A night school is a school which conducts classes during the evenings or on the weekends, making an education accessible to people who might not be able to attend classes during the day. Many night schools are held on college or high school campuses which are used during the weekdays. This practice allows night schools to cut down on operating costs substantially, which can allow them to charge less to their students.
Primarily, night schools are designed for adult education. Most adults have regular working hours which would prevent them from attending classes for personal and professional advancement during the night. A night school makes such classes available and creates a support network of similar students who can assist each other with a variety of needs, ranging from coping with childcare issues to studying for tests together.
Night schools can have a number of different goals. Some are designed to provide adult literacy services to people who are illiterate or struggling to learn a new language. Many people around the world are functionally illiterate, and attending night school can open many new opportunities to them in addition to making it easier for them to navigate in society. Other schools offer high school equivalency classes so that people can get high school diplomas or prepare for tests which will result in a high school equivalency certificate.
Trade classes and classes for professional advancement are also available. Night school students can learn trades such as cosmetology, nursing, law, and automobile repair, among many other things, taking advantage of classes and schedules which are tailored to their needs. Individuals who are interested in entering or re-entering academic while working can also take night school classes to prepare for transfer for a college or university, or to obtain a bachelor's degree, depending on the type of school.
Students who are interested in expanding their educational horizons at a night school can talk to college and high school counselors, who will have information about regional night schools and other options, such as low residency college programs. Financial aid is available for many students who may have trouble paying for such programs, as are a variety of tuition repayment programs which can be adjusted to address a specific financial issue or circumstance. Students may also want to be aware that special funding may be available if they are the first in their families to attend college, and that many employers will help pay for night school classes which will allow an employee to advance professionally.