Tips for Returning Adult Students

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We understand that college for adult learners – whether you’ve attended college in the past or not – is a big step. And one that involves a serious commitment on your part. We want to help you succeed!

That’s why we offer so many ways for you to make your college experience fit your lifestyle and your learning goals, allowing you to ‘customize’ your college experience. There are choices regarding programs, learning sites, class schedules, term start dates, instruction methods and more. More importantly, we’ll help you develop a clear academic pathway to the completion of your degree. With a clear goal, the road is easier to travel!

Here are 10 tips that get you ready to return to the classroom:

Apply online. It just takes a few clicks! The sooner you become a student, the faster we can help you reach your goals. Register today at:

Connect with an advisor. Set up an appointment with one of our advisors to review your goals, challenges, and education plans.

Consider financial aid and explore scholarship opportunities. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid first (FAFSA). Then, look to EICC’s Financial Assistance and Scholarship Office for information on upcoming scholarships that may apply to you. You can find out more at

Ask for help at EICC and at home. Our EICC community is here to help answer your questions. Our faculty, staff and students are great resources who know the college best.

Going back to school while balancing at-home responsibilities is not an uncommon feat for students. But it’s easier when you communicate the importance of assistance, encouragement, and understanding to family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Build your community. It’s easy to isolate yourself from others when you’re balancing a busy school, work, and family schedule;
but don’t. Instead, relish the opportunity to be in social environments with others inside and outside the classroom and enrich your college experience. Remember, you’re not alone in considering college after working for several months or years. A large percentage of EICC students are re-entry students. Make connections.

Do something you love, it’s important. Look into classes or a career choice that truly fit your interests and needs.

Embrace the change. Any significant change, whether it’s returning to the workforce, going back to school, or having a baby, means reassessing your priorities. Recognize that while you’re in school you’ll have to make short-term tradeoffs with your time.

Keep an open mind about new learning methods. Today, there are many new ways to learn inside and outside of the traditional classroom. You may want to take your classes or even an entire program online. You decide what fits you best.

Realize how much you know. Many adult students overlook their influence on the learning environments they participate in. Often, they bring motivation and maturity to the classroom, and they aren’t afraid to ask questions or seek an instructor’s help. In fact, instructors say that adult students are often the stars of the classroom because of their unique perspective.

The prior experience and knowledge you bring as a returning adult student will benefit your college experience and your classmates.

Congratulate yourself. Coming back to school is a big decision to make. And at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, you’ll learn more!



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