REAL Program Advantages

While some colleges have separate or extension programs for adult students, REAL students attend the same courses and earn the same degree as other Tufts undergraduates. REAL students are welcome to participate in the many student organizations and have access to all university facilities such as the library, the Academic Resource Center, the counseling center, and the gymnasium, with its state of the art fitness center.

A special admission process evaluates applicants to the REAL program on criteria relevant to their experience, such as career history and evidence of motivation, as well as on recent college course work. REAL applicants also have a personal interview, if possible.

The greatest advantage of the REAL program is the chance to meet with other REAL students who are striving toward the same goals and facing the same challenges. First semester REAL students participate in a credit-bearing seminar that addresses adjustment issues of the adult student while introducing students to Tufts resources.

The university provides REAL students with a space for cooking light meals, meeting with study groups, or just spending time together.

While other undergraduates at Tufts are not allowed to attend part-time, under certain circumstances, REAL students may take a reduced course load at reduced tuition.

Childcare Information for Parenting REAL Students

Over the decades, countless REAL students have completed their Tufts degrees while parenting kids of all ages! Tufts students are eligible to enroll their young children in many of the same childcare programs as Tufts faculty and staff. The on-campus Eliot-Pearson Children’s School accepts children (ages 2.9 to 6 years) of Tufts students and provides some financial aid for cost of tuition. The Eliot-Pearson Children’s School is much in demand by local parents, and there is an application process to enroll a child or request financial aid. Other childcare options near campus prioritize applications from Tufts affiliates (including Tufts students). Nursing mothers are welcome to use dedicated lactation rooms across campus.

REAL students are eligible for financial aid and should file the Tufts Financial Aid Form in addition to the FAFSA. There is no financial aid for international students.

The Bernard Osher Re-entry Scholarship will be awarded to ten students entering the REAL Program. This funding will relieve the financial burden for new students by reducing their loan contributions or the number of hours they need to work. To apply, contact Tufts Office of Financial Aid at 617-627-2000.

Financial Aid Information for Adult Learners Apply for Funds through the REAL Program Enrichment Fund