After careful consideration (and probably some procrastination as well), you have decided to go back to college. The reason may be to get that degree that you promised yourself you would get. It could be that you desire to move up in your company, or wish to change careers altogether. Perhaps you have recently lost your job and want to take advantage of this rare opportunity you have been given. Whatever the case, the task for some may be daunting and a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? Should you attend a nearby campus or take courses online? What is the process for registering? How will you pay for school? Following these simple steps will make the transition easy and even enjoyable for you:


Step 1: Ask yourself what is your goal in returning to college. Again, it may be to get a degree or to learn an entirely different set of skills. But having a defined goal in mind is the key, since as an adult you want to make the most out of your limited time and achieve your goals as quickly as possible. So go online and research different careers to find the one that best suits you


Step 2: After you’ve decided on a particular program, the next step would be to find a college that offers that program online. The best way you can do that is by doing a search on a site dedicated to online college searches such as ours. These will help you locate several colleges and universities that offer online degree programs and even perhaps local colleges with online programs. Requesting information from a school is always free and there is never any obligation, so feel free to request as much information from as many colleges as you’d like.


Step 3: Have your high school or college transcripts sent to you. If you have never gone to college, every school will want to see your high school transcripts to make sure that you have completed high school. If you have attended college before, you will be required to provide those transcripts. You will want to provide these because some if not all of your credits may transfer, which will possibly make your stay in school much shorter.


Step 4: Speak with a school academic advisor. These people have helped thousands of students just like you make the right choices in their education. Think of an academic advisor as your personal college tour guide. An advisor can help you to choose the right classes you need to take in the order they need to be taken and give you great advice with how to go about in achieving your educational goals. Once you have chosen your courses, they can help you enroll. Incidentally, you will want to enroll as soon as possible, as many required and prerequisite courses fill up quickly.


Step 5: Fill out a FAFSA form, then speak to your school’s financial advisor. When it comes to paying for college, your first step should be to go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and fill out the FAFSA form online. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it is provision from the government. The Federal Student Aid Office ensures that all eligible individuals benefit from federally funded or federally guaranteed financial assistance for education beyond high school. If you intend to apply for financial assistance, including grants, your school will want to see your FAFSA score first. Even if you were not planning on applying for a student loan, you should still fill out a FAFSA application, as there may be grants or scholarships available to you that you are not aware of. Afterwards, your financial advisor can help you apply for any other necessary financial aid. Ask about using your financial aid to purchase your books as well.


Additionally, it would be a good idea to speak to your employer about your desire to go back to college. Many companies will reimburse your educational expenses if they feel your schooling will benefit them in the long run. And of course after you get your degree or finish your courses, you will want to make sure you notify your company, as a raise or promotion may be forthcoming.


Step 6 Work hard but enjoy the ride. Once your classes have begun, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times. The key is to be balanced when it comes to school, work, family, and leisure time. If you start to second-guess yourself, remind yourself of why you’re doing this in the first place and what the benefits of accomplishing this goal will be. We promise that it will get easier, so hang in there.


Whether you attend classes online or on a local campus, you may at times feel like you’re out of your element. This is only natural. But you will find that instructors and fellow students will treat you the same as everybody else. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your instructors and the rest of the faculty want you to succeed and they will do whatever they can to help you. Your fellow students know exactly what you’re going through and most will be glad to help you out, too.


Going back to college as an adult may seem like a daunting task, but the rewards and satisfaction of achieving your goals will make it all worth it. Following these simple steps mentioned above will help you make the transition simple and enjoyable. So get started right now, because your better future is waiting.


To search for local or online colleges that offer training for the particular career that interests you, please visit our home page. You can request free information from any school directly from our site with one simple form.