Adult Learners Bring You Challenges, You Can Offer Them Opportunities

Adult Learners Bring You Challenges, You Can Offer Them Opportunities

4 minute read

The traditional stereotype of an incoming college student is a young person who’s as concerned about their social life as they are about course selection. The reality is that today’s college student doesn’t fit that old stereotype. In fact, almost 35% of today’s incoming students in the U.S. are over the age of 25. These nontraditional students make up almost 75% of the students currently enrolled in post-secondary education. They’re not concerned about the college scene. They’re much more concerned about juggling college with one or even two jobs, spouses and partners, kids, and day-to-day adult responsibilities. Then there’s the money; how to squeeze tuition costs out of already-tight family budgets. Many are not ready for the rigors of college. Nearly 60% of first-year college students discover that they’re just not ready for college-level studies. A high school diploma or certificate doesn’t guarantee readiness. Imagine finding out you’re required to take remedial English or mathematics for no credit but at full tuition cost. The gap between eligibility and readiness can be a real setback – emotionally and financially. Talk about challenges. It takes a highly motivated adult learner to tackle the rigors of college. By understanding what motivates them, you can be a force in their success. And what motivates them is related directly to their life experiences. Some never went to college. Many stopped out and are now returning after a long pause. It’s not easy. Good thing non-traditional students tend to be more mature, more independent and, yes, more motivated. How you counsel them needs to be tailored to their needs and motivations:

  • Need or desire to make a career change
  • Need for education to secure a job promotion
  • Need to achieve a personal goal

Motivations are strong but the barriers to success are daunting. A December survey of potential college students found 37% cited work responsibilities as a barrier to furthering their education, and 44% listed affordability as a major reason for not enrolling. With everything already on their plates, adult students often wonder “Can I really do this?” Going back to school can be overwhelming. You can show them how to navigate the process in a way that makes it so much less intimidating. StraighterLine provides opportunities for you and your prospective adult students to meet these challenges head on with flexible, efficient, and affordable corequisite courses. You – and StraighterLine – can help your adult students succeed. Students returning to universities from StraighterLine persist at rates much higher than their peers. After 13 months, StraighterLine students had a 30% higher retention rate than students from a direct-to-university pathway.  StraighterLine students complete 28% more credits per term and graduate one full term faster than direct-to-university adult students. Why? Because StraighterLine prepares your nontraditional students to succeed:

  • 24/7 support
  • Low cost/low risk to alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Flexibility to fit in the modern learner’s real life

StraighterLine is an affordable solution for students who need to start or complete prerequisites before enrolling with your school. The $99 monthly tuition model incentivizes fast completion. Course credit transfers directly back to your school. With more than 60 general education courses online and no start or stop dates, students can immediately enroll in as many courses as they need to help them meet your admissions requirements. You can make it easy for students to finish needed coursework and transfer their credits back to your school. Just refer them to StraighterLine. It’s a proven “refer and return” pathway. Hundreds of colleges and universities refer their students to StraighterLine every month. That’s because StraighterLine returns students who are ready and motivated stay enrolled….students who have gained the confidence they need to succeed at your school. It’s easy to refer students to StraighterLine:

  1. Have the student call (877) 787-8375 or visit to talk to a team member about how to get started, what to expect, course transfer, transcript processing and how to earn college credit.
  2. The student can choose from more than 60 general education courses as well as entryway math and English courses. eTextbooks and online tutoring are included for free.
  3. After completing a StraighterLine course, students can use a no-cost StraighterLine transcript or an ACE CREDIT® transcript for credit transfer. StraighterLine makes it easy for students to finish needed coursework and transfer their credits back to your school.

Let StraighterLine be your partner in helping adult learners turn challenges into opportunities. Learn how by visiting our partner page.   

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