Philly organization helps people head back to school

Not everyone makes it all the way through college on the first try. A few years or a couple of decades after dropping out, suppose you decide that you want to go back to school. Where do you even start? If you’re in Philly, you can start at Graduate! Philadelphia.

“We help people identify the right school for them and coach them through the application process. We also offer continuing support services once they’re back in school — all the way to graduation,” explains Director of Higher Ed Partnerships and Services Kimberly Stephens.

Graduate! Philadelphia affiliates with 19 schools in the region, from Chestnut Hill College to Widener University: “But we’ll help you with whatever school is right for you, whether it’s a partner school or not,” Stephens says.

“We do a lot of work around scholarships,” she adds. “So much scholarship money goes untapped. We help people identify possible sources and apply for them.” Another source of money is employee tuition benefits. “People don’t know about these, but they can really help.”

One of the program’s most important functions is to serve as a cheerleader, though. “People know what they want to do [and] how to do it, but sometimes they need a little push, a little support,” Stephens says. “We provide that support.”

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