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Adult Learners


Ellsworth Community College welcomes the social and educational contributions that are possible through the enrollment of its adult (“non-traditional”) students. Roughly 12% of our student body is age 23 or older, which means you’ll have lots in common with many of your fellow students!

There are three really important things to know about being an adult student:

  1. You are as likely to be academically successful as the average “traditional” student.
  2. You probably have more personal/family, financial and work responsibilities than the average student, which may create some stress and lead you to wonder how you can possibly add “college” to your To Do List! Before you decide that you can’t, let us talk with you about how so many other adult ECC students are managing these things successfully.
  3. Your college degree is closer than you think. We find that adult students are often more focused and driven toward the completion of their goals than the average student. Once you start, you’ve taken the most important step … inch by inch, life’s a cinch!

ECC provides a support system for all students, including adults. Your advisor will work closely with you to ensure that your academic and professional goals are met. Our Non-Traditional Student Group is also part of the support system, providing a way for students to get to know each other, socialize, and share advice and ideas. Every adult Ellsworth student is encouraged to join the group.

Helpful links & additional resources

  • Learn more about ECC’s Degree Programs.
  • Interested in taking some/all of your credits online? Find out whether our Online/Distance Learning opportunities meet your needs.
  • If finances are a concern, check out ECC’s Scholarships. Our Financial Aid web pages have all the information you need. We have a special Return 2 Learning Scholarship specifically for students age 25 and older who have not attended college in the past five years; details are on the Scholarship linked page above.
  • There’s lots of information online, but sometimes it’s nice to visit one-on-one with someone. At any time in the process, feel free to call, email, or stop in and visit with our Admissions Office Staff.

Seven easy steps to Admission

  1. Fill out the online Application for Admission Form, or you can visit the ECC Admissions Office in Gentle Student Center (upstairs) and complete a form there.
  2. Request that your official high school or high school equivalency transcript and other previous college transcripts (if available) be sent to the ECC Admissions Office.
  3. Submit your ACT or ACCUPLACER scores, if available. (These are placement tests, but they are not necessary for admission.)
  4. Schedule a campus visit! We would love to meet with you to discuss your individual needs and answer all of your questions. If you don’t want to schedule the meeting online, call the ECC Admissions Office at 641-648-4611 or toll-free at 1-800-322-9235, ext. 8519.
  5. The next important step is applying for Financial Aid. File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at to see if you are eligible for grants and student loans. We’ll be happy to help you with the FAFSA process, so let us know if you have questions. There’s also a detailed list of steps (ECC Financial Aid Checklist) for the financial aid process available for your convenience. You can get a paper copy from ECC’s Financial Aid Office in the Gentle Student Center.
  6. Submit an ECC Scholarship Application Form (the annual priority deadline is March 1). You must have a processed FAFSA on file in the Financial Aid Office to be considered for scholarships.
  7. Schedule an appointment with an advisor to register for your classes. You will receive an invitation to meet with your advisor after the College has approved your Application for Admission.


Adriane Sietsema

Adriane Sietsema

Adriane is an ECC alumni and Minnesota native (go Vikes!) who loves working in community college admissions. She earned an associate’s deg...

Adriane is an ECC alumni and Minnesota native (go Vikes!) who loves working in community college admissions. She earned an associate’s degree at Ellsworth and then transferred to Buena Vista University, where she earned a bachelor’s in Business Management/Human Resources and later on a master’s degree in Business Administration/Quality Management from Upper Iowa University. Adriane...

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