A Force to Be Reckoned With

When I met Dale Ward in 2009 I was immediately impressed by her positive attitude and her belief that earning her bachelor's degree was a key to her success.  I was Dale's academic adviser and I had the opportunity to learn about her journey from Barbados to Manhattanville College.

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Top Reasons Adult Students are Successful

Over the past 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of adult students during the application and admissions process, and I have advised many adult students once they were enrolled. Based on this experience, here are my key factors for success for an adult returning to college.

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Learn More, Earn More, Stay Employed

Adult students are returning to school in record numbers to finish a bachelor’s degree or earn a master’s degree, and nearly half of all college students are now over the age of 25.  And why?  Because, according to the federal government’s Occupational Outlook, the more education you have, the more money you earn per year and over your lifetime.  Individuals with a high school diploma will earn $1.1 million over the course of their lifetime, while a worker with a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.1 million, according to the US. Census Bureau.

The other compelling reason to get a college degree is that it  significantly reduces the chances of losing a job. Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute examined the employment rate during the recent recession and found that the more education an individual had, the less likely they were to have lost their job in the past five years.

 According to the study:

  • Workers who had a high school diploma or less, lost 5.6 million jobs during the Great Recession (December 2007 to January 2010), and they lost an additional 230,000 jobs during the recovery(January 2010 to February 2012).
  • Individuals who had some college or an associate’s degree lost 1.75 million jobs during the recession but gained back 1.6 million of those jobs in the recovery.  
  • People who had a bachelor’s degree or better actually gained 187,000 jobs during the recession and added 2 million more jobs during the recovery.

Study after study consistently shows that for every job out there, the better-educated person has the edge.  So, if you are considering whether higher education is a good value, the answer is  clear: yes.  Over the course of a lifetime, college graduates are more likely to stay employed and will earn more.

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How Adult Learners Save On College Costs

Over the past 15 years, I’ve asked almost every adult student sitting across my desk what kept them from returning to college? The answers are almost always the same. Their top concern: How am I going to find the money to go back to school?

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5 Steps to Going Back to College

If you are an adult thinking of returning to college in September, now is a great time to start. The average age of a college student is close to 30, and there are more than 7.5 million adults in college right now.

Here are five tips on starting the process to go back to school:

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Top Links For Financial Aid Information

At Adult Education Advocates, one of the first questions we hear from both students and parents is, how are we going to pay for school?   Finding information about financial aid online is easy - but it is more difficult to determine how that information is applicable to specific individuals and circumstances.  For example, while working with a client we determined that he could deduct $10,000 from his FAFSA because he had been unemployed.  This in turn, increased his financial aid significantly.  However, the college’s financial aid office never identified these lost funds until we brought it to their attention.

The websites below include some of the leading nonprofit and government sources on financial aid and are among the most reliable sources on the Internet.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about financial aid. 

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To Survive Colleges Can't Rely On High School Grads

Recently Dan wrote an opinion piece for the online publication of The Star-Ledger. 

As The Star-Ledger's Kelly Heyboer reported on July 17, five colleges and universities in New Jersey are launching a pilot program to help adult students finish their college degree. With more than 860,000 adults in New Jersey who have some college credits but no degree, this program is a welcome addition for the nontraditional students in the state. However, it isn't enough.

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Adult Students Should Take Advantage of Tuition Reimbursement

Education is the key to job advancement and a more fulfilling career. Many companies are dedicated to helping individuals achieve their career goals by providing the opportunity to enhance job skills and education by assisting with the cost of tuition.  The ultimate goal is to help their employees gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve their performance and increase their chances for advancement.  One way to do this is by offering tuition reimbursement.

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Are MOOCs The Right Choice For Adult Students?

For adult students looking to go back to college, massive open online courses, or MOOCS, might not be the best way to earn a degree. According to a report by the University of Pennsylvania and discussed in The New Republic, about 86 percent of MOOC students in the United States already have a degree and many enrollees view MOOCS as a diversion rather than as a means to a college degree or a new job.

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Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The deadline is approaching quickly for the most important of all the financial aid forms.  If you are an adult student considering returning to college in the coming fall or winter, you will want to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as possible. The biggest mistake a nontraditional student can make is to miss the FAFSA deadline, or to skip applying at all because you assume you will not be eligible for assistance.

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