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How to go to college?


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I’m trying to figure out the best way for someone of my age(23) to go to college.


I feel like I want the traditional college experience but due to my age I can’t or something. I’m looking into maybe going to some community college programs and transferring to a 4 year university.


At my age should this be something I should look into? Or should I pursue other option. If I’d go this route I wouldn’t graduate until 27 which seems really old. I will be honest I’m not a social person so I feel like college would help that.


I put all my eggs into my previous partner supporting me through my current job to save money but when that relationship ended so did me wanting to continue on with my current job(truck driving) tho I’m very unhappy in it.




Or is there anyway I can go to an actually university or do I have to go to a community college first. I absolutely have no idea how college works.

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Going to college has nothing to do with age really and at 23 you are still very very young.


You need to look at more practical things like what do you want to study? Then look for universities that are highly ranked in that field AND have excellent job placement records that are actually verified. Once you have that list, narrow it down to entrance requirements, costs of going there, etc. Where can you get in and what's most cost effective.


Only reason to waste time in community college would be that you can't get into a university directly and you need those classes and grades to help you transfer into your uni of choice. Even so, verify that the uni will accept that particular community college transfers and what the requirements are in terms of grades.


Remember that it's not about getting a degree, but rather going to a uni that will actually open doors into a career. Not every college, not every degree does that.

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Get your high school records in order.

Research a likely course of study that interests you.

Look up potential colleges that offer a degree in that area.


Get your finances in order, including financial aid potential.


Then apply.

Edited by jimthzz
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First of all, MANY people who attend college do not start at 18 and graduate at 22. Graduating at 27 is not old and it means you will have a more promising future than if you don't go to college at all. If you are unclear on what you want to study, beginning at a community college is often a smart move because you can take many of your required classes (freshman English, lab sciences, maths) while exploring many options for much lower cost. Then, once you decide what you want to study, do your research and transfer to a four-year school with a strong program. Large state universities have the widest diversity of students, not just racially, ethnically and religiously, but age wise and work-experience wise. You will not be the only one your age who is an undergraduate and will have many choices about friends, organizations and interests. If you are looking for a social experience, online school is definitely not the way to go.

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What you think is too old for college is ridiculous. You can't get a Bachelor's degree at a community college. You get an Associate degree there. It's cheaper to go to a community college, get your Associate degree, and then apply to a university to get a Bachelor's degree if that's your goal. I started at a community college in my late teens and got an Assoc. degree. Not until I was 28 did I go to a University to get my Bachelor's degree. There were a dozen of older students like me in my degree and we banded up to have study groups together.


I'd suggest seeing which majors are available at your nearest community college and see if anything sparks your interest. If so, do some research on what career you can get with that degree, and if that occupation has a high hiring rate according to where you want to live.


My aunt didn't go to nursing school until all of her children were grown and she was in her forties. It's an evolving world where past norms have been thrown out the window. Good luck.

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I wouldn’t graduate until 27 which seems really old.


Hah! Well, you can either be 27 with a degree, or you can be 27 without a degree.


It's never too late to pursue school. I abandoned night school half finished in my 20's in favor of an IT career that required travel and was too demanding to continue. I kept parlaying each project into a higher consulting rate until I burned out in my mid-30's and got bored. So I took a local admin job with no travel and reasonable hours, returned to school in my late 30's and continued through to earn a master's in my 40's.


The difference between my young student self and my old student self is that my young self hated school and struggled to pass, while my older self loved school and maintained A's.


Consider making appointments with admissions offices from a 2 year county school and at least two 4 year schools, with at least one being a state school. Each will explain what they can offer you in terms of any number of study paths. Full time, weekends, nights, online, hybrids--you may want to combine any of these options over different periods of time.


You may be offered a combo plate of CLEP exams to test 'out' of needing to take some courses. There are study materials for these tests, and passing spares you a LOT of time and money. Taking some general level courses at a county college can shave off a ton of tuition expense, and you can use that time to continue researching bachelor level schools and majors even while you earn the basic level credits cheaply. Then you can transfer to the school of your choice.


If you want full time school, there are no age barriers to that beyond supporting your expenses. Maybe you can negotiate support from your parents OR save up enough money to support yourself OR take enough loan money OR research scholarships, which are not just limited to athletic high school students--there are sometimes scholarships for older students returning to school.


There are no 'rules' for what you must do to go to school, there are only various credit requirements. You can even begin school without declaring a major until you reach a certain point.


Good luck, and I hope you'll update us on what you decide.

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I feel like I want the traditional college experience but due to my age I can’t or something.

Why do you want the traditional college experience? And why can't you do that at 23?


If I’d go this route I wouldn’t graduate until 27 which seems really old.

Wait a second. I'm confused. You "want the traditional college experience" and your plan is to EVENTUALLY transfer to a 4-yr college - yet you think graduating at 27 is "too old". Which is it? You are putting together impossible standards here.

A traditional 4-yr college experience will take 4 yrs (if not more) - and even longer if you go thru community college or jr college first.


My best advice to most people is this (because they all do what you are doing here) - STOP COMING UP WITH THE ANSWERS/SOLUTIONS BEFORE YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS/KNOW THE ISSUE! In other words.. stop coming up with your answer before you even define what it is that you want! Why do you want to go to college? What do yo uhope to get out of college? What are the options that would fulfill those things you want to get out of college? Be as specific as you can on each answer! Once we know that - then we can tell you what your best fit is.


EX 1. I want to go to college so I am able to be a qualified candidate for jobs in the X sector while I pursue my career to ultimately become a Z.

EX 2. I want to go to college to experience the full college experience and explore some studies and areas I have been curious about and help me figure out what i want for a job or career.

EX 3. I want to build a career as fast as I can (optionally: "in the X industry")

EX 4. I want to find the most financially frugal way to get started in a long term career (optionally "in the X industry")


What is it that you are trying to accomplish and solve here? Your "mission statement"?

Without that you are shooting at blanks and will have far less probability of actually solving your problem or goals.


So start there!



I will be honest I’m not a social person so I feel like college would help that.

College is not the only avenue available to build social skills. And you may find that undergrad college would not be the best conducive envrionment for a 23 yr old to build "social skills" since it's emphasis is on academic learning (too much studying and learning with people 5 yrs your younger). Instead you can go to events, classes, conventions on this - or even just go volunteer or join activity clubs to build social skills.


Or is there anyway I can go to an actually university or do I have to go to a community college first. I absolutely have no idea how college works.

To figure out how to be admitted into any institution, contact their admissions office and ask them what is required and what are their typical or expected standards for gaining admission to their institution. Each college or university is different so identify the ones you are interested in and contact them and find out. (the most important part of that is their DEADLINES for applications.. you will want to know that NOW so you dont' have to wait or waste 1 additional year simply because you missed an application deadline).


Good luck!

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