10 Essential College Tips For Non-Traditional Learners – A 2024 Guide

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If you decided to go back to college in order to finally get your degree, you might be wondering how you can balance being successful in college while still going to work and having enough time for your family. And, if you are in this situation, this article might be able to help you with its list of 10 essential tips for non-traditional students. Let’s take a closer look at the tips:

  1. Start By Taking The Courses You Feel Comfortable With

Of course, it might look appealing to get everything out of the way, however, you should not start with the most difficult subjects at first. This is why you should begin with a class that you might enjoy or one that you are confident about. By doing so, you can get used to the entire university environment before you opt for taking more difficult subjects.

  1. Get Familiar With Tech

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Although you might not be a big fan of technology, you must ensure that you have an email address and an Internet connection when you start with college again. This can allow you to access a wide range of resources including library databases, you can research topics online, and you can use the useful programs that can help you study.

Besides gaining access to useful resources, you can also use your email for communicating with your professors and other students. You should also know that some professors might require you to submit a paper by using email, hence, having an email might be a requirement. If you want to see online guides that can help you pass your specific exams, check out instacert.com for more info.

  1. Sign-up For a Campus Tour

Going on one of these tours can help you with learning where everything is including available services on and off-campus. What you see and learn can be extremely time-efficient later on, especially when you need to find a specific building or classroom, as well as work on class projects that you need to finish.

  1. Refresh Your Knowledge on Problematic Areas

Do you need to take a calculus class, but you did not think of, nor used it for years? Well, if this is the case, you should refresh your knowledge of those specific subjects that you worry about. This can help you remember the basic things that you might need when you sign-up for a course that is more advanced.

  1. Precisely Plan Your Schedule

By planning a schedule for your classes, you can help yourself with setting realistic objectives. A traditional bachelor’s program might require individuals to complete 120 semester hours, which means that you need to take between 30 and 45 courses. For a full-time student, that is approximately 4 years. However, for part-time student a different schedule is needed – if you, for example, take an average of 5 courses in one year, it might take you eight years to get your diploma.

  1. Your Work Schedule Needs to Fit Your Classes

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This is quite important if you get tuition assistance from the company you are working for. Since that aid is usually connected to how well you perform, one single bad grade can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for the intuition. If you have to miss a class because of your work responsibilities, you should speak to your boss and professor about it. There are big chances that you can figure something out together that will not affect your grade.

  1. Know All The Drop Deadlines And Return The Books on Time

It literally pays for you to know about the university’s drop deadlines. Now, a lot of colleges do not refund the tuition or will partially refund it, if someone decided to drop out one or two weeks from the semester beginning. Additionally, a lot of libraries do have a fee for not returning books on time, which is yet another reason to be careful about when you return the books you borrowed. To ensure that you do not miss the return date, you can write it down in your class schedule.

  1. You Can Opt For Online Classes

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If you know that you cannot work and go to school at the same time, then you should strongly consider taking online courses. This will be more flexible and it can save you a lot of time – and money – on traveling expenses. Additionally, it will allow you to study when you have time, which means that you won’t need to worry about your family and work duties.

  1. You Can Take Classes During Summer – But, Be Careful

The very first thing you should know is that the summer terms are usually quite compressed, hence, it might be smarter to take fewer courses than you would during a normal semester. Of course, this does not mean that you should skip your summer vacation, instead, try planning everything out according to your college obligations.

  1. Learn More About The Alumni Networking Practices

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Now, this is something that you should not wait until you graduate to try out. Instead, you should immediately choose to talk to these extremely knowledgeable professionals, especially since they can advise you in order for your college experience to be better and smoother.


The one thing you should perhaps remember is to allow yourself to get comfortable and used to the new college environment. Of course, this means that you should not burden yourself with difficult courses right away, nor do everything at once. It is best if you take the time to enjoy the entire experience, instead of it creating additional stress and anxiety.

By following the tips and tricks mentioned in the article above, you’ll be able to make the entire process of balancing your college, work, and family responsibilities easier, less time-consuming, as well as less stressful for yourself. So, now that you know what you should do, do not waste any more time. Instead, start implementing the tips from above and get that degree that you have been dreaming about!