January 1 (don't wait until you complete
your tax return, but use estimates of income.) Any errors
can be corrected later, and most states need to receive
the FAFSA by March 1 to qualify for state aid. (For
information on how to apply for financial aid, or obtain
and complete the FAFSA online, visit our Financial