Support Services

— (Page 31). Make sure to become familiar with the variety of support services available on campus. Help is available for almost any need.

College Services Checklist

Do you know where to find these?

  • Academic Advising
    College counselors or academic advisors will give you information on course requirements for specific majors, eligibility for certain programs, and such. Peer advisors, specially designated adult students, may also be available to help you with your course selections and give you many useful tips.
    Find an advisor you enjoy talking with and meet with this person at least once a term. This can be one of your most important contacts.
  • Admissions Office/Orientation Office
    On larger campuses these will probably be separate offices. On smaller campuses they may be combined. In any case, these are the offices with people who know the answers to your questions or know how to get the answers. That’s their job!
  • Bookstore
    Spend time browsing here to learn what they sell and where everything is located. The front part of the store usually contains trade books. These are books available to the general public and are sold in almost all college bookstores. The textbook section is at the back of the store. Textbooks will be arranged on shelves listed by course numbers within the different departments of the college.

    Notice that computers, computer supplies, calculators, and other such items are priced at a student discount that is much lower than in regular stores.


  • Cashier/Business Office
    Tuition and other money matters are handled here. Be sure to inquire about any available payment plans. The cashiers office will probably cash checks for any person with a valid student body ID card.
  • Center for Adult Students or Re-Entry Students
    Many schools now have a designated area where older students, sometimes called re-entry, adult learners, or non-traditional students, can go for information about problems or concerns. It is also a place to meet a friend.
  • Cooperative Education/Internships
    These are programs that lets you earn course credit for learning new skills while working as a paid employee or non-paid intern. It is a form of on-the-job training. Cooperative Education is a college supervised program that lets you learn new career skills in a workplace setting. The employer gets certain tax breaks, and in addition to earning course credit, you may earn a modest wage.
  • Counseling Center/Career Counseling
    In these centers professional counselors are available for private sessions with students who want to talk about personal concerns. If you run into problems with instructors or other school personnel, counselors can serve as your advocate. Career counselors usually have access to an array of instruments/materials designed to help students clarify their career goals. These centers usually have books, cassette tapes, and other materials you can use or borrow. The services are usually free.
  • Child Care Center
    If you have preschool children, the college may provide day care, or cooperative child care. You can bring children to school with you and for a low fee have the child cared for and fed by professionals while you are in school. Some colleges have provisions for school-age children to study on campus while parents attend night classes.
  • Dean of Students
    The office of the Dean of Students is the place to go if you have questions or difficulties not handled well by other offices. The Dean of Students is responsible for seeing that you have every chance possible for succeeding in college. The Deans office exists to help solve problems that may be interfering with your college success.
  • Dean of Instruction
    This is an important office on every campus. Here you will find help with many kinds of academic questions and problems, including how to change a mistake in your transcript of grades, remove an incomplete in a course, get permission to take more than the allowed number of course hours, waive a course requirement, get into a course already filled, arrange for a special academic program, or complain if instruction for a course is not up to your expectations.
  • Office for Students with Disabilities
    Special assistance will be available at little or no cost to help physically challenged or learning disabled students succeed. Such assistance may include notetakers, readers, writers, or sign language interpreters. The assistance counselors will have many practical suggestions. They can help students obtain adaptive equipment, transportation, and other services from your states vocational rehabilitation department. Assessment for learning disabilities is available as well.
  • Health Service
    Many schools have medical help available for emergency medical care and treatment. The health service may also be a resource for information, programs, and services on alcohol and drug abuse, birth control, blood pressure testing, cholesterol screening, and so forth. Costs are usually included in your fees or are very low. Inquire, if you wish, about student health insurance. Rates are low and the insurance may cover family members.
  • Learning Center
    Many colleges have special centers where you go to learn a specific subject. You tell the person in charge what you want. You will then be assigned to a booth with a set of earphones, a television monitor, or a computer terminal. You work at your own speed at the lesson you are there to complete. You can stay with it as long as you wish. Don’t feel intimidated; the person in charge will be glad to explain how everything works.
  • Library
    Plan to take lots of time walking through the library on your own. Ask the librarians what would be useful for you to know. They usually enjoy telling students about all the library services. Take advantage of their helpfulness. Find out when they have sessions on how to use the library computers for locating books, references, and other information you will need for writing papers.

    Notice that there are many desks, tables, and study areas. Most libraries have computer rooms, video viewing rooms, conference areas, and even quiet rooms for listening to music. For rest and relaxation (R&R), or research, this is one resource you should not overlook.


  • Registrar
    The registrars office keeps the academic records of all students. If you have earned college credit elsewhere, the registrars office can give you information on how to claim credit and obtain documentation so that it will apply to your program. After you graduate, the registrars office is the place that provides transcripts of the courses you took.
  • Security Office/Campus Police
    The college has its own security officers. Find out how to call or reach campus security in case of an emergency. Call this office when any emergency help is needed. They may help with minor car problems or contact your family if you have an emergency. Make a special effort to be friendly with security officers.
  • Sports Facilities
    All students have access to the sports facilities. There will be an exercise room, a swimming pool you can use for a relaxing swim, a track for jogging, and many other possibilities for exercise. You may be able to check out equipment free of charge.

