Cover image for Traditional degrees for nontraditional students : how to earn a top diploma from America's great colleges at any age
Traditional degrees for nontraditional students : how to earn a top diploma from America's great colleges at any age
Fungaroli, Carole S.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxi, 295 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


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LB2343.32 .F86 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Popular Materials-College Entrance

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A practical, witty guide for adult returning students The number of adults completing bachelor's degrees later in life is at an all-time high. Many universities have targeted this market with expensive, substandard programs. In this essential guide, Carole S. Fungaroli challenges the conventional wisdom that advocates distance learning, Internet degrees, and second-rate weekend programs for adult students. She argues that adults are best suited to a traditional college experience, and she insists that even those with children, jobs, and mortgages can earn a standard, four-year degree at a first-rate college. As Fungaroli shows, traditional studies at excellent universities will foster a scholar mentality that leads to top grades, greater academic opportunities, and more fulfilling careers. In addition to information on program selection, application, and financial aid, the book offers advice on such issues as overcoming fears of not being "college material" and taking part in campus life. Fungaroli writes from her own unique experience as an adult returning student. She has also interviewed scores of adult students at colleges and universities across the country, including the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bryn Mawr College, and Harvard.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Dropout Who Dropped Back In Againp. xi
1. Why College ... and Why Now?p. 3
Believe It or Not, Four-Year Degrees Are Still Quite Rarep. 5
College Graduates Earn as Much as 70 Percent More Than Those Without a Degreep. 6
College Is a Reliable Road to the Great Professions and Careersp. 7
College Graduates Get to Be the Bossp. 8
Maybe You're the First in Your Family to Think About Collegep. 10
Your High School Counselor May Have Misjudged Youp. 12
Reasons Adults Return to College (or Decide to Go for the First Time)p. 13
Returning to College After Taking Time Off to Grow Upp. 14
Returning to College Because of Family Responsibility: It May Have Kept You Out of College, but It Is Also a Great Reason to Returnp. 15
Returning to College After Earning an "M.R.S." Degreep. 18
Returning to College After a Military Careerp. 21
Returning to College as Part of Recovery from Substance Abusep. 23
Returning to College for a Fresh Start After a Setbackp. 26
Returning to College Even If You Don't "Need" a Degreep. 28
2. If I Only Had a Brain
Overcoming the "Not College Material" Imagep. 32
But What About Intelligence? What If I'm Really Too Dumb After All?p. 37
Facing Down Your First On-Campus Fearsp. 40
College Is Aimed at the Average Student, Not the So-called Geniusp. 44
Many Professors Welcome Adult Students--with Good Reasonp. 45
3. What's Scarier: Telling Your Boss, or Telling Your Family?p. 49
Telling the Boss When You Have to Start College from Scratchp. 54
The Boss Was Easy: Now How Do You Tell Your Spouse?p. 57
Be Sensitive to "Trailing Spouse Syndrome"p. 58
But What If Somebody Says No?p. 61
4. Choosing a College or University: Prestige Does Matterp. 68
Campus Life and Top Degrees Make You Visible to the Power Elitep. 69
Attend the Top Schools and Great Jobs Will Find You!p. 70
College Endowments Make Great Schools a Bargainp. 72
The Best Colleges Have a Long History of Intellectual Rigor, Coupled with Academic Freedomp. 74
The Best Colleges Have Excellent On-Campus Resourcesp. 76
Strong Professors Make the Difference Between "Book Learning" and an Intellectually Rich Experiencep. 77
A Great Campus Can Make You Fall in Love with Learningp. 79
Better Schools May Cost Less Than the "Bargain" Programsp. 80
Three Principles Behind Aiming for a Great Collegep. 81
Why You Should Use "Best Schools" Guides with Cautionp. 83
Putting the Top-Ten Lists in Perspectivep. 84
5. Paying for It: The Simple Math of Financial Aidp. 87
Most Americans Overestimate the Real Price of Collegep. 88
