Adults enrolled in online college classes and pursuing online degrees might be the biggest beneficiaries of the new federal education bill intended to generate $61 billion for higher education and tuition assistance.
Nearly 7 million adult students comprise as much as 70 percent of college enrollment, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Some say adults are making the most of a sluggish economy by investing in the future. Oftentimes, they’re enjoying the convenience and flexibility that online college classes and online degree programs afford. And tuition assistance offerings, including grants for college, are becoming more readily available to them.
“The payoff is so significant – and the cost of not obtaining a college degree or credential so steep – that huge numbers of adult students are stepping up to face the challenges,” Lumina Foundation for Education President Jamie P. Merisotis wrote in a foundation publication. If you need more information about distance learning degrees, look on the internet.
The Lumina Foundation and the Council for the Adult and Experiential Living work to expand access for adults interested in continued education, in part by encouraging increased tuition assistance. Through the education bill, the government expects to save money and boost college graduation rates. The education bill ends government subsidies and backing for bank and private lender issued student loans. And over the next decade, it expands the government’s Pell grant program by $36 billion, adds $2 billion to community college job training programs and makes paying the federal government’s Stafford and Perkins loans easier.
College enrollment among adults has been growing for some time. While the number of 18 to 24-year-old students increased by 41 percent between 1970 and 2000, the number of adult students rose 170 percent, according to a report entitled, “32 Trends Affecting Distance Education.” Still, the United States reportedly ranks 14th in college graduation rates worldwide. Adults, often with few financial aid resources, could spend well over four years working part-time to earn a bachelor degree, the Lumina Foundation reports.
Online college classes and online degree programs have since risen by leaps and bounds. Some institutions offer accelerated online degree programs and provide online college credit for life experience. Pell grants alone cover as much as 35 percent of the average college tuition. The grants don’t have to be repaid, and they’re available to students working toward their first bachelor degree and post-graduate students in teaching programs that lead to certificates or licenses. Pell grants are awarded based on financial need. And for adults, that need is measured by income and assets, family household size, and the number of family members, excluding parents, who attend institutions of higher education. Grant recipients don’t have to repay the money, but they must be enrolled at least half-time in order to be eligible. There is an abundance of information about college degrees online on the web.
There are reportedly also schools and states that have starting to set aside grants for college specifically for adult students. At least one agency offers tuition waivers for displaced workers who are unemployed or earning less money than they had been, the Lumina Foundation reports. And some employers now offer an employee investment method that the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning reportedly initiated. Through this method, known as a Lifelong Learning Account (LiLA), employees can have pretax money for training and education deducted from their payroll checks and matched by their employers.
Adults seeking tuition assistance for a Uk marriage visa university degree and Uk marriage visa online degrees can also look toward non-profit organizations, for proofit companies, civic groups and labor unions offer scholarships, fellowships and grants for college.