COLLEGE PLANNING FOR ADULT LEARNERS
GETTING STARTED This handbook will walk you through steps to explore careers, apply to college, and pay for college.
THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS & SKILLS.
• Take an online career assessment on sites such as CareerOneStop.org and MyNextMove.org. • Ask about career resources at colleges you’re interested in attending. • Use the free Career Cruising assessment at an EducationQuest location.
2 LEARN ABOUT CAREERS THAT ARE A GOOD FIT FOR YOU. To learn about career opportunities in Nebraska,
especially those that are in high demand, visit NEworks.Nebraska.gov and H3.ne.gov .
APPLYING TO COLLEGE
Once you have an idea of what you want to study, research colleges that offer an academic program in that area. Here’s how to get started.
LEARN ABOUT THE TYPES OF COLLEGE DEGREES. Diploma/Certificate - Specialized training that typically takes a year or less to complete. Associate - A two-year degree offered by community colleges and career schools. Bachelor’s - A four-year degree offered by colleges and universities. Master’s - Typically takes 1-2 years to complete after earning a bachelor’s degree. Doctorate - Earned after completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. 1
LEARN ABOUT COLLEGES IN NEBRASKA. Here’s where you can find details:
• The chart on page 3 lists all colleges in Nebraska and tells you where to find satellite locations. • “Nebraska Colleges” in the Adult Learner section at EducationQuest.org lists all colleges and has links to adult learner programs, online programs, and veteran services. • College Profiles at EducationQuest.org has details about schools in Nebraska and across the country. Search colleges by location, major, cost, and school type.
ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS WHEN YOU VISIT COLLEGES.
Ask an admissions representative about: • Academic programs for careers that interest you • Admission requirements and deadlines • Alternative class schedules to fit your needs, such as: o Online degree programs o Evening courses o Weekend programs o Accelerated degree programs • Transferring credits from previous college courses • CLEP exams to earn college credit for what you already know
Ask a financial aid representative about: • When to apply for financial aid • Which academic-year FAFSA to complete based on when you start college • The cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and when payment is due
• Scholarships for adult learners • How to pay for housing costs
CAMPUS RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SUCCEED
• Resources for military veterans • Accommodations for a disability
4 APPLY FOR ADMISSION.
Most colleges offer:
As you prepare to apply to the college you selected, be aware that they may request your high school transcript or GED certificate. If you’re a fairly recent high school graduate, the college may ask for ACT or SAT scores. Community colleges may require a placement test such as Accuplacer or Companion to place you in the appropriate class level.
• Tutoring services • Career counseling center • Computer labs • Child care center • Student Support Services for those who qualify
COMMUNITY COLLEGES Central Community College – Columbus Central Community College – Grand Island* Central Community College – Hastings Little Priest Tribal College – Winnebago* Metropolitan Community College – Omaha* Mid-Plains Community College – McCook* Mid-Plains Community College – North Platte Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture – Curtis Nebraska Indian Community College – Macy* Northeast Community College – Norfolk* Southeast Community College – Beatrice Southeast Community College – Lincoln* Southeast Community College – Milford Western Nebraska Community College – Scottsbluff*
Chadron State College – Chadron Peru State College – Peru
Purdue University Global – Lincoln University of Nebraska – Kearney University of Nebraska – Lincoln University of Nebraska – Omaha University of Nebraska Medical Center – Omaha* Wayne State College – Wayne*
Bellevue University – Bellevue* Bryan College of Health Sciences – Lincoln Clarkson College – Omaha
College of Saint Mary – Omaha Concordia University – Seward* Creighton University – Omaha* Crown College – Omaha Doane University – Crete* Hastings College – Hastings Midland University – Fremont
Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics – Omaha CHI Health School of Radiologic Technology – Omaha College of Hair Design – Lincoln Davines Professional Academy of Beauty and Business – Lincoln Joseph’s College :: Cosmetology – Lincoln*
Nebraska Methodist College – Omaha Nebraska Wesleyan University – Lincoln* Summit Christian College – Gering Union College – Lincoln York College – York
Mary Lanning Healthcare School of Radiologic Technology – Hastings Myotherapy Institute Inc – Lincoln
National American University – Bellevue Regional West Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology – Scottsbluff Universal College of Healing Arts – Omaha Xenon Academy – Omaha*
FIND SATELLITE LOCATIONS eqf.org/campus_locations
Financial aid can help you pay for tuition, books and supplies, and living expenses. These steps will walk you through the process. PAYING FOR COLLEGE
CREATE AN ACCOUNT. To begin the process of applying for financial aid, you must create an account at studentaid.gov . This is the site you will use to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for and track student loans. COMPLETE THE FAFSA. The FAFSA is your application for federal, state, and college-based financial aid. Complete the form at studentaid.gov by the college’s priority date. You may also complete the FAFSA via the myStudentAid app. • T he colleges you list on the application will use your FAFSA information (your income, assets, and family size) to award financial aid. • A fter you submit your FAFSA, expect a Student Aid Report via an email link. It confirms that your FAFSA was processed and if further action is required. • Complete the FAFSA every year you’re in college. For free help with the FAFSA, see FAFSA Tools at EducationQuest.org or contact the EducationQuest location nearest you.
