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:
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.
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 FinancialAid@IllinoisState.edu or visit their website.
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.
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.
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:
University Housing Services provides housing for adult learner/nontraditional students. Cardinal Court and Shelbourne Apartments provide affordable housing for Illinois State students who meet specific criteria. Housing in these units is at a premium and typically fills quickly. 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.
Illinois State University has a child care center. The eligibility requirements to enroll in the Center are as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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 My.IllinoisState.edu.
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.
Take a look at the Illinois State University Campus Map for information on parking and building locations.
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:
Class registration resources:
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.
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.