I can honestly say that this term has gone by the fastest for me of the seven terms I've attended to date. At the risk of sounding like a walking cliché, it feels like just yesterday that I was registering for my current classes. In all actuality, I cannot believe that it's already been over two years since I first registered with GSC.
I'd flirted with the idea for years, but never found the courage to actually take that step until after I'd turned 40 in April of 2008. Even then, I procrastinated for as long as I could as I took a small baby step forward by making an initial appointment with an advisor. I didn't know where to start, and was overwhelmed by what I'd imagined the process to entail.
I can assure you that it was much less daunting than my mind had painted it out to be.
If you are currently considering pursuing an affordable bachelor degree, or any other adult college degree, I encourage you to look no farther than Granite State College. Located in New Hampshire, GSC is small enough to retain a sense of community, even to those of us who attend almost entirely online, yet big enough to offer a broad range of online classes for adults and evening college classes located throughout the state. Financial aid is available even if you don't have time for anything more than part time classes.
There's plenty of information about how to get started, or to request more information, to be found at the Granite State College website. Here are a few pieces of information that I wish that I'd had when I first started weighing the idea of returning to college:
- You can apply for financial aid online. The FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) doesn't take nearly as long to complete as you might imagine, and you may even discover, as I did, that you are eligible for grants and/or scholarships. Though there is an annual deadline to apply, I completed mine in mid-August, and began my classes on time in September. For more information, check out GSC's Financial Aid page.
- If you fill out the FAFSA, you'll need a PIN. This isn't a big deal at all, but serves as your electronic signature. A link to the Federal Student Aid web site is provided on the FAFSA web site. Creating a PIN only takes a moment, and is very easy.
- You can meet with an advisor, even if you haven't formally decided to enroll. I first met with an advisor from GSC a couple of years before I actually enrolled. He answered all of my questions, and never once made me feel as though I was wasting his time. Though I didn't actively enroll at that time, that meeting prepared me for the later step.
- Download and view the Winter 2011 catalog, or prior catalogs going back several years. Once you start reading about the courses offered by Granite State College, you'll soon find yourself wanting to take many of them!
- Register online! According to GSC's web site, you can even register for a class now and apply later. Registration for the Winter 2011 term is now open through December 29th, 2010, and classes begin January 8th, 2011.
If I can do it, so can you!