LEARN THE TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID.
Scholarships are awarded by private donors and colleges and are not repaid. Ask your college about scholarships they offer and see ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org for a list of free scholarship search sites. Grants* are based on financial need and you don’t repay them. They include: • Pell Grant • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) • Nebraska State Opportunity Grant • College-based grants Work-Study* is also based on financial need and provides part-time campus-based employment to help pay for college expenses. Loans* are a type of financial aid you must repay. The college will determine which loans you qualify to receive. Repayment will begin six months after you graduate. They include: • Direct Subsidized Loan: Government pays interest while you’re in school. • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: You pay all the interest. • Direct Grad PLUS Loan: For graduate students, you pay all interest.
*These types of aid are based on FAFSA results.
EXPECT A FINANCIAL AID AWARD NOTIFICATION. The colleges you listed on your FAFSA will notify you of the types and amounts of financial aid they’re offering you. You will only receive notifications from colleges that accepted you for admission. Accept or reject the financial aid package by the deadline. 5 BE PREPARED FOR VERIFICATION. Watch your student portal and email closely as the college might request verification of your FAFSA information. The college will not process your financial aid package until you provide required documents. 4
Below is the maximum amount you can borrow each year in subsidized and unsubsidized loans (combined). HOW MUCH CAN YOU BORROW?
Grad Students : $20,500 unsubsidized loan each year Lifetime limit: $138,500
Learn more about student loans and dependency status at eqf.org/LoanChart
OTHER WAYS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
COLLEGE PAYMENT PLANS Many colleges offer a monthly payment plan allowing you to use current income to pay college costs. THE MILITARY If you’re a veteran, currently serving, or plan to serve, you may be eligible for the G.I. Bill, tuition reimbursement, or student loan repayment. For details, visit gibill.va.gov or visit your college’s Veteran Services Office. HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT This allows you to borrow money as you need it which fits well with tuition payments.
EMPLOYER EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS Ask if your company offers tuition reimbursement, scholarship programs, or student loan repayment.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE GAP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
If you take non-credit courses at a Nebraska community college that lead to high-need jobs, you might qualify for financial assistance. Contact the college for details. NEBRASKA AGENCIES Agencies such as Nebraska VR, Nebraska Department of Labor, and ResCare Workforce Services provide education assistance for those who qualify.
See the Adult Learner section at EducationQuest.org to find:
ADULT LEARNER CHECKLIST summarizes steps you should take to apply for admission and financial aid. NEBRASKA COLLEGES lists colleges in Nebraska (and their satellite locations) and has links to adult learner, veteran, and online degree programs. COLLEGE FUNDING ESTIMATOR estimates your FAFSA results. COLLEGE PROFILES has information about colleges in Nebraska and nationwide. FAFSA TOOLS provides free resources to help you complete the FAFSA. RESOURCES FOR MILITARY VETERANS links you to education-related websites for veterans.
EDUCATIONQUEST CAN HELP YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TO COLLEGE. We’re a nonprofit organization that provides FREE services and programs for Nebraska students and families including: • College-prep information and tools at EducationQuest.org • One-on-one help at college planning offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff • Outreach services for community agency clients • Statewide efforts such as college fairs, financial aid programs, and Apply2College campaign • Look2College, KnowHow2GO, and Exploring College programs for younger students
We also provide need-based scholarships for students referred by colleges or community agencies, and award College Access Grants to Nebraska high schools
FOR FREE HELP WITH COLLEGE PLANNING, CONTACT THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU.
OMAHA Rockbrook Village
LINCOLN 1300 O St.
KEARNEY 2706 Second Ave.
SCOTTSBLUFF 1601 E 27th St.
11031 Elm St. 402.391.4033 888.357.6300
Materials and resources are available in Spanish. Materiales y recursos disponibles en español.
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