How do I get started? That’s a common question among adult learners – especially if it’s been several years since you’ve been in school. Follow these steps to get on the right track.

Step 1: Determine what to study

Many resources are available to help you determine types of career options that match your skills and interests. See the “Exploring Careers” section for more information.

Step 2: Determine how you’ll pay for college

Many options are available to help you pay for college – including financial aid. See the “How to Pay” section for details.

Step 3: Speak with an admissions representative

Make an appointment with an admissions representative at the colleges that interest you. Ask about:

Career assessment resources that will help you determine a course of study that matches your skills and interests.

Admission requirements. Colleges will request items such as your high school transcript or GED certificate and scores. If you’re a fairly recent high school graduate, they will ask for ACT or SAT scores. Otherwise, the school may require you to take other placement tests.

Unique programs that work with your schedule and location such as weekend courses or distance learning.

Important deadlines. Make sure you’re aware of deadlines for submitting applications for admission, college-based scholarships, and financial aid. Ask if the college application serves as the application for scholarships.

Transferring credits.  If you previously took college coursework, those credits may transfer.

Adult Basic Education. Some colleges offer coursework for adults designed to bring them up to speed in areas such as math, science, and English.

Step 4 – Apply for admission.

Complete the admission application and be prepared to pay a fee. If a separate application is required for college-based scholarships, submit it at the same time.