Adult Learning

An education from Tompkins Cortland Community College is more than just the piece of paper you need for a job. It’s proof that you met our high expectations. And it's proof you met your high expectations.

With more than 40 degrees offered, if you have an interest, we have a program. And we are built to serve adult students. With our campus in Dryden and extension centers in Ithaca and Cortland, as well as hundreds of online offerings, we have the flexibility we know you need.

We also have decades of experience helping adult students to achieve real-life outcomes.

Adult student working on laptop

Finance College

Financial Aid is a key to opening the door to college for almost all of our students, yet it can be the most intimidating part of the applications process. We can explain the financial aid process and help you connect with the financial aid office. Email or call one of our extension center locations today to get started.

  • Main campus in Dryden: 607.844.6580
  • Cortland Extension Center: 607.756.5275
  • Nancy S. Lieberman Extension Center in Ithaca: 607.272.3025
Adult student using calculator


Pathways: Aid and Support for the Adult Student

The Pathways scholarship is designed with the specific needs of adult student in mind. This scholarship can essentially fund your education at Tompkins Cortland Community College, with a maximum award of $7,000 – and the scholarship is available to part-time students as well.


You are eligible for a Pathways Scholarship if:

  • you reside in Cortland, Tompkins, or Tioga County
  • you are 24 years of age or older when application is completed
  • you have demonstrated financial need – as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • you enroll for at least six credits per semester
  • you have never been a college student, you’ve been out of college at least five years, or you have attempted or earned 16 or fewer college credits
  • you have never earned a degree

To Apply

Here’s how to apply for the Pathways Scholarship:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • If you need help completing the FASFA, please stop in to room 101 to see Financial Aid. 
  • Even if you are working, you may still qualify for financial aid.
  • Apply for admission to the College online or, if you prefer, print the admissions application and mail it in.
  • Complete the Pathways application form

How Much Is the Scholarship?

The maximum award is $7,000. Full-time students will receive $1,750 for up to four semesters. Part-time students will receive $875 for up to eight semesters.

This is in addition to any financial aid for which you qualify.

Additional Support

When you receive this scholarship you also receive extra support. This includes:

  • a program staff member who offers individual advocacy and help to support
    your success
  • a supportive and caring leaning environment throughout the College
  • tutoring
  • advising
  • help in identifying and developing your strengths

Email or call 607.844.8222, Ext. 4441 with any questions to get started on your application.

Flexible Scheduling

Fitting college coursework into a busy schedule is a significant concern for our adult students. We can help. If you have any question, email us at or call one of our three convenient locations for assistance.

The Nancy S. Lieberman Extension Center in Ithaca

Located at 118 North Tioga St., on the Ithaca Commons across from the Hilton and the Seneca Street parking garage, the downtown Ithaca Lieberman Extension Center is easily accessible. We offer credit classes, and our enrollment service specialists can help you register and complete other essential paper work right at the center. The center features state-of-the-art “smart” classrooms, computers for student use, and access to printing and vending machines.

Daytime and evening hours provide ample opportunities for building a schedule.

The Cortland Extension Center

The new, modern Cortland Extension Center is located at 157 Main St. in Cortland, and is the hub of business and education in downtown Cortland. Our classrooms, available student computers, and commons area make the extension center a comfortable, accessible place to study and learn. Also, our friendly staff can help you complete essential paperwork at the extension center, saving you a trip to Dryden.

Daytime and evening hours provide ample opportunities for building a schedule.

Get Started

Tompkins Cortland Community College is an open enrollment institution, so the good news is if you are a high school graduate or have a GED, you can attend Tompkins Cortland. You do need to formally apply for admission if you wish to pursue a degree and receive financial aid. There are a few steps to completing the enrollment process.

If you have any questions at any point and would like us to help walk you through the admissions process, please email us at, or visit one of our Extension Centers.

If you’ve been out of school for awhile, or never applied to college before, this can seem daunting. It’s our specialty. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact Information

Email or call us at 607.844.6580.


Students coming to campus can use public transportation as well as enjoy free parking in any student lot.

Supporting your success

Your success is our mission, and even the best students can benefit from tutoring and other assistance. Tompkins Cortland is home to numerous student support services, including the library, tutoring, technical support, and more. Library materials can also be delivered to our Extension Centers for your convenience.


Tompkins Cortland offers a General Educational Development (GED) prep program. The GED is a national test that measures your mastery of basic skills and general knowledge acquired in a four-year high school education.

The program begins with assessment on subject matter covered in the GED tests. From there, you meet with an instructor on a regular basis to prepare. Most people are ready to sit for the GED exam in four to six months.

For more information, call 607.844.6580.

Adult student on a computer in the library


Online Learning

Taking classes online helps many students juggle their schoolwork with a busy schedule. And, most students who take online courses at Tompkins Cortland also take traditional in-class courses.

The College’s online course offerings can be sorted by subject area and semester. We also offer an online learning guide before you choose online courses.

Child Care

The College operates a child care center at the main campus in Dryden for the children of our full- and part-time students. Fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on family size and annual income.

Other Location Options

The Cortland Area Child Care Council offers information about other childcare options in Cortland County.

The Child Development Council offers childcare information for residents of Tompkins County.

Parent and child walking with backpack