If it weren’t for rolling applications, I probably wouldn’t be writing this today. At age 20 and with two years of college behind me, I decided to switch majors, living arrangements, lovers, and jobs; all of which meant I needed to apply and get accepted to a new school. However, application deadlines at many schools didn’t accommodate the upheaval in my life. I was facing a break in my higher education and I knew myself well enough to be worried the break would become permanent. I needed a school that was supportive of unconventional schedules, work, and personal demands. And I found one in Westfield State University.

I went to WSU (née WSC) through the Continuing Education program and earned my bachelor’s degree attending classes around my schedule, during the day, night and over the winter and summer. The professors there helped nurture my love of writing and guide me toward a career in journalism.

The nice thing about colleges that take applications on a rolling basis is that they are usually more in tune with the needs of alternative students: people going back to school after years away, those with full-time jobs or children.

A good college with rolling admission will not only accept unconventional students, but it will support them, too. This means providing services such as commuter councils, academic counseling, access to professors and tutors, open collaboration areas, job placements services, and prep classes.

At American International College in Springfield, they have an academic success center that provides help with math, writing, career planning, tutoring, and dealing with the first-year student experience.

And at the Cambridge College center in Springfield, students just have to put their names on the schedule to get time with a tutor. As a center, the educational space is smaller than a typical campus, but the school, which is located in the Tower Square building, has a computer lab and a student lounge.

“One of the selling points is you’re going to come here and be with a lot of people already working out in the world that realize — either for themselves or their managers tell them — they need to upgrade their credentials and get an undergraduate or graduate degree,” said Teresa Forte, the center’s director. “Helping those students is the basis on which we were founded.”

If you are yearning for some learning, there is always still time to go back to school. The following is a list of some of the colleges in the area that accept applications on a rolling basis. Per-credit cost represents charges for bachelor’s degrees for part-time students for the 2015-2016 academic year.

American International College

Springfield, www.aic.edu

Per credit cost: $640, $465-$820 for graduate programs

The college has special accreditations for its education and health sciences programs and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It also has a school of business, arts, and sciences and a center for academic success.

Bay Path College

Longmeadow, www.baypath.edu

Tuition and fees for a full-time undergrad: $31,785 and about $775 per credit for graduate programs.

Special accreditation in occupational therapy, physician assistant, education, and most of its legal programs. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and has a center for careers and life planning.

Cambridge College

Springfield, springfield.cambridgecollege.edu

Per credit: $389, $500-$600 for graduate credits

The college has centers around the U.S., including one in Springfield. This center offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as some certificate programs. It has schools of education, management, and psychology and counseling.

Elms College

Chicopee, www.elms.edu

Per credit cost: $624, $404-$720 for graduate programs

A Catholic college, Elms offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and has a school of nursing. It has special accreditations for the business, social work, nursing, and paralegal programs.

Springfield College

Springfield, www.springfieldcollege.edu

Per credit cost: $1,021, $960 for graduate programs

This college has an academic success center and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It has schools of arts, sciences, and professional studies; health, physical education and recreation; health sciences and rehabilitation; professional and continuing studies; and social work.

Western New England University

Springfield, www.wne.edu

Per credit cost: $598, $340-$1,200 for graduate programs

The university has a school of law and a college of pharmacy and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It has special accreditations for its business, behavioral analysis, civil and computer engineering, social work, biomedical, and law programs.

Westfield State University

Westfield, www.westfield.ma.edu

Per credit cost: $840, $900-$1,200 for graduate programs

This school only has rolling admissions for its graduate and continuing education bachelor’s degree programs.

Westfield State is a public university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It has special accreditations for its education, music, computer sciences, public safety, nursing, physical education, and social work programs.•

Contact Kristin Palpini at editor@valleyadvocate.com.