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Adult Learner

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 (CSSD).

Going to College - Where to Start

The college planning process for adult students is similar to that of high school students.

Choosing a Major:

Some students know exactly what they want to major in and what they want as their first career. But a large majority of students do not. Use the links below to get tips for choosing a major or career path and access lists of programs offered at all types of postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania.

Finding the Right School:

There are many factors to consider when selecting a college, university or other postsecondary institution, such as types of degree programs offered, location, flexibility in scheduling including evening and online course offerings and cost. Use the resources below to find the postsecondary institution that is "right" for you!

Types of Postsecondary Institutions in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 300 postsecondary institutions that offer every career choice and degree program a student could want. Use the links below to learn more about each type of postsecondary institution and then search for institutions that interest you.

  • Community Colleges
  • State Universities (PASSHE)
  • State-Related Institutions
  • State-Aided Institutions
  • Private Colleges and Universities
  • Occupational Career and Technical Schools

Considering a postsecondary institution in Pennsylvania?

  • Use EDNA to locate the name and addresses of postsecondary institutions in the Commonwealth.
  • Use PDE's Institution Program Search to find postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania that offer specific programs and degrees.

Want to research postsecondary institutions throughout the United States?

Expand your search with College Navigator, the U.S. Department of Education's national college search website.

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.

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.