Back to College: Frequently Asked Questions

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Making the decision to return to college is scary. It might be something that you haven’t thought about in a long time. Where do you even begin? Is it worth your time? Will you have to attend classes with 18-year-old students?

These are all very important questions to consider when making a big decision like returning to college. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help make your decision easier.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions for Students Thinking about Going Back to College:

What is a readmit or non-traditional student?

A “readmit” student is a student who has attended the College of Charleston, but left before completing their degree. At the College of Charleston, readmit students must meet the minimum GPA requirements for transfer students, which is a 2.6 cumulative GPA for in-state students and a 3.0 for out-of-state students. If a student left the college with less than a 2.0 GPA and is readmitted, that student must complete the STEP program, which is a one-day workshop that will help that readmitted student succeed at the College.

A non-traditional student, also known as an adult student, is a student who is older than 21 and may or may not have attended college in the past. Many non-traditional students have spent time in the workforce, the military, or raising a family and now want to complete their undergraduate degree to achieve a personal or professional goal. A majority of adult students continue to work while returning to school and other non-traditional students attend college part time.

Why should I go back to college?

The reason most students return to college to complete their 4-year degree is to increase their earnings potential either by getting a promotion at their current job or by looking for a new job.

In 2015, college graduates earned, on average, 56% more than high school grads.

Some adults continue their education to gain relevant skills in their current industry while others are looking to take their career in a new direction. Other students want to complete their college degree because it is a personal goal.

Each student is unique. What motivates one person to return to college doesn’t necessarily apply to their peer.

Do I really need a college degree?

Yes! Many jobs are requiring a college degree. Even though you may be the most qualified applicant for a position – except for the fact that you are missing your college degree – you may be refused a job offer, or even a foot in the door.

Study after study finds that those with a college degree earn more money than those with a high school diploma or associate’s degree.

Another reason many people decide to complete their degree is to keep up with a 21st century economy. Technology changes quickly, but so does the way the world conducts business. Returning to college can help you catch up on 21st century skills and get ahead of these trends.

Not everyone returns to college to make more money. For some, it’s a personal goal.

Am I too old for college?

No! In the School of Professional Studies, we have students who are in their 70s and 80s as well as students who are in their 20s and 30s. Our students typically range in age from 25-69, but it’s never too late to go back and earn that degree.

Is going back to school really worth the time and money?

It depends on your personal and professional goals, but for those who are looking to increase their salary or switch careers, a college education is worth it. The School of Professional Studies offers scholarships for students to help off-set the cost of education. There are also many opportunities for students to earn scholarships and take advantage of financial aid.

Will I have to start over?

If you have some college credit from an accredited college or university, you won’t be starting from scratch. Most of the time, prior college credits can be applied to a degree.

Military and veteran students are now able to transfer 30 credit hours from their military experience to the College of Charleston. An admissions counselor can help you determine how many credit hours will transfer to the College.

Where do I start?

Start with outlining your goals. Do you want to stay within your current industry? Do you want to pursue a new career? Or, do you just want to learn something new?

Once have an idea about what you want your degree to do for you, you can decide on which degree program would be best.

The Bachelor of Professional studies offers eight professionally oriented concentrations for students to choose from. These concentrations are developed for students who desire the flexibility of online and evening courses. In addition, the BPS program offers streamlined general education requirements.

The Bachelor of General Studies is a flexible degree program that allows students to choose two minors from the College’s list of almost 80 minors. Six of these minors can be completed completely online.

What should I look for in a college?

Look for colleges with high graduation rates, accomplished alumni, and a program that you are interested in learning more about.

Another factor to consider is the mode of course delivery. Are you able to attend courses during the day? Most adult students are working and require evening or online classes. Are the classes online? Are there face-to-face options?

The College of Charleston has a unique solution to the method of course delivery – Live Online. Live Online allows students to attend class both face-to-face and online. Students can choose that day whether they can attend in person at the North Campus or would rather log into their account via the online portal. If a student can’t make the scheduled class time, that student may watch the lecture later so that they don’t miss a beat.

Do I have to take an entrance exam?

Nope. All we require is that you have a high school diploma, 2 semesters of college and a 2.6 GPA. If you don’t have at least 24 credit hours to transfer, you will need to submit SAT or ACT scores and meet the colleges minimum acceptance requirements.