Overcoming Barriers to Attending College

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NewRiver_overcoming_barriersPeople consider attending college for different reasons. Some know from their youth that attaining a college degree is expected of them from their family. Others attend college for a retraining program, while others attend college because of a life-altering event, such as a death of a spouse or divorce. Whatever the reason, many students are faced with difficult barriers to achieving college success.

Many prospective students face similar challenges when thinking about their college options. Here are the three most common challenges, and how students overcome them to further their education.

1. Fear or lack of confidence

Students may feel apprehensive about starting or returning to college. Perhaps they had an experience in college or even high school that was not positive, and they worry that by returning to the classroom, it might happen again. If students identify the reasons they failed to succeed in the past and make an effort to not repeat them again, they will find themselves in a better position to succeed.

2. Balancing college with life’s other obligations

College enrollment has an ever-increasing number of adult students as compared to the traditional-age college student. College is a major commitment for anyone, especially those who have family or work commitments while attending. These students must strive to find a balance between personal life and college life. Many students find a way to get it done by seeking different types of course delivery whether it be through flexible scheduling or by taking some courses online.

Financial problems

Mercer County CampusNot every student entering college has money saved to pay expenses. Most students qualify for some type of financial aid. Others only have the option of taking out student loans. By design, West Virginia’s community and technical colleges offer a lower cost of attendance; therefore, choosing a community college is very cost effective. Before enrolling, students should research the approximate cost of attaining the specific degree they have chosen, develop a budget to fund the cost of attendance, and become well-informed about their financial obligations after completion. It is important to know and understand loans are to be repaid, and more importantly, to know how much your monthly repayment will be once you complete your degree.

It is always a smart decision to research other means of paying for college such as scholarships, grants, and employer sponsored programs. No one should be denied a college degree because of fear of attending, life obligations, or cost. It is certainly important to identify all of your options and choose which one is best for you.

Even Without a High School Diploma, You Can Still Start a New Life and Career at New River CTC

I didn’t graduate from high school. I never thought I could get a G.E.D., and I couldn’t see myself getting into college. I was wrong!

I signed up with the help of everyone in the New River Community and Technical College admissions office. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life when I started. During my years in school, I decided to try out different programs such as Legal Assisting, Criminal Justice, and Education.

I met some very wonderful and helpful people that I will never forget, and I found my calling in the legal profession. When I was nearing the end of my experience at New River CTC, I was having trouble finding a place to do my internship.

I didn’t know where to look, so I contacted the Career Services Department. Without the advice from Career Services, I don’t think I would be where I am today.

I was able to perfect my resume, find the best internship site anyone could ask for, and complete my degree. Now I am a Legal Assistant working for a reputable law firm in the Beckley area, and I am thoroughly enjoying this position.

New River CTC was the best place to start because without this degree I wouldn’t be making good money to support my family…and possibly might even go back to further my education!

Jenny Adkins, Class of 2014

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