As the capacities of technology evolve and the bustle of life press on, many adults are turning to online learning for its affordability and flexibility. Especially in 2020, many colleges are discovering a sudden increase in online enrollment due to social distancing and government ordinances during COVID-19. These factors are driving enrollment for adult learners.

The number of adult learners will only continue to grow from here on it becomes more mainstream.

Today, universities and other learning platforms must focus on how to retain their influx of adult students. Here are a few strategies to keep adult learners engaged and retain them after they’ve turned to online learning.

six adult learner retention strategies

  1. provide flexible financial options
  2. make support and counseling available
  3. keep your brand simple for adult learners to understand
  4. create content relevant for adult learners
  5. ensure faculty is building relationships
  6. provide convenient and creative deliverables

support systems for adult learners

1. provide flexible financial options

Online learning is typically cost-efficient. This is a result of no need for transportation — so saving on fuel usage and parking costs. Most importantly, tuition is also typically cheaper as online universities and courses don’t have as many staff members to pay.

What attracts many adult learners is the flexible financing options available to them. Options for monthly, annual, or per-credit financial payments provide adult learners with a sense of security and affordability. In summary, deliver flexible and accelerated learning options for adult learners to choose from and they’ll be more inclined to continue.

2. support and counseling availability

Adult learners have their own life with jobs, kids, socializing, and other time-consuming happenings. For this reason, immediate feedback and support keep adult learners tuned in to your educational platform. In the event that there are delayed responses or lack of responses in student services, it can be off-putting and discouraging for students.

Develop a strong, quick, and efficient service delivery platform for your students to be able to easily connect with advisors, administrators, and support staff. Create a one-stop gateway so online learners can effortlessly locate support services. The quality and availability of support is vital in retaining adult learners and keeping them motivated with their education.

3. make your brand simple for adult learners

Your website is essential to building the credibility of the brand and expanding on what you’re all about. Enhance your website for effortless navigation and clear branding messaging. In addition, detail what makes your institution different from others and highlight student services available for your adult learners.

engaging social media

Furthermore, consider how to make your website easy to locate by optimizing SEO. Students want engaging and easy-to-consume educational content that’s sharable. A great way to illustrate education is by utilizing social media and other communication platforms as marketing tools to attract these students. For example, put quiz questions or short lessons onto your Instagram feed.


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effective education for adult learners

4. keep content relevant for adult learners

Motivation plays a key role in encouraging students to actively engage in their education. Of course, this still applies to adult learners. Whenever possible, assess students to determine the type of learner the class consists of and how to effectively retain their interest.

Remember, adult learners differ significantly from younger students. They already have work and life experiences that influence their established ideals. In order to understand what adult students want from the course, use some assessment tools and gauge your audience.

ways to assess the effectiveness of your online learning

  1. send a survey your audience
  2. ask for feedback before, during, and after the course
  3. survey on desired skill acquisition
  4. observe post-course how lessons are used in the real world

5. faculty that build relationships

While professors may be leaders in their professional field, some lack the necessary preparation needed to successfully instruct online courses. Before the course, provide proper training to faculty to ensure that the staff is proficient with any software required for class or necessary for student communication.

In addition, staff members should also reflect your brand’s message. Each staff member is critical in engaging and retaining adult learners. In order to build relationships, faculty should include an introductory video to help students navigate their courses and provide virtual office hours.

6. convenient and creative deliverables

While building the class, include creative and challenging assignments to inspire adult learners. Again, once students are complete with the course, conduct surveys to determine what course material is working.

By the same token, design creative deliverables and convenient class structure to encourage active learning. In addition, include an open Q&A segment in your course for students to ask questions that are available to other students who may know the answer or have the same question themselves. This encourages online discussion and can save student time from waiting for the professor’s response to an already answered inquiry.

here are more creative deliverable ideas for adult learners:

  1. Q&A sessions
  2. Virtual seminars with industry authorities
  3. Video conferencing debates
  4. Real-world branching scenarios
  5. Group brainstorming sessions
  6. Student blogs or vlogs posted to a discussion forum

let’s engage adult learners

At energyhill, we’re passionate about helping organizations of all sizes achieve their goals. We understand how the education industry is constantly shifting and evolving. To keep our partners in line with current trends, we’re regularly creating content and materials today that will be a boost to their brand tomorrow and the next day.

