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General Questions and Answers

I'm not sure whether the classes I took (or am taking) in high school prepared me for college.

High school classes can prepare you for jobs or further study in college. Colleges recommend you take certain classes like English or algebra to prepare for college programs.

If you're still in high school, use Your Plan of Study to plan your high school classes and prepare for college. Talk to your high school counselor about your college and career interests. Ask your counselor to help you select the high school classes that will help you reach your college goals.

If you have graduated from high school, ask a college advisor to review your high school transcript and recommend college classes.

I haven't graduated from high school yet. Can I take college classes now?

Many high schools offer college credit courses for concurrent enrollment, allowing you to earn college credits before you graduate from high school. You can take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school, or take a CLEP test your senior year, or once you've started college. Both may give you credit for introductory college classes. Talk to your high school counselor about your options.

I never graduated from high school. Can I still go to college?

Admission standards vary at different colleges and universities. Some have an open admission policy. Others require a high school diploma or completion of a high school equivalency exam, like the GED, TASC or HiSET. Some colleges also provide programs to help you prepare for these exams. Contact the college admissions office for more information.

I was home schooled. What should I do about college admission?

As far as the college is concerned, you're just like any other student. You'll need to meet admission standards, which differ from college to college. You may also be required to take a test, such as the GED, HiSET or TASC.

I haven't decided on a major yet. What should I do?

You can start off with general education classes. These classes are required for each degree, regardless of major. These classes give you the opportunity to explore different subjects, and improve your problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills.

Explore Programs and Majors to find out what interests you, and to determine which programs fit with your future career goals. You can also talk to an academic advisor about your options.

I'm not interested in a degree. I just want to take a few classes.

Then take a class or two! Or, you can complete a certificate or an apprenticeship. There are many reasons to go to college. Earning a degree is just one. Some students go to refresh their skills or to stay current in their job. Others go to college to start a new career or just for the love of learning!

Whether you're interested in a degree program, or just one class, there are lots of colleges and universities to choose from. Explore Schools to see what each school has to offer and how they compare.

English is my second language. Where can I go to improve my language skills?

Most high schools offer English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as part of their adult education programs. Students learn the basics of speaking, reading, writing, mathematics and citizenship. Community colleges also offer ESL programs and tutoring services. Ask your college whether it offers English language programs.

I'm a parent with young children. How do I find out about child care?

Many colleges and universities provide students with child care right on campus. Others have coordinating offices, listing child care available near campus. Contact the college you plan to attend for details.

I will need accommodation for a disability. Who do I contact?

Colleges have disability services offices to ensure people with disabilities can access college programs, services and activities. Based on documented limitations, colleges provide reasonable accommodation. Services may include interpreting, note taking, textbooks on tape, exam accommodations and adaptive technology.

Policies on accessing these services vary from campus to campus. Disclosure of a disability is handled in confidence.

I've been out of college for a long time. Can I still go back?

Learning is a lifelong pursuit. You're never too old to learn! Nationally, in higher education, enrollment of students 30 and over grew 63 percent from 1980 to 2000. In fact, this group represents one-third of the student population. Statistics show that adult students are just as successful in their academic studies as those 19 to 23.

There are lots of campus resources available to help you transition to student life. Contact your campus's adult resource center or talk to a non-traditional student advisor.

Will my veteran's benefits help me pay for college?

Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs office at: 888-442-4551. You can also contact the campus veteran affairs office at your college. Each campus has a veterans affairs certifying official who can tell you about the educational benefits of the GI Bill. Learn more about the GI Bill at: http://www.gibill.va.gov/.

Veterans may also be eligible for other financial aid. Like all students, veterans must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete the FAFSA online.

Read Financial Aid 101 for more information.

I work part-time/full-time. Are there programs that accommodate my schedule?

Yes. Colleges and universities try to offer flexible schedules to accommodate students. Most offer evening courses, particularly for basic requirements. Some even offer Saturday classes.

Also, distance learning can be an excellent solution for working students. Classes are flexible and student-centered. Using the Internet, television, videocassettes or other media, learning from home is made possible!

Contact an academic advisor at the college you plan to attend to find out about your options.

College is expensive. Can I get financial help?

Yes. Millions of students receive financial aid every year. And you don't have to be an athlete or straight A student to qualify. Federal and state aid programs offer financial assistance to students. To apply for federal assistance, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can complete the FAFSA online. Also, each institution has its own financial assistance, for which you might be eligible.

Find Scholarships to locate other sources of financial aid, and use the Financial Aid Calculators to determine your costs.

Using the Financial Aid Wizard, you can build your own financial aid package online -- in seven easy steps. The wizard helps you calculate all your expenses for any college you're interested in. It walks you through scholarship searches, provides deadlines for financial aid applications, and even helps you interpret financial aid award letters.

Also, contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend to find out about financial assistance.