If you’re a nontraditional aspiring student — meaning you didn’t just graduate high school — you might be interested to know that there’s a new college ranking system created just for you. Best College Reviews recently released its Top 50 Colleges for Adults Going Back to College list, and it’s based on factors that you care about at this stage in your life, rather than who’s got the most school spirit or best frat houses.
Instead, this list gathered dated from school websites including the percentage of undergraduates under and over 25, the acceptance rate, and whether or not there are flexible degree options like online degrees or accelerated programs.
As someone who’s been out of school for a while and likely has other home and work responsibilities to juggle, finding a school that’s “got your back,” is a big deal at this stage of the game. Below are the top 10 ranked schools on the list:
- Charter Oak State College
- Excelsior College
- Walden University
- Thomas Edison State College
- Northcentral University
- Brandman University
- University of Maryland – University College
- Devry University
- Granite State College
- Peirce College
Keep in mind that as with all rankings, however, they should only be one factor among many that you consider as you explore your degree options. The fact that there even is a ranking for adult going back to school is a good thing – it shows that it’s becoming a priority for many colleges and universities to focus on its older students, too.
As you do your research, here are some ways to spot programs that are adult-student friendly:
- They teach career-focused skills. Most adults going back to school are doing so to change or advance their careers.
- They have programs to help adults earn credit for prior learning. Whether you have some college credits under your belt, or years of industry knowledge, many schools will allow you to apply those to your degree.
- There is an array of class schedule options to accommodate working people. From nights to weekends to blended learning (in which some coursework is done online) to full distance learning, there are more options than ever before.
- There is a dedicated support service for adult students. Older students have unique challenges and may need some help getting back into school mode after years away from the classroom. Schools should have a department that can help their adult learners succeed.
What are YOU waiting for? Find the right school for you now…