Your Tax Dollars Have Already Helped Pay for State Universitiesp. 89
You Should Always Aim High, but Consider Starting Smallp. 90
Top Community and Junior Colleges Can Be Useful Paths to Four-Year Campusesp. 91
In-State Status Is One Key to Affordable Tuitionp. 93
Campus Employees Often Receive Generous Tuition Waiversp. 94
The Military Can Help You Pay for College, and Also Give You In-State Tuition Statusp. 95
Start Now to Discover Your Many and Varied Financial Aid Optionsp. 97
Some Financial Aid Offices Are More Helpful than Othersp. 98
The Art of Convincing Skeptical Officers That You Are Independentp. 100
If You Earn Top Grades, Enter with Your Report Cards Blazing!p. 102
Learn to Identify Yourself by Race, Religion, and Even Shoe Size, If It Helpsp. 103
Try Not to Look Too Good on Paperp. 104
Seven Steps Toward Earning the Maximum Financial Aidp. 106
The Costs and Benefits of Corporate Tuition Reimbursementp. 109
Ask Your College About the Funding for Various Majorsp. 113
Student Loans Should Be Your Last Resortp. 114
How to Pay for Your Education When Your Kids Are Students, Toop. 116
6. The Inevitable Application Processp. 122
Declaring the Past Over: How to Earn a Better Recordp. 123
Combine Your Recent Good Grades with Your Best SAT Scoresp. 130
Cracking the SAT's Code: Professional Courses Are the Best Way to Preparep. 134
How to Deal with Advisors and Counselorsp. 137
How to Assemble Your Application Package Intelligentlyp. 146
Obtaining Outstanding Letters of Recommendationp. 148
The Art of the Application Essayp. 150
Be Cheerfully Persistent, and Don't Take No for an Answerp. 155
7. Balancing the Demands of Work, Family, and Schoolp. 157
Extra Study Hours May Be Hiding in Your Television Setp. 158
There Are Other Hours Hiding in Your Schedulep. 160
Going to Class with Assertive Stylep. 165
If Your Job Won't Bend, Consider a Better Onep. 167
Why Not Give Up Your Full-time Job and Live Like a Student?p. 168
Your Family and Your Boss Are Differentp. 170
Take Your Partner to School with Youp. 175
Try to Keep College, Work, and Family Separatep. 177
Five Scheduling Tips That Can Save Your Sanityp. 178
Accept the Fact That You Will Mess Up or Feel Forlorn Sometimesp. 184
Occasional Setbacks and Even Depression Can Be Normal, Even When You're "Supposed" to Feel Happyp. 187
Slow Down If You Must, but Don't Drop Out!p. 189
8. Where There's a Will, There's an "A"p. 192
As an Adult, You Have a Better Chance of Surviving Minor Setbacks and Coming Out on Topp. 194
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackboard: Strategies for Earning Higher Gradesp. 196
Concentrate on Keeping an "Inner 4.0" in Your Majorp. 207
How to Recover from the Setback of a Low Gradep. 209
Scholarly Organizations, Honors, and Extracurricular Activities Will "Make" Your Resumep. 213
Overcoming Computer Illiteracy and Other Technological Fearsp. 216
Believe in Your Abilities, but Develop a Light Touchp. 218
9. Declaring a Majorp. 220
Intellectual Passion Is the Real Rationale Behind the Broad-Based Bachelor's Degreep. 221
Courses for Majors Are Usually the Best Introduction to a Fieldp. 223
Consider a Major in What Your University Does Bestp. 226
Should You Rely on Academic Advising?p. 226
Is Your Goal an "Occupational Fantasy" or a Brilliant Career Move?p. 227
It's Often Easier to Settle for Your Second Love than to Gamble on Your Firstp. 230
Is Business Really the Most Practical Major?p. 232
Don't Rule Out Accounting, Science, or Math Because of Past Difficultiesp. 235
Many Employers Place a Surprisingly High Value on a Broad-Based Educationp. 237
Why I Don't Usually Recommend Double Majorsp. 239
How to Make Any Major Look Good on Your Resumep. 241
10. Developing an Intellectual Identity (Without Becoming a Snob)p. 243
Equating Speed with Intelligence Is Part of an I.Q.-Obsessed Culturep. 247
Prodigies Have to Work as Hard, and as Long, as Their Adult Counterpartsp. 248
High-Achieving Students Often Make It Look Easyp. 249
11. Campus Life: Why Fellow Students and Professors Are Vital to Your Academic Successp. 252
Getting to Know Your Professors, and Working with the Bestp. 257
Studying Abroad with Fellow Students and Professorsp. 263
Enjoying the Beauty of the Traditional College Campusp. 268
Appendix A Some Recommended Campuses for Nontraditional Studentsp. 273
Appendix B Books, Software, Websites, and Other Helpful Resourcesp. 287
Acknowledgmentsp. 293