5 Back-to-School Tips for Adult Learners
Adult learners face different barriers than high school aged students when pursuing higher education. Providing adult students with knowledge of their options and some helpful tips (below) to ease their transition back to school will help them stay on track.
1. Choose a college that is right for you and will help you reach your goals
Questions to consider include: Is the college close enough so that you will have transportation to and from classes? Will your school accept prior credits earned? Does it have class availability that meets the demands of your busy life, such as online or evening classes? Finding the school that is the right fit will help you reduce the obstacles that many adult learners face.
2. Make sure you're as prepared as possible to return to school
Take necessary placement tests or gather necessary paperwork, like proof of high school completion. Do you need to brush up on reading, writing or math skills and/or become more computer savvy? Maine College Transitions offers free classes and resources for adult learners that will help build your confidence before you head back to school. The Maine Educational Opportunity Center helps adult learners prepare to enter higher education with academic readiness and career counseling. You can also check out FAME’s Higher Education Success Checklist for steps you can take to feel more prepared.  
3. Apply for financial aid and complete required documents to receive aid
Be sure to file the FAFSA at as early as possible. Check with your school’s financial aid office to make sure you don’t miss important deadlines. Does your employer offer tuition assistance? Have you applied for scholarships for adult learners? Our Paying for Higher Education Checklist can help you see what aid may be available and how you can apply. 
4. Consider cost-cutting measures to make sure you aren't paying more than necessary
Review your tuition bill carefully to make sure there aren’t costs that you can deduct, such as waiving student health insurance if you already have coverage. Can you receive credit for prior learning experiences, saving you both time and tuition costs? Can your employer help you pay for tuition? For ideas on cutting costs, check out FAME’s Cost Reduction Checklist .
5. Broaden your network
Find the student support options on your campus that will help you overcome obstacles. There may be specific offices on campus designed to work with students with a wide variety of issues. Some examples of on campus support might be peer tutoring, a writing center and Student Support Services. Familiarize yourself with career services and other free assistance that will help you reach your dream job. Colleges work hard to help their students succeed. The key is to get connected early and to ask for help when needed.
FAME is here to help all students on their journey toward higher education. We offer in-person help as well as online resources to help students plan, save and pay for college. FAME’s Lifetime Learning kit is designed specifically for adults starting or returning to college and addresses hurdles they often face while trying to attain credentials.
Want More Information?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:
Wednesday, December 13th
10:00–11:00 a.m.

FAME’s Lifetime Learning Kit was designed with adult students in mind. The needs of adult students pursuing higher education after a break from school are different from those who pursue higher education directly from high school. Through our Voice of the Customer research, we’ve learned that the differences are primarily around career planning, college choice, college preparedness, additional considerations around paying, balancing life and school, and the resources available to help. During this session, attendees will learn about the tools included in FAME's Lifetime Learning Kit that will help adult students prepare for higher education.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor 
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Jennifer Lanphear, Education Programs Officer
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