First Person Adult Learner Stories


Dawn from Rochester went "Back To Learn" and completed her masters degree online.
Read her full story

Thinking about going back to college? You're not alone! These successful adult learners are proof: You can achieve your dreams!

At, you'll find first-person success stories, helpful credit transfer and financial aid information, and the best college match tool. Want to share your own story? E-mail

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A passion for animals and education: A lifetime learner’s story
At 64 years old, Lesli Overstreet is more than an adult learner - she is a lifetime learner.

Going back to college helps senior citizen overcome loss
Losing a loved one can be devastating.

Racecar driver Charlie Kimball maintains educational goals
People defer heading to college for a wide variety of reasons. Military service, starting a family or the need to save money can all lead prospective students to push back enrolling in education programs.

Going back to college helps you discover your career goals
To some people, taking the time to go back to school and finish (or start) your college degree is essential, no matter how successful you are in your career.

Senior citizens stay current by going back to school
Charlotte Butler, an 80-year-old from Naugatuck, Conn., is the oldest student at Post University, where she's taking online courses to earn her college degree she never finished when she was younger.

Don’t wait too long before going back to college
When you're weighing a few options, like whether or not you should go back to college, one of the best ways to come to a decision is to talk to others in your shoes.

Justine Bateman, Emma Watson among celebrities to go back to school
Even celebrities realize that going back to school is a must. No matter what your career path may be, having a solid education under your belt is crucial, and some actresses have recently told the public how much they value their college experience.

Retired 72-year-old completes college program
Tom Zempel is many things - a great-grandfather, a marathon runner, an auto enthusiast and now, a college graduate.

At 85, senior citizen is a new college graduate
There are students who consider going back to college as an adult, and then there are those who set out to earn a degree as a senior citizen. Wisconsin resident Willadene Zedan is among the latter, as at the age of 85, she has finally become a college graduate, AOL Jobs reported. Zedan has five […]

Teen moms get second chance at education thanks to nonprofit
Life can toss some unexpected curveballs at you from time to time.

Veteran goes back to school to launch music composition career
After being deployed to Iraq and spending years tracking down some of the nation's most dangerous criminals, Minnesota's Harry Shaffer left the U.S. Army in April 2008.

Lights, camera, action: One woman’s journey to higher education
When Washington, D.C.'s Mary Ratliff completed her undergraduate studies in 2002, she left with a degree in film, a minor in art history and the desire to contribute to the film industry.

California resident goes from college dropout to law school graduate
When California's Cloyd Havens was working toward his first bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, he was presented with the chance to buy the interior decorating business he worked for.

After earning 3 degrees, Oklahoma resident going back to college for doctorate
When Oklahoma's Amy Jo Garner graduated from high school, she followed the traditional path to college and earned a bachelor's degree in English and theater.

Adult learner makes up for past mistakes by going back to college
When Theresa Thaxton graduated from high school in the '80s, she immediately enrolled in college and began working toward a bachelor's degree.

New York mom works toward first college degree
From her home on a military base in Ft. Drum, New York, Peggie Brott strives to make time for her homework between her children's track meets, band recitals and birthday parties.

California resident used 3 college degrees to launch dream career
After earning an associate's degree in her 20s, Seattle's VJ Sleight packed up and moved to California, not quite knowing what she would find when she got there.

PR professional and mother pursues master’s degree in communications
After earning a bachelor's degree in communication studies, Eileen Masciale was able to find a career at a public relations firm in New York City.

Colorado woman juggles raising a daughter, holding a job and earning a degree
When Colorado's Connie Schlosberg graduated from high school, she considered going to college, but when life took over, she never got the chance.

Texan leaves world of finance to pursue true passion in engineering
Although Texas' Joseph Pompa already earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 2006, by the time he reached his 30s he found himself questioning his career choice.

Massachusetts resident earns MBA and launches dream career
After she earned a bachelor of science in food and nutrition, Massachusetts' Rosemary McLaughlin spent her career working in various healthcare settings, eventually settling down in the long-term care industry and becoming a healthcare executive.

Mother of six pursues psychology degree to better understand her sons’ disorder
Over the past 12 years, Utah's Sharla Jordan has seen four of her six sons diagnosed with autism. Witnessing one diagnosis after another, Jordan spent many of those years experiencing a wide range of emotions.

After 20 years away from college, she went back to learn for a job in healthcare
I surprised myself with how well I was able to acclimate to online learning.

Working mom earned bachelor’s degree in 16 months
Short courses, evening and online classes helped this single mom achieve her bachelor's degree

Back To Learn tips from an actual adult learner
Thinking about going back to learn but don't know anyone in your same boat? Here's one adult learner, Michelle Y., who wanted to share her tips on going back to college.

Started at traditional, finished online
Eleven years after starting a degree on campus, she finished her studies online

Career change in the cards
Excited about his future again after learning new skills

Use the college’s advisers
Taking advantage of the support system at college helped this adult learner succeed

Ready to try something new
A flexible schedule and a payment plan help her learn a new skill

Salvaging an undergrad career
Finishing the college degree I started 15 years ago helped me progress professionally

Online degree success
An online degree gave me a sense of community and flexibility

Making it through
I chose Marygrove College when I went back to school—and am proud of who I've become

Looking for more opportunity
Eric Ebanks went back to college to make himself more marketable

Keeping your goals in perspective
Going to college was one of my life's goals. It also taught me how to balance work, family, education and fun

Finishing The Job
After more than 25 years, I returned to college for my bachelor’s degree

It’s never too late to go back to school
My academic adviser helped me stay on track to graduate

Learning more about my field
Carving out time for homework and studying might translate into a higher salary

From community college to bachelor’s degree
A dedication to her education helped this single mom succeed in college

Broadening my health care skills
Read all the fine print before picking a college program

Considering a growing career
Her goal is a degree in interior design—while raising two young kids