Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Why I Chose SLU: Four Reasons Alumni Recommend Saint Louis University

Each year, a new class of hardworking graduates complete their degrees thanks to the unmatched support offered at Saint Louis University (SLU). For more than six decades, SLU’s School for Professional Studies has been supporting adult learners through its innovative program offerings.  

These online degrees are designed specifically for non-traditional students and working adults, ensuring students have access to affordable, accelerated pathways to earning their degrees so they can achieve their career goals sooner.

We spoke with a handful of alumni to learn what drew them to the school and why they’d recommend Saint Louis University to other adult learners across the nation.

Four Reasons Adult Learners Choose SLU

SLU's School for Professional Studies offers degrees that combine the prestige of our nationally ranked university with the flexibility and affordability needed to tackle your education anywhere. Whether you’re looking to increase your earning potential, land a promotion or change careers entirely, these programs were designed with adult learners like you in mind.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Consider the experiences of the following graduates who found SLU degree programs that fit their goals, their lives and their lifelong pursuits for greater truth.

1. SLU Makes Higher Education Accessible

One of the most prominent hurdles for adults looking to go back to school is finding the time. The online, accelerated options in the School for Professional Studies aim to provide a path toward a degree to all students, regardless of their personal constraints.

“I naturally gravitated toward online classes,” explains Helena, who graduated from SLU in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Security and Strategic Intelligence. “I just found that the flexibility offered within those courses fit my busy life better. It gave me more time with my family, as well as more time for my day job.”

A head and shoulders picture of a woman facing the camera in a pink shirt with a living room seen in the background

With six accelerated, eight-week terms each year, students have the opportunity to begin working toward their degrees at any time, choosing the pace that works best for them. Adding to the value, classes at SLU’s School for Professional Studies are offered at half the cost of a traditional degree, and they’re made specifically for working professionals.

“Our courses are designed with the adult student in mind,” explains Troy Hargrove. Hargrove understands the experience on a personal level, because he graduated from the School for Professional Studies with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies in 2003. He went on to earn an MBA from SLU in 2008, and he is currently working toward his Ph.D.

A man in a suit stands on a staircase

“The overall mission of the School for Professional Studies is to make education accessible to everyone,” Hargrove continues. “Faculty members are subject matter experts who are also committed to evaluating what adult students need in an effective learning environment. They consider, for example, what cadence and pace would help ensure that our adult students can successfully balance the demands of life, extracurriculars and their careers alongside their studies.”

The flexible learning options offered at SLU have made higher education a realistic possibility for busy adult learners across the country.

“Online learning has given us working adults — the nontraditional student — a chance to complete our degrees,” offers Tina, who earned a general studies degree from SLU in 2022. “Because we can set our own schedules, we can maintain our daily responsibilities while also doing something for ourselves.”

A woman in glasses and a blue shirt stands in front of a glass wall with an inverted SLU logo

2. SLU Makes You Feel Supported

Adult learners face challenges that are different from those of the traditional college student. They have a host of additional responsibilities and considerations to take into account when it comes to going back to school.

One element that sets SLU’s School for Professional Studies apart is the unmatched level of support that is specifically tailored to the needs of adult students. Even in an online learning environment, faculty and administrators at the University are eager to offer guidance and support.

“With courses that are one hundred percent online, it’s important for students to realize they’re not completely on their own,” Hargrove says. “Our faculty are in the online learning environment supporting students throughout their entire academic journey.”

Helena recalls how authentically supportive the faculty and staff were during her time at SLU. “They understand what it’s like to be an adult learner,” she notes. “Almost everyone in the administration has been adult learner themselves. These programs are completely tailored for us.”

Helena goes on to explain that her professors offered valuable real-world experience, but they were also willing to go above and beyond, offering advice, connecting students to important industry events, facilitating introductions at networking functions, helping with resumes and interview prep, and more. “It didn’t stop in the classroom — that help extended even past graduation. I’m still close with some of the professors and administrators to this day,” she explains.

In addition to the outstanding faculty, SLU also has academic coaches who partner with students in their higher education journeys. As soon as a student is admitted, they are matched with their academic coach who will walk alongside them all the way to graduation.

“When I first enrolled at SLU, my academic coach helped guide me on what would be the best way for me to finish my degree,” Tina recalls. “My coach was always there for me, answering any questions I had. I felt extremely supported. All my professors wanted me to succeed. I wasn’t just a number to them, I was Tina.”

3. SLU Makes You Feel Like You Belong

Returning to the classroom — even the online classroom — as an adult can be intimidating for a number of reasons. “Many of us have a constant fear of being judged in a new endeavor,” says Akshay, who graduated from the School for Professional Studies in 2023 with a master’s in information systems and management. “But everyone here is so accepting and welcoming. SLU helps remove fear from the process of entering into an unfamiliar educational environment as an adult.”

A man in a tan button up sits in an atrium with a plant in the background

“When you feel welcomed and accepted, you’re more comfortable asking questions and seeking support,” he continues, explaining that facilitating open, productive communication helps students feel like they belong. “The School for Professional Studies does a great job of this.”

Part of what makes SLU so effective in this area is the institution’s commitment to honoring each student exactly where they’re at in their journeys. “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences; we all have different needs. They recognize this at SLU,” offers Keith, who graduated from the School for Professional Studies with a bachelor’s in organizational studies in 2002.

A smiling man in a suit jacket and checked shirt sits faces the camera with a living room in the background

“This is one of the most inclusive universities I’ve ever been a part of,” he adds. “I knew from my very first class that I belonged here. I knew this was for me.”

Saint Louis University has a longstanding legacy as an accepting and supportive educational community. “Whenever you come through the school, you get to become a part of that legacy,” Helena says. “I was standing on the shoulders of those who had gone before me, and I want future students to be able to build upon my legacy as well.”

4. SLU Makes it Possible to Achieve Your Goals

There’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment you feel when you set out to do something challenging and you achieve your goal. At SLU, our aspiration is to help you in your personal and professional pursuits — to remind you of what’s possible.

“I went back to school because I knew it would open doors for me,” Keith says. “It was going to lead to a better job so that I could better provide for myself and my family. That’s what my degree from SLU did for me.”

Even though earning her degree required hard work, Tina has seen just how those sacrifices can pay off. “I use what I learned every day at work. And by earning my degree, I was able to get a promotion and a bump in my salary. I became more confident; I became a better employee and a better leader,” she offers.

“I never thought it was possible to achieve my goal of going back to school and finishing my degree,” Tina continues. “I learned things about myself that I never knew I had in me.”

For many, going back to school as an adult feels like an insurmountable challenge. But when you partner with an institution that is committed to continual support and guidance — one that offers flexible and affordable pathways to help you achieve your goals — you can discover what is truly possible.

“Graduation day for me was unbelievable,” Helena recounts. “It was this huge sense of accomplishment. It brought such an amazing feeling of achievement and pride to be able to show my kids what’s possible for them one day, too. If I did it, they can do it.”

Unlock Your Potential at Saint Louis University

The School for Professional Studies at SLU is one of the most innovative programs of its kind. Rather than adjusting to the unique needs and challenges of adult learners, it was specifically designed from the ground up to help students like you thrive.

“Over the last 60 years, the School for Professional Studies has made a profound impact on thousands of learners and their families,” Hargrove says. “Here’s to the next 60 years of proving what’s possible.”

You can learn more about the programs that helped these adult students achieve their goals by visiting Saint Louis University’s School for Professional Studies information page today.

Request Information

Choose the program you're interested in.


Take Your Next Step

Apply Now