Friday, July 1, 2011

'Going back' to college

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to "go back" to college? Maybe to start a new career or finish that degree you started way back when?

Hollywood is visiting this notion in a new film being released today: "Larry Crowne." Tom Hanks’ title character Larry gets laid off, but then he reinvents himself by heading off to community college. (Fun fact: Tom Hanks went to community college when he was younger. Here is a link to other well-known community college alums include Halle Berry, George Lucas and Clint Eastwood.)

So, if you were to go back to school where would you start? I talked to Tulsa Community College advisor Christopher Davis, and he suggests these “FIFTY” tips:
Financial Aid – fill out the FAFSA early, as the Financial Aid process can be time consuming. Follow up with the Financial Aid Office and submit any documents or forms they require from you.
Identify your needs – Are you pursuing a bachelor’s degree or are you interested in a certificate of achievement? Do you need tutoring in math? Make the most of your time (and money) while in college.
Find help! – Whether you need assistance filling out financial aid applications or enrolling in the correct classes, don’t hesitate to ask for help. See an advisor or a tutor or ask a friend or fellow student for help.
Timeline – Plan ahead, be patient and allow plenty of time for admissions, advisement and financial aid processes. Check the Academic Calendar and avoid putting off enrollment until the last minute.
You – Be realistic about your expectations and course load. If you work or have children, consider how much time you can commit toward attending class and studying outside of class. It’s better to take fewer classes and get good grades than enroll in too many classes and do poorly.
To ask questions about going back to school, visit or call 918-595-2010.

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