Congratulations! If you’ve made the decision to go back to college and earn your degree, you’re well on your way to achieving your goals. After you’ve chosen the school(s) you’re interested in, here are the next steps in the process:

1. Find out the application requirements

Be sure you understand the precise application requirements, which are likely detailed on the school’s website. NOTE: If you have been out of school for more than a year, most colleges will require you to submit a new application. If your GPA is lower than 2.0, you may be eligible for probationary admittance.

2. Complete your application.

It might be a good idea to submit a letter along with your application acknowledging your past performance, identifying your current plan for success, and emphasizing your passion to start fresh.

3. Meet with an academic counselor or advisor

This person will be a great ally to you. Tell them as much as possible about your situation so they can help you determine your best educational path, what credits you already have, and what you will need to earn your degree.

4. Transfer earned credits

If you have credits from your first college attempt, submit all transcripts for evaluation. If you have significant work or military history, you may be able to earn credit for those experiences. Each college has different criteria for determining how life experience may translate to college credits. Be sure to talk with your advisor about these options.

5. Fill out your FAFSA

You may be eligible for federal or state grants, loans, or other aid. Some schools offer scholarships for non-traditional students or those who are applying for re-entry to college.

Need help applying?

Mississippi offers a program called Complete 2 Compete. With the assistance of a personal C2C coach, you can identify the fastest pathway to completing your degree, navigate the process, and be on your way to achieving your goals. Click here to see if you’re eligible for this valuable program.

Discover more insights and strategies about returning to earn your degree:

Plan To Succeed. 5 Strategies for Returning To College.

Going Back to Earn Your Degree? Here are four key factors to consider when making your decision.

Your Second Chance. When returning to college, the second (or third) time can be a charm.