Adult Student Outreach
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Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions...

We have answers!

Will I fit into the college environment? Am I too old?

You are never too old to learn, whether that means toward a degree with a specific career goal in mind or attending classes for personal enrichment. The number of adult students on campus is growing. At UW-Whitewater there are approximately 900 adult students (Ages 25 and older). With the increasing demands to stay abreast of the latest information and technology, the numbers will continue to rise.

Many younger students enjoy having older friends from whom they can learn and exchange views and experiences. You should know that our returning adult students report that they are made to feel most welcome in the classroom by professors and younger students, alike. Typically, adult students not only fit in, but often become classroom leaders.

"When I went back to college as an adult, I expected to stick out like a sore thumb. However, of all the challenges I faced as a non-traditional student (a "non-trad"), fitting in was not one of them.
The younger traditional students impressed me with their acceptance. We sat through endless lectures together, worked on group projects and presentations together, and trudges across campus through some of Wisconsin's harshest winters together. And this past weekend, we walked across the stage together at the spring graduation ceremony at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

No longer a non-trad, I am now a UW-Whitewater Warhawk."

       - Roseann Stricker

It has been a long time since I've been in school. Will I be able to compete with traditional-aged students?

Returning students are more motivated to learn and pay closer attention to the instructor. Studies show adult students tend to get better grades than younger students. In many courses you will work on team projects with other students.

If I become a student, will I spend enough time with my family, friends, work, and other interests?

You will not be able to do everything you did before and also be a college student. You will have to make some changes. You will need to get support from your family and friends. You will need to set some ground rules with designated times that you're off limits for studying. Ask for their help, be specific on what you need help with, delegate, and appreciate the efforts they make in helping you. Build in study breaks that involve your family and friends and designate a night a week just for fun.

What about the credits earned at another college, will they transfer to UW-Whitewater?

If you earned credits at another college or university, and your GPA is 2.0 or higher, the UW Whitewater transfer student coordinator will evaluate all credits. Credits earned at other accredited colleges and universities are evaluated on the basis of transcripts submitted as part of admissions credentials. The Admissions Office, in consultation with your college or program area at UW-Whitewater, determines the extent to which courses accepted in transfer apply to degree and program requirements. Visit for more information about transferring credits.

Can I earn a degree even though I work full-time?

Yes. At UW-Whitewater we make every effort to schedule courses to maximize accessibility, no matter what your schedule. Many college courses are offered in the evening and online.

More than 29% of our adult students are employed full-time and must attend classes around their work schedules and family obligations. We understand the needs and constraints of the adult student.

If I can't attend classes full-time, how long will it take me to earn a degree?

Most adult students are particularly interested in knowing how long it will take them to earn a degree. Of course, the length of time varies with each student and depends, in part, upon whether or not a student has transferred any prior college credits to UW-Whitewater. A credit evaluation is performed for every transfer student; a transfer credit report will follow the evaluation and an advisor will work with each student to determine how the transfer credits fit into the overall degree plan.

In general, students who work full-time or who have significant responsibilities at home are most comfortable with a part-time schedule, taking two courses (6-8 credits) at a time. If a student enrolls in two courses every fall, spring and summer semester, he/she will likely earn about 20 credits per year. Since the Bachelor's Degree requires a minimum of 120 credits, it will take a part-time student about six years to graduate from UW-Whitewater. A full-time student can usually complete the Bachelor's Degree in four years.

Does UW-Whitewater offer tutoring?

The Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center offers academic assistance for most majors, study skills, PPST/Praxis testing and basic computer skills. They offer both small groups and one-on-one tutoring online or in person. The key is to not wait to seek help. Visit the Success Center's Website »

Do you offer any type of assistance with writing term papers?

Located in the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center, the Writing Center provides one-on-one peer tutoring for all phases of the writing process. Whether you are working on an essay, report, research paper, poem, short story, or resume, the Writing Center can help. It is staffed by upper-level English-Education, English-Writing, and Journalism majors.

Can students purchase software at discounted rates?

Many popular software programs are available under a student license for greatly discounted rates via the Wisconsin Integrated Software Catalog (WISC). Full- or part-time students enrolled at a University of Wisconsin System campus are eligible to purchase and use software distributed through WISC. Adobe and Microsoft software sold through this site includes a perpetual license, which you can continue to use even after you graduate (license terms from other manufacturers vary). See what software is available »

Is childcare available on campus?

The Children's Center provides quality, affordable childcare for UW-Whitewater students, faculty, and staff. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Visit the Children's Center webpage »

Are medical services available on campus?

Currently enrolled students are eligible for services at the Ambrose Health Center. University Health and Counseling Services staff strives to provide a safe, supportive, and helpful atmosphere to address the psychological, personal, and physical well being of our students. A wide range of services are offered to students. Please refer to the website for more details.