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Adult Learner
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Each year, an increasing number of adult students enroll in a college or occupational school to earn degrees, receive advanced training and learn new trades.

In fact, nationally, adult learners and non-traditional-aged students are the fastest growing population of students in postsecondary education.

Regardless if you are thinking about continuing your education or you are already enrolled in a program, the resources below can put you one step closer to your educational goals!

Start With the Basics

Postsecondary institutions typically require students earn a high school diploma or its equivalent before being admitted.  If you do not have a high school diploma, you may want to consider taking the Tests of General Education Development® (GED®) or participating in the Commonwealth Secondary Diploma Program.  

Going to College - Where to Start 

The college planning process for adult students is similar to that of high school students.  It all starts with choosing a major, finding the right school and learning about financial aid.

College Transfer - Get the Most Out of Your College Credit

Pennsylvania students can maximize their credit transfer and reduce credit loss by using the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC). This free interactive website will help you locate transferable courses, find institutions that accept your past credits and access a variety of resources that make the transfer process easier.

Credit for Life Experience - Earn College Credit for What You Already Got

Adults have personal and professional learning experience that often can earn them college credit.  Discover how you might benefit from prior learning opportunities, such as credit by examination, portfolio assessment and credit for work experience.

Educational Benefits of Military Service

Service members often can receive college credit based on training, coursework and occupational specialty earned in the military.  PDE's Division of Veterans and Military Education can explain how to obtain military transcripts, access military benefits such as the GI Bill and so much more.


For additional information, please contact:

Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education |
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Fl | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.787.4313 | Fax: 717.783.0583
ra-collunivseminfo@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us