If you’re an adult learner who is thinking about returning to college online, it’s easy to check out schools, degree programs and financial aid, and even enroll—all online and all without ever speaking to a live person. We get it. Maybe you simply want to download some information but you’re not ready to enroll. Maybe you’re just price shopping. Maybe you’re anxious to enroll but you really don’t have time for a conversation—you would prefer to do everything online anyway.
You may view the entire process as little more than a transaction, when in fact, you are embarking on nothing less than a transformation. That makes having a candid, live conversation with an Admissions Counselor critically important BEFORE you apply. Here are five reasons why:
- An Admissions Counselor’s role is to help you clarify your goals, address roadblocks and map out a realistic plan to get you from enrollment to graduation.
A trained Counselor will help you consider important questions and situations that you may not have thought about, but that are a critical part of ensuring that you not only enroll into a program, but that you have a plan that gets you all the way to graduation. Some of the questions an Admissions Counselor might want you to consider are:
- Why is becoming a college graduate important to you? This is an important question to consider because your answer is what’s going to keep you motivated and on track when work, school, and family commitments collide.
- If work, family, and/or financial commitments have prevented you from returning to school in the past, what options are available now to help overcome those challenges if and when they come up for you again?
Unfortunately, life will never magically put itself on hold because you have decided to go back to school. A skilled Admissions Counselor can help you to stop waiting for your circumstances to change and (instead) create a plan to move forward regardless of what life decides to put in front of you.
- An Admissions Counselor will help you avoid making the costly mistake of enrolling into a program and/or courses that you may not need.
If you are like many non-traditional learners, you may have applicable life and work experience—as well as previous coursework—that can affect the time to graduation and the financial investment required. Speaking with someone who understands this BEFORE you enroll can save you time and money by ensuring that (1) all eligible, relevant prior coursework is applied to your program, and (2) you are educated about how to have your work and life experience considered and potentially applied to your program.
- You can only get so far with information on a website and in a brochure.
An Admissions Counselor’s role is to create an educational plan for you that is based on a solid understanding your unique circumstances, career goals, transfer credits, time constraints, and financial limitations. With that information in hand, he or she can work with you to develop a plan that meets your individual needs and that increases your likelihood of making it all the way to graduation.
- “You don’t have time for THAT!”
As a non-traditional learner, school is NOT your number one priority. Unlike a traditional student, you don’t have time to spend countless hours making sense of the admissions process, identifying and applying for various scholarships and financial aid, understanding whether you are required to take placement tests, and figuring out how to create a bullet-proof admissions application. Allowing an Admissions Counselor to help you through the process saves you time and helps you keep your other priorities intact.
- An Admissions Counselor keeps you accountable.
Many of us would rather not admit it, but the reality is that having someone like an Admissions Counselor in your corner from the start provides much needed accountability for you to take action and follow through on your goal of graduating. This is especially important when (not if) circumstances change before you finish your program. In working with hundreds of online students over the years, we have found that motivation—not circumstances—is what will keep you focused on your graduation goal.
Earning your degree may be one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime—it’s no time to cut corners. Isn’t it worth a little extra preparation on the front end? Whether you make an in-person local appointment or have a phone or Skype-Facetime interview, the time you’ll save and the knowledge you’ll gain from a frank discussion with an Admissions Counselor will pay unlimited dividends.
At The American Women’s College Online, we're ready to help you take the next step on your educational journey. And we'll support you from start to finish. (That's why our completion rate is more than twice the national average!) We invite you to contact us today and get started writing the next chapter of your story.
Join the sisterhood. Take back your time. Give yourself the future.