It's Not Too Late To Enroll In College
It's Not Too Late To Enroll
If the approach of fall and back-to-school season has you wishing or wondering about college, it's not too late to enroll at a community college and begin steps toward a new career, revitalizing skills for a current career or earning a certificate or degree.
"A student can visit a community college's website, fill out an application and within 24 hours know if they are accepted," said Jeremy Bradt, treasurer of The Illinois Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers.
"With open enrollment you can enroll up until the first day of class," said Bradt.
While it may vary from school to school, most community college fall terms start in late August and many have additional sessions starting in mid-September and another in mid-October, so there are additional opportunities to get started if you missed the deadline the first time around.
Visit the campus first
Though you probably could start the process online without ever stepping on campus, it is valuable to visit the school before enrolling. It helps determine what the commute to campus will be like, as well as to get a feel for the school and its students. When you connect with an advisor on campus, talk to an instructor or observe students in action, you can get a better feel for the pulse of the college.
"Be sure to arrange for a tour. Most schools offer ongoing tours of their campuses as well as host special events to answer questions about the school, programs and financial aid," said Julie Marlatt, manager, Admissions & Outreach, College of DuPage.
Once a person makes the decision to enroll, registrars and admissions officers are
available to help. The enrollment process should not hold anyone back: "There really
aren't a whole lot of steps," said Bradt.
At most community colleges the process includes signing up online, filling out an application for admission, exploring financial aid and payment options, developing an education plan, and registering for classes.
Admissions representatives are there to help walk prospective students through the process. If students are not sure how to get their transcripts and test scores, financial aid, or select the right level courses, advisors are there to help bring it all together.
"We can do a lot of the legwork for them," said Marlatt.
Many admissions offices also offer days with extended hours as well as admissions events and student orientations at varying times to meet the needs of all students, she said.
Mapping a plan
Whether your goal is to earn a certificate or an associate degree, add new skills to fulfill career goals, or continue on to earn a bachelor's degree, admissions advisers can help here too.
"Just by having a conversation we can help determine a direction," Marlatt said.
Choosing a first semester of courses or mapping out a plan to get you on track to earning a degree can be simplified by tapping into an advisor's experience. There is also assistance for students considering a transfer to a four-year college, and career services can discuss goals and resources to prepare for post-college applications.
"There are certificates that can be earned with as few as six to 12 hours of classes that focus on a field of expertise and can be helpful training to transition right into the workforce," Marlatt said.
No matter what your life involves from family to job obligations, flexibility is a hallmark of community colleges, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling. With satellite campuses, day, evening, weekend and online classes, there are a variety of schedules to meet student needs, and college staff to help along the way.
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
(630) 942-2800 (Main)
(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)
2017 College of DuPage