New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and exercise more are quite popular. However, self-improvement goals that transform your mind and career can be even more rewarding as those that strengthen your body. Fortunately, getting started on a goal of a college degree is fairly easy and there is still time to apply for spring semester classes at UW-Washington County. While class selection may not be ideal, students are accepted up until the start of classes on Monday, January 27.
There are many options available to today’s college students. In addition to traditional classes at the campus in West Bend, the Washington Express evening program allows working adults to attend classes two evenings a week. The Express program is available in three locations, including Hartford, Grafton and Beaver Dam. Online classes from the comfort of your own home, provide a third option.
Some good advice for procrastinators is to start by asking yourself a few simple questions. First, does the campus have the programs I'm interested in? Next, is it the right size for me? UW-WC offers freshman and sophomore classes in over 250 majors, as well as small class sizes. A last-minute campus visit, and an appointment with an adviser, may also help you answer some of these questions.
It's also important to ask yourself if you possess the right tools to be successful in college. If you've been away from school for a while, or struggled with your high school coursework, think about what skills you may need to sharpen before diving into college. Also, ask about courses that may be available to help you. At UW-WC, several non-degree courses are available in English, Mathematics and study skills. These courses taken during your first semester will help you build confidence and get back in the swing of things. Of course, you'll also need to take placement tests to determine which English and Math courses to enroll in.
Next you need to complete the application process, which can be done online or in person. Visit http://apply.wisconsin.edu/ to apply. The application fee is $44. You will also need a high school transcript, and if you are younger than age 21, recent ACT or SAT scores.
Another important question is, can I afford it? Paying tuition is often the biggest hurdle for students. After submitting your application for admission, be sure to apply for financial aid. Grants, loans and work-study employment opportunities all can lighten the financial burden for students. There's still time to apply for financial aid, but the sooner you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov), the sooner you'll know what your financial aid award package is. By attending UW-WC, you can also save a significant amount of money by living at home and keeping your current job. UW-WC offers the lowest tuition in the UW System and the bookstore has a textbook rental program available for additional savings.
Finally, be realistic. If you can't complete all the preparation for spring classes, enroll in just one or two classes or wait until the summer or fall semester. Use the extra time to get organized and save some money. When you start is immaterial – the important thing is that you do start. With a tight job market, completing a college degree will give you an edge over those who don’t have degrees and allow you to sharpen your communication and computer skills in the process. In addition, studies show that if you have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll earn an average of $1 million more in your lifetime than people with no higher education.
To learn more about UW-WC, visit www.washington.uwc.edu or phone the Student Affairs Office at (262)-335-5201.