June 20, 2012
School may be out for kids, but many community college and university doors are still open this summer. Now, adults can take advantage of the less crowded campuses, smaller class sizes and more personalized attention (not to mention quieter libraries) synonymous with summer learning.
Research your options
When it comes to campus tours, standard advice warns prospective students against visiting a school during the summer months. However, most adults heading back to school might find bustling student life distracting. Summer tours are often smaller, and the tour guide can cater more to your needs and interests. Also, since adults with scholarships may prefer studying during the summer months, seeing what the campus is like would prove valuable.
Many schools offering continuing education programs know the summer may be the only time adults have a moment to themselves. That's why schools like the University of Rhode Island, Rochester Institute of Technology and many more host open houses and informational sessions between June and August. By attending these sessions, you not only get the chance to meet other adults returning to school, but can also gain information about the college or university, its upcoming summer courses and continuing education programs. You can also meet with academic and financial aid advisors to discuss college scholarships and financial aid for adults.
Take summer classes
If you find a school that's right for you, why not jump in? Often, courses are less expensive during the summer, making scholarships for adults possibly easier to secure. Also, most summer sessions are concentrated into only one month, leaving you the rest of your summer to spend outside of the classroom. For example, Rhode Island College offers two summer sessions, from May 21 to June 29 and July 2 to August 10.
Jump on unique opportunities
Often, the summer welcomes unique or specialized courses not always offered during the standard school year. Many schools, such as Kishwaukee College in Illinois, offer English as a Second Language classes or professional skills programs. Also, many schools pilot new opportunities, such as Rhode Island College's Green and Sustainability Studies program, new to the college this summer.