Scholarship Opportunities for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 8, 2017 7:00:00 PM


Financial need is a common concern for those pursuing a four-year degree, and is a frequent factor in student attrition.  Many prospective non-traditional students cite financial instability as a barrier to completing their education, and report that financial aid availability was key in deciding to pursue a degree-completion program.

Unfortunately, as many non-traditional students discover while researching financial aid possibilities, many scholarship and grant opportunities are limited to traditionally-aged students - or students who will be entering college as first-timefreshmen.  While this can be discouraging, prospective (and current) students will find that academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, corporations, and service organizations are increasingly recognizing the trend toward an older student population.  Although many scholarships and grants are still bound to a traditional demographic, scholarships are now being offered that specifically target non-traditional students - as well as single parents and degree-completion candidates.

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Topics: Student, News

Financial Resources Available to Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Jan 27, 2017 5:30:00 PM

The rising cost of college tuition is a common concern among both traditional and non-traditional students, with financial need being cited as a primary barrier to initial enrollment, and a contributor to student attrition rates.  For prospective non-traditional students, financial instability may be one of the obstacles that led them to postpone their education, and the availability of financial aid may play a significant role in whether they ultimately decide to pursue degree-completion.

When researching degree programs, "sticker shock" is not an uncommon experience.  However, what prospective students may fail to realize is that the tuition “sticker price” is not an absolute: there are resources available to help ease the financial burden. Many schools will offer applicants a financial aid package, and students may also independently pursue other forms of financial assistance.

The college financial aid system can be quite complex - with its many types, terms, and eligibility requirements - and significant research may be required in order to fully understand what is available.

Below, we have provided a basic overview of the financial resources available to non-traditional students, many of which are administered through the College of Charleston Office of Financial Assistance and Veteran’s Affairs.  We hope that this information will illuminate the possibilities for obtaining an affordable education.

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Topics: Student

Returning to School: 5 Points to Consider

Posted by Allison Leach on Jan 20, 2017 4:30:06 PM

For traditional students, the decision to attend college is almost a given - something that is instilled in them throughout their high school years - and one where parents, teachers, and counsellors are often available to assist with plans and resources.  For adults returning to school, the path is much more self-driven, and requires a great deal of thought and research.


If you are considering returning to school, there are several steps that you should take before you even begin to research specific schools or apply to a given program.  Proceeding through these steps will help you to formalize your goals, and develop a cohesive plan for realization.

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Topics: Student

New Year's Resolutions for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Jan 6, 2017 6:00:00 PM

 

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Topics: Student

Time Management Tips for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Aug 23, 2016 7:00:00 PM

According to a study conducted by Georgetown University (2015), 70-80% of college students are engaged in some form of employment, with approximately 25% of students simultaneously working full-time and attending school full-time.  Although work experience can have a positive effect both on what one is learning in related coursework, and on career prospects post-graduation, the realities of balancing school and work can present significant challenges.  Non-traditional students may be at even greater risk for facing such obstacles, as they often also must attend to family responsiblities.

Whether you are an adult student returning to college after some time away, or have been in school consistently over the past few years, the beginning of a new semester presents a perfect opportunity for developing a time management strategy.  This strategy should allow you to clearly assess your priorities, see exactly how much time you have available in a given day (or week, or month), and help you to adjust your schedule to best achieve your goals.

The 6 tips below - along with additional resources from the College of Charleston Center for Student Learning - should assist you in developing an effective time management plan.

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Topics: Student

10 Back-To-School Tips for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Aug 5, 2016 5:00:00 PM

With summer winding to a close, students of all ages are busy with back-to-school preparations. While for adult students, the days of excitedly selecting a new lunch box may be long gone, the anticipation that accompanies a new school year remains.

In the hopes that our adult students will begin the school year on the path to success, we suggest the following back-to-school preparation strategies:

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Topics: Student

Students Honored at SPS Awards Ceremony

Posted by Allison Leach on Jun 7, 2016 4:30:00 PM
L-to-R: Melinda Odenkirk, Linda Meehan, Chanel Mariette, Kristina Henriksen, Katie Davenport

The School of Professional Studies (SPS) recently held an Awards ceremony to honor the academic achievements of students in the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) program. The ceremony recognized the SPS’ Spring 2016 graduates, as well as those students who were named to the Dean’s List or Honor Roll for the Spring semester.  Highlights of the event included the induction of several BPS candidates into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society - facilitated by Dean Godfrey Gibbison - and the presentation of the Faculty Award.

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Topics: Student, Events

A Family Journey

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 21, 2016 3:00:00 PM

It is not uncommon for college students to look forward to graduation day: the rewarding culmination of four years of hard work and sacrifice. For non-traditional students, graduation can be especially poignant, as it is often a seemingly elusive day that has been riddled with unanticipated delays. MaryNell Goolsby-Sweat is among the students who can relate to that experience, yet she is hoping for a somewhat unique reward on her own graduation day: her adult son with his own College of Charleston diploma in hand.

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Topics: Student, Feature

Uncovering Solutions in the Face of Obstacles

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 14, 2016 1:40:26 PM

Chanel Mariette learned about the College of Charleston degree completion program shortly after relocating to Charleston in 2014, and was excited at the prospect of finally earning her Bachelor’s degree.  Having suffered a range of setbacks over the years - including a brain aneurysm rupture - Mariette was hopeful that enrolling in the School of Professional Studies would be the key to achieving her long-held goal.

Unfortunately, she was soon faced with yet another obstacle.

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Topics: Student, Feature

Helping Non-Traditional Students Plan for Success

Posted by Allison Leach on Mar 24, 2016 4:41:54 PM

Enrolling in any degree program is a monumental decision, and is bound to generate some feelings of doubt and insecurity - regardless of the student’s age and experience.  However for students who have taken some time away from their studies, these doubts can be particularly nagging, as they wonder whether they are truly prepared to re-engage in higher education.  Whether it has been two years or twenty, non-traditional students often fear that they have lost some of the skills basic to higher education, and worry that they might not be able to keep up with the rigors of course requirements.
While these fears are certainly well-founded, careful planning and honest communication can ensure that students begin their new journey on the road to success.

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Topics: Student

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The School of Professional Studies is your partner on the journey toward a more fulfilling future. We are accessible, flexible, creative and tenacious. We work hard to provide access to the education you need to build a brighter future for yourself and in turn, for our community.

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