If you’ve never been to college, or started but never finished, this checklist is for you.

Need to improve your skills or knowledge? Find a new career path? Try the suggestions below.

Adult Student Checklist

 To Do:

  •  Look into getting a General Educational Development (GED) certificate if you don’t have a high school diploma; try searching online for “GED certificate” and your state’s name.
  • Research careers and the need for various jobs in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Or, for an interactive tool, try the U.S. Department of Labor’s career search. For help identifying potential opportunities, visit careeronestop.org or contact your local community college.
  • Use College Navigator to find the right school for your career intentions. Get tips on choosing a school.
  •  Ask employers to recommend schools that provide training in the skills you will need for the career you choose.
  • Ask your employer if assistance is available to help you pay for school.
  • Use the U.S. Department of Labor’s scholarship search to find scholarships.
  • Apply for federal student aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.
  • Get to know the financial aid staff at the school you plan to attend; they can help you with aid applications and explain the types of aid available.



Try This Resource
Federal Student Aid for Adult Students—Provides adults considering college with information on the types of federal student aid available, how to apply, important deadlines, and more.

To Explore: