Illinois State University
Illinois State University
Jump over the site's masthead's navigation bar.
Jump over the site's left-side navigation bar.

Adult Learner Services Frequently Asked Questions

Who does Illinois State University consider an adult learner/nontraditional student?

At Illinois State University, adult learner/nontraditional students are defined as lifelong learners who generally are 25 years or older, and/or have additional responsibilities such as family, career, military, or community, and are seeking a degree or other educational offering (credit or non-credit) to enhance their professional and/or personal lives. If you fall into one of the following categories, you are considered an adult learner/nontraditional student:

  • Financially independent;
  • Employed full-time;
  • A person with dependents;
  • A person who as a result of a death or divorce, is now single and wishes to complete a degree program;
  • A commuter student (you live off-campus) and will commute to campus to attend class; or
  • A veteran of the United States military who recently returned to the civilian world after serving in the armed forces.

Back to top

I know that I want to enroll at Illinois State, where do I begin?

The first step to enrolling at Illinois State University is to apply for admission. Many adult learners are first-time college students, some may be transferring from another institution, and others may be seeking an additional degree such as a second bachelorís or masterís degree. You can apply for admission online at Welcome2ISU. Admissions staff can assist you with any additional steps that may be necessary to complete your application file such as the submission of transcripts, test scores, etc.

Back to top

How can I afford Illinois State University?

The Financial Aid Office will assist you with estimating your financial aid eligibility. In addition, you are encouraged to contact the Scholarship Resource Office, housed within the Financial Aid Office, for assistance with finding various scholarships for which you may qualify. A variety of online scholarship links are available from the Financial Aid Office website.

To help determine your eligibility for various sources of financial aid, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1, the preferential filing date, or as soon as possible. For more information contact the Financial Aid Office by phone at (309) 438-2231, via email at or visit their website.

Back to top

Am I able to take one class or do I have to go full-time (12 hours)?

Taking one class is permitted. However, you must have 12 semester hours of credit to be considered a full-time student. Not being a full-time student most likely will impact your financial aid eligibility, campus housing opportunities, and various other ďbenefitsĒ enjoyed by full-time Illinois State students. In addition, it goes without saying that enrolling in no more than 3 hours of semester credit (typically the credit earned for one class) per semester will delay your time to graduation.

Please be aware that under the state ďTruth in TuitionĒ law, Illinois State University will freeze undergraduate tuition and general fee rates for a four-year period. Upon enrollment the tuition and fees rate will be fixed for a four-year period and remain in effect until the end of that four-year duration. For example, a new student entering for the Fall Semester 2013 will have their tuition and fees frozen until the Summer Session 2017. If a new student begins a program and sequence that could require more than four-years to complete, that student may possibly be eligible to have their duration extended. Student Accounts will help answer any questions you may have regarding Truth in Tuition, your billing statement, payments received, or the charges you are assessed.

Therefore, if you enroll in only one class per semester, you most likely will exceed the four year freeze on your tuition and fees rate.

Back to top

Iíve been admitted to Illinois State University. Iím registered for classes, but Iím nervous about my first day of class. Help?

Many adult learners/nontraditional students share feelings of anxiety and excitement in regard to beginning or returning to their academic career. Adult Learner Services is one of the many services available at Illinois State available to assist you with your transition in becoming a college student.

Remember that you are not the only adult learner/nontraditional student at Illinois State. To meet more students who may be in a similar situation as yourself, consider becoming a part organizations where many members are adult learners/nontraditional students, such as the Womenís Mentoring Network.

Because you may be juggling many responsibilities, it is not uncommon for adult learners/nontraditional students to be concerned that professors will be not understand their unique needs. Therefore, it is in your best interest to meet with your professors during office hours to discuss your unique needs, questions about the course, etc.

Back to top

How can I increase my chances of being a successful Adult Learner/Nontraditional student?

First and foremost, you must be realistic about your schedule Ė work, family, school, etc. Traditionally, adult learner/nontraditional students have a multitude of responsibilities, school is only one of them. Take note of the following tips to increase your chances for academic success at Illinois State:

  • Register for a class schedule that will allow you to successfully accomplish all of your other responsibilities.
  • Meet with your professors during their regularly scheduled office hours.
  • Participate in workshops provided by the Julia N. Visor Academic Center to brush up on study skills, improve your writing ability, receive free tutoring, etc.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly and work together to plan in advance for each term.
  • Explore the many support services available on campus Ė Student Counseling Services, Career Center, Womenís Mentoring Network, Child Care Center, Veteran Services, etc.
  • Contact Adult Learner Services with your questions and concerns at (309) 438-3217.

Back to top

What are my housing options? I donít want to be living in the residence halls with a whole floor of 18-year-olds!

University Housing Services provides housing for adult learner/nontraditional students. If you are interested in learning more, contact University Housing Services at (309) 438-8611 or visit the University Housing Services Web site.

If you are considering living off-campus in a non-university owned and operated apartment, Student and Community Outreach may be able to recommend housing that may appeal to you as an adult learner/nontraditional student. Staff in their office will review your lease before you sign. Contact the Dean of Students Office for more information at (309) 438-5951.

Back to top

I need childcare. Where can I get help?

Illinois State University has a child care center. The eligibility requirements to enroll in the Center are as follows:

  • Parent must be an ISU student, full or part-time
  • Child must be 3 years of age
  • Students must take at least one course per semester
  • Illinois State faculty and staff are eligible if they are also an ISU student or if it is summer session

For more information about Illinois Stateís child care facilities, please contact the Child Care Center at (309) 438-5026 or view their website.

If you are looking for child care in Bloomington/Normal or surrounding communities, you may want to contact the Child Care Resource and Referral Network at (309) 828-1892 or visit their website. The Child Care Resource and Referral Network can assist you with finding licensed daycare providers for your specific needs.

Back to top

I havenít written a paper in years! I havenít taken a math course in years! Where can I get help with my academic skills?

Illinois State University has a service area that can help you write a paper, brush up on your study skills, offers free tutoring, and can assist you in your math courses. At the Julia N. Visor Academic Center, their friendly staff can help you with these skills and much more. They offer many free workshops to assist you in taking notes, studying skills, and time management just to name a few. You can contact them at (309) 438-7100 in Vrooman Center, room 012, or visit their website.

Back to top

How many adult learner/nontraditional students are there at Illinois State? Am I the only one?

You are not the only adult learner/nontraditional student at Illinois State. Each semester, approximately 1,900 adult learners/nontraditional undergraduate students are enrolled. Adult Learner/nontraditional students make up nearly 10 percent of the undergraduate student enrollment. Although a small part of the total population, Illinois State recognizes the unique needs of this population.

Back to top

Are classes or services available during the evening or weekends?

Many departments offer various courses in the evening. A very limited number of online and weekend courses are available. Talk to your academic advisor about the availability of courses during weekend and evening hours during your class registration planning appointment. You can also see what is available by referring to the Course Finder found within

Many campus offices and services are not readily available after 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or on the weekends. If you have a specific need that Adult Learner Services can assist you with, our staff will make evening or weekend appointments. Contact Adult Learner Services at (309) 438-3217.

Back to top

I have no idea where a certain building is on campus or which parking lot I can park in with my commuter decal. Where can I get a map?

Take a look at the Illinois State University Campus Map for information on parking and building locations.

Back to top

Iíve been admitted. How do I register for classes?

You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss course options. In addition, your advisor will work with you to ensure that you meet graduation requirements. The following items will be important to you as you register for classes:

How to register for classes:

  • - is the way for you to register for classes. In addition, it is a one-stop-shop for students, faculty, and staff to find important personal and university information and updates. Log in with your ULID and password to gain access to an array of exciting features, including e-mail, your Redbird Card balance, class registration, campus announcements, your grades and class schedules, etc. In addition, through the ďCourse RegistrationĒ channel, you can find real-time updates in regard to course offerings during registration periods. Make a habit of going to your portal on a regular basis.

Class registration resources:

  • Course Finder Ė This Google-powered online search allows you to search dynamically for classes by day, time, department, whether or not a course is online, and any other way you can think of!
  • Catalog Ė The University provides an Undergraduate Catalog and a Graduate Catalog. These publications contain, among other things, information about graduation requirements, University policies, major/program requirements, and a description of each course offering. Both catalogs are available online.

Back to top

What is the Adult Learner Program at Illinois State University?

Unfortunately, Illinois State University does not offer an Adult Learner Program. Some institutions offer these types of programs which are usually accelerated programs geared towards the adult learner population. Programs like this offer more internet, off-site, evening, and weekend courses to accommodate adult learners schedules. Although Illinois State, does offer a limited number of these types of courses, there is not a degree offered at Illinois State with only these types of courses. If you are interested in evening, internet, or other types of courses offered at Illinois State, please contact your academic advisor.

Back to top

I don't have time to meet with an academic advisor to find out information I can get out of my catalog. Do I really need to meet with him/her?

The answer is yes, you should meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis. Your academic advisor is a key player in your success! The benefits of meeting with your academic advisor are: making sure you are meeting major requirements and staying on course to graduation, receiving necessary referrals to other areas on campus if needed, and to offer you guidance through your time here at Illinois State University. The consequences from not meeting with your academic advisor may be a delay in completing coursework necessary to graduate from Illinois State.

Back to top

Illinois State University

University College
Normal, Il 61790-4060
Phone: (309) 438-3217

© 2015 Illinois State UniversityPrivacy StatementIdentity StandardsAppropriate Use Policy