    I found that during certain hours I could use the workout rooms used by the athletes! I could use the track and courts even if I wasn’t taking a physical education class. And for a small fee I could occasionally take one of my daughters swimming. — Mary Karr, co-author


  • Student Activities Office
    Every college has a number of student-run organizations. The student body president, other officers, and many student project coordinators are located in the student activities office.
  • Student Center
    The student center is where you find cafeterias, art displays, television rooms, reading rooms, possibly a bowling alley, a barber shop, ping-pong tables, pool tables, lounging areas, and more. The student center on every campus is unique, so take time to familiarize yourself with this building. On the bulletin boards you will find announcements for various student activities such as theater productions and films shown on campus.

    TIP: Find out if lockers are available for rent. A locker at school is a great place to leave heavy books, keep your lunch, or store an extra umbrella. It also serves as a place where friends can leave notes for you!


  • Student Employment/Job Placement Office
    This office lists jobs that local employers have available for students looking for off-campus work. There are many jobs in every community that fit perfectly with being a student. This office will provide assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills. They will help you find employment upon graduation.
  • Student Housing
    Need a place to live? This office will help you. It will coordinate renting rooms in private homes and apartments in the nearby area. Your college may provide student housing in its own residence halls. Larger colleges will have housing for married students and their families.
  • Study Skills Center
    Go here if you want help improving your study skills. This center has friendly, well-trained people who can teach you how to read faster, learn in less time, reduce your nervousness about taking tests, be better at passing tests, and write good papers. 
  • Transportation Office
    If you drive to school, go here to get a permit to park on campus. Check out this office before starting classes because parking space is often difficult to locate. Also inquire about car pools or buses as an alternative to driving your own car.

Distance Learning

— (Page 46). Several articles and links to useful sites with information on online learning opportunities

Below are several articles and links to useful sites with great information on the plethora of online learning opportunities available:

Articles at

Online Distance Learning Resources:

Sample colleges with online presence:

Miscellaneous Distance Learning / Life Learning

While many of the above links are focused on full-level coursework affiliated with accredited colleges and universities, the internet is full of many general (and technical) subject free tutorials. Below are a few links that have useful and fun tutorials on everything from computer usage to growing flowers.

Free Online Courses and Tutorials

Financial Aid Resources

— (Page 25). You’re not a traditional student, so chances are, you may not have access to some of the traditional means to pay for school. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options available for you, if you do a little work.

The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, grad cap

Yes! You can afford college!

Financial Aid Links from ASG/7

Financial Aid FAQs

You’re not a traditional student, so chances are, you may not have access to some of the traditional means to pay for school, such your parents or all those scholarships offered to high school seniors or star athletes. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options available for you, if you do a little work.

What can you do??

  • Download the Federal Financial Aid Guide. Always a good place to start, this publication has a ton of information about grants, loans and work-study.
  • Ask your employer. Many companies will pay full or partial tuition reimbursement upon successful completion of a college course. These programs vary widely from employer to employer in that some cover only courses directly related to your field of work, while others may have a complete degree reimbursement program.
  • Check out what your state offers. Here’s a list of state scholarship offices (scroll down). Some may have web presences — so search the web on the department name for your state.
  • Take a loan. At some point, inevitably, you will probably need more money than you have. Colleges financial aid offices have information on lenders, but beware if they try to steer you to only one or two choices. (Recently, several college loan offices have come under scrutiny for taking kickbacks from lenders. Fortunately, Congress has taken notice and these practices should be ending). Your loan may be a federally backed student loan, or from a private lender, or even from your neighbor: an offbeat loan resource is Here you can put in a loan request and see if anyone bites. Another alternative loan site is
  • Study an unpopular subject. Several careers just don’t draw enough job applicants so employers need to offer special incentives to attract and keep employees. Let’s see, teachers and nurses are perpetually on top of that list, as well as electricians, long-haul truck drivers, heavy equipment mechanics, medical technicians, and surprisingly many more occupations. Often, training assistance (tuition reimbursement), relocation expenses and other incentives are available. Your college’s career center should have an idea about what are the hard to fill jobs in your location and/or elsewhere.
  • Play the numbers game. The biggest tip we have to get financing for college is to apply, apply, apply. For scholarships and grants (both “free money”–not needing to be repaid) try FastWeb first to find scholarships you may qualify for. Find obscure ones offered locally or regionally. Sometimes, small local groups have scholarships that go unawarded for lack of applicants, so apply for ones that you may not completely qualify for and you just may be surprised.
  • Go slow. Maybe you started out with a bang, school full-time, work part time and things were great. Then that appendicitis hit or the kids need braces and poof, your college fund/dream is gone. What now? Well, recoup and change your tactics. Keep your goal, but allow yourself more time to complete it. Instead of attending classes full time, go part time. Instead of part time, take one class a quarter. Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

Other Sources of Help

Welfare Parent Helps Find Funding for Others

Diana Spatz was a single mother on welfare. She encountered many barriers when she tried to get an education to become self-sufficient, but she found ways to overcome them. She now works to help other parents on welfare gain access to funding that is available for their education. Read her story and how to contact her.

The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success 6th Edition cover See Chapter Three in The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival & Success, 7th Edition for more information on financial aid help.

Our one piece of advice for finding financial aid is DO NOT PAY ANYONE to search for scholarships.
There are too many ways and people who will help you do this for FREE!!!