Money Management for Adult Learners

Ways to Affordable Continuing Education

Adult learners in a classroom

Money Management for Adult Learners: Ways to Affordable Continuing Education

Adult learners and nontraditional students may be discouraged by the thought of paying for school and handling the workload along with their other financial, family, and community responsibilities. This workshop kit will empower these students to further career goals through college or other forms of continuing education. This workshop covers two interconnected topics: Managing money and paying for college. Once participants learn the tools to manage money (such as using a spending plan and saving for goals), they can explore how to pay for a college education and gain the confidence to start making solid plans for the future.

PowerPoint presentations are customizable and can help you facilitate a discussion about money skills for your participants.

Download scripts that will guide you through your money management presentation.

Feeling unsure about your presentation?  FAQs will help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.

Need additional information to supplement your presentation or a place to refer your participants after the presentation concludes?  Check out these additional resources.

Answer: This workshop is for adults seeking to further their education in order to meet career goals. Although this is not a homogenous group, they are likely over the age of 25 and juggling a job and family. You may have an Iraq war veteran, a mother who just sent her youngest child to first grade, a middle-age manager in a declining industry, a hospitality worker looking for advancement, and an immigrant driving a taxi while working towards a medical license in the United States. The one thing the participants have in common is a desire to go back to school to improve their lives. You will help them with one step of that process: Managing money to pay for school.

Answer: In general, these participants are adults who have held jobs, lived on their own, and maybe supported a family. Therefore, they likely have basic money management skills. However, some of your audience may be legal immigrants from cultures that do not trust banking institutions. In addition, you may have many hospitality and seasonal workers who are dealing with variable incomes. During the introductions, find out what each person does and why they are attending the workshop. Then, feel free to tailor the content to the audience.

Answer: You will want to be familiar with the basic types of financial aid available and the overall process of applying for financial aid. You can learn about this at the Federal Student Aid website ( However, you need only provide general guidance as each participant will need to research the aid available for his or her particular financial situation and career goals.

Answer: This audience is taking steps towards a better life through continuing education. They have signed up for this workshop with the realization that improving their money management skills will help them achieve their goals. You can empower them, provide basic financial resources, , and cheer them on, regardless of your personal education and career experience.

Answer: Familiarize yourself with all the presentation materials, including the script and worksheets. Then, review the National College Transition Network’s College for Adults website ( to see what steps adult learners need to take, what challenges they face, and the types of support available. Remember, you are there to inspire participants to learn to manage their money in order to make a return to college possible. You are not there to provide individual career or financial aid counseling.

Answer: Before conducting the workshop, practice a few lines that you could use spontaneously to limit someone from dominating the discussion. For example, if one person is going on too long about his or her situation, you could say, “I appreciate your input and participation, but I am concerned about the time and we have some other topics to cover.” If one person is asking the majority of the questions, look for someone who has not asked a question and direct a query to her or him.

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