Like most adult students, you have questions – probably lots of questions. And while our adult admissions specialists have lots of answers, many students prefer to do research before reaching out. We completely understand. So, here’s a list of frequently asked questions you may have along with our best answers.

Going Back to College for Adults FAQ: What You Need to Know

First, What Do You Want to Accomplish? No two adult students return to the classroom for the exact same reasons. Maybe you want to finish your degree for your family. Perhaps you’re looking to move from a job into a career. Some students have started and stopped, and started, and stopped their college journey multiple times. For others, life has changed their plans and now they’re ready to return. Whatever your situation, first-things-first, ask yourself these important questions:

What do I want to gain from returning to college? A solid degree program will give you the knowledge and an improved skill set for the workplace. It will sharpen the “soft skills” of communication, problem-solving, teamwork, time management, and leadership. If these are skills you value, then returning to college is right for you.

Why am I going back to school? There are many reasons for getting your college degree. Gaining relevant job skills. Higher pay. A new career. A competitive edge in the job search. A better chance at promotion at your current company. Completing your degree is a real accomplishment and sets an example for your family. For many students, this is reason enough to return.

Two adult students sharing an iPad while seated in the dining hall.

“They teach you how to be the best version of yourself and put you in the right path to achieve your dream career.”

Erika Vallone, ’20

When should I start my college search? There’s never a better time than right now. Most adult degree programs follow an open enrollment format where you can apply, get accepted, and start classes right away.

Am I too old for college? NO. All ages attend college. Nationwide, more than half of all undergraduate students are older than 25. If you’re worried about being the oldest person in class, look for a degree program dedicated to adult students. These programs will offer the most flexibility, accommodations for working adults and include a wide diversity of ages.

Can I afford college? Getting your degree is an investment of time and money. If you’re working on your first undergraduate degree there are Federal aid and loan programs. Outside scholarships are also available. Your Avila admissions rep can help you with financial aid to keep your costs as low as possible. Remember, like any good investment there is a payoff once you graduate.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that each degree obtained, unemployment rates go down and median income goes up.
  • Between September 2019 and August 2020 there were 10,000,000 more job postings open to bachelor’s degree holders than to high school graduates.
  • According to 2014 salary survey, a college graduate will earn $1,000,000 more on average than a high school grad over their lifetime.

How do I apply? Click the Apply button up top. You’ll be guided to an online application form – it’s free! Once we have your completed application, we’ll walk you through the steps to transfer any college credits, get you set up with financial aid, meet with an advisor, and get enrolled in your classes.

How will I balance school, work, and family? It won’t always be easy, but you can do it. Most students today are working students holding down one or more jobs, along with taking classes. Professors in adult-focused programs understand this and gear their classes toward the multiple time demands placed on their students. Also, adult classes are typically eight weeks long. This accelerated format keeps you focused on one class at a time and gives you the flexibility to start-and-stop classes as your life allows.

How will I do in an online class? Most successful online students are good at prioritizing their time. If you’re successfully juggling jobs, child care, and family requirement now, you know how to prioritize your time. Other traits of successful online learners are the ability to express thoughts through writing, are unafraid to ask for help, and are self-motivated.

Should I go back to college? YES. To move up the corporate ladder, to find a more stable career, and to improve your soft skills, going back to school can be a great path. It will be tough, but you’ll be setting an example for your family and showing the world you value education.

How long will it take me to graduate? It depends on a number of factors. Do you have existing college credits to transfer? Your work experiences, military service, standardized tests, and correspondence courses could also transfer into college credit which would shorter your degree program. The best way to answer this is to apply (it’s free!) and let us help you figure it out.

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