Resumed Education for Adult Learning (REAL)

The REAL Program provides a full-time Tufts undergraduate education for adults seeking a Bachelor's degree (BS in Engineering or BA or BS in Liberal Arts). The program is intended for students who are 24 years of age or older, parents, married, veterans, or currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. REAL students may concentrate in any of the majors or minors open to all Tufts undergraduates in the BA or BS degree programs. Financial aid is available. Applicants should have some college experience, including at least two courses taken at either a two- or four-year institution within the last five years.

Established in 1970, the REAL Program was originally designed for women who had not had the opportunity to attend college, or who had interrupted their education to raise families. The program offered these women a chance to advance in their careers through attaining a college degree from a selective university. In 1976, the program broadened to welcome men as well.

At a time when most other programs denied institutional funds for financial aid to adult students, segregated them in special degree programs, and ignored the unique needs of adults returning to or beginning a college education, Tufts provided financial aid, enrolled its adult students in the regular undergraduate program, and provided resources to help meet their academic needs.

Today, the program continues this tradition of serving the needs of adult students. Each REAL student receives individual attention from admission to graduation.

The REAL Program is open to adults at least 24 years old who are seeking a Bachelor's degree. Applicants should have some college experience, including at least two courses taken at either a two- or four-year institution within the last five years.

Apply to Be a REAL Student

  • For more information on the REAL program, please contact Dean Caitlin Casey
  • For more information on the application process, please contact Jon Sokolski at 617-627-3170.

Explore REAL

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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.

Apply for Funds through the REAL Program Enrichment Fund

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