If you are looking for ways to improve your marketing strategies for your educational business, contact us today.

If your family has ever had to pay tuition to a private K-12 school, you know the hassle of transferring money, writing a check or money order, and ensuring the school receives the payment. For schools and parents, Tuition Education Platform is an iOS and Android application making online payments for tuition simpler and safer.

It’s time to start paying tuition online. A 2015 survey showed that 47 percent of cardholders would prefer to pay their student’s tuition by debit or credit card. With TuitionEP, in just a few taps, parents can log into the app and make their pay for tuition or a student’s field trip with several different options — bank account, credit card, Bitcoin, international payments.

Beyond just ease of use for parents, there’s a number of benefits of digitizing tuition payments for schools as well. Below are some of the most notable ways online tuition payments can save your school money.

1. save time

For school staff and families alike, every second counts. A mobile app for iOS and Android means families can easily make on-time stress-free tuition payments. For schools, staff no longer has to keep up with when tuition is paid — it’s all kept digitally. This means less time organizing deposit slips and record-keeping for everyone involved.

Also, tuition and fees can be processed immediately outside of business hours. This way, even last-minute payments can be made and parents can avoid late fees.

2. no more lost payments

Processing tuition payments should be as easy as possible, especially for schools. Rather than collecting paper checks or money orders in physical form that could be lost, all payment records can be collected digitally with TuitionEP.

Not only does TuitionEP allow schools to see when tuition has been paid, it prevents a situation where one party says they have paid and the other hasn’t received the funds. With TuitionEP, there is a clear chain of confirmation that ensures everyone is on the same page.

3. payment records

Online payments are far easier to track and record for later. With tracking payments, parents can plan for tuition payments more conveniently with an online payment system in place. With scheduled autopay, parents can also set when the tuition will come out of their account.

4. transaction fees

With TuitionEP, schools have the option to decide who pays online transaction fees — the school or the parents. We work with schools to help them save thousands of dollars each year in fees and find a solution that works best for all involved. Savings can vary depending on the size of the school.

5. secure paymentsTEP Security

TEP uses the Stripe payment platform to guarantee safe and secure digital payments. All transactions are audited by a PCI Quality Security Assessor. Stripe has the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

6. payments are a few swipes awayTuitionEP

Once students and parents are set up with their custom school in TuitionEP, they are only a few swipes away from paying online tuition. It’s as simple as getting on a phone or tablet, opening the app, adding a payment method, and completing the payment.

7. several methods of payment

Stress-free payments from TuitionEP mean no more figuring out how to get money to the school. TuitionEP accepts checking and savings account payments, Visa, Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, and several other international payments. Once the payment information is entered, it’s securely stored in the app for easy future payments.

8. cash and check can still be accepted

If the school prefers, cash and check can still be used by parents and recorded in the TEP system. If a student or parent uses a check, TEP can apply a credit to their account. However, most schools using TEP no longer allow cash or check to save time, avoid lost payments, and make it easier for all involved.

9. no more excuses: “check is in the mail” or “we already paid”

With an online tuition payment system, fewer parents are late on payments and less accounts go delinquent. Paper checks often reduce a school’s ability to get paid on time. However, automatic payments and notifications ensure that parents are up-to-date on tuition and fees.

10. paying as a family

Rather than just one person paying for a student’s tuition, the payment can be split between multiple accounts. This way, one student’s tuition is able to be split and loaded onto a grandparent’s or another guardian’s account.

transition to online tuition payments

There are several benefits to transitioning your school to an online payment platform for tuition and fees. Ultimately, TuitionEP has set out to save schools time and money, and give parents peace of mind when paying tuition for their children. 

To try out TuitionEP and see if it would be right for your school, contact us or submit your contact information for a free demo.