Are you one of the people who didn’t quite make it through high school? Did you graduate high school only to find out that you couldn’t afford college right away? Now that your kids are out on their own and you have a little time for yourself, you may be considering getting that college degree you always wanted. If so, you probably have a number of concerns about getting your degree at this stage of life. If so, you are not alone. Most adult students have a number of worries regarding returning to school, many of which are unfounded. Here are the most common worries about returning to school as an adult:
Is It Too Late?
Many returning students worry that they are too old to go back to school. That has never been less true than it is today. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, almost half of all college students are over the age of 26. Older adults are returning to college in record numbers, so you will not be alone. As a bonus, your age comes with life experience and maturity that can make you more successful in college than you ever dreamed possible.
Is It Too Expensive?
While the economy is in a slump and finances are tight for many, attending college is more affordable now than ever due to the large amount of funding that is available. Older students, just like their younger counterparts, can qualify for Pell Grants, federal student loans, scholarships, and other financial aid. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see exactly how much federal funding is available for you. Follow up by finding and applying for a variety of scholarships that will provide you with what is essentially free money to pay for your degree.
Is There Enough Time
Many adults are working full time and taking care of families. As one of them, it can be difficult to imagine how you will find time to attend classes and study. Sit down and truly evaluate your commitments and the time requirements of attending school. Are there things you can stop doing for a while, such as volunteering and taking on extra hours? Make sure you have a solid commitment to making your education work before you decide to enroll. Otherwise, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and stress.
The Nearest Campus Is Too Far Away
This is not a concern for anyone today. There are so many online colleges and universities that offer accredited degree programs that anyone can get the education they need from the comfort of home. These schools provide you with the same education available through brick-and-mortar schools without the need for travel.
Will School Interfere with Work?
This is another worry that can be easily overcome by choosing an online college or university. Students who choose online learning can attend classes at night, on weekends, or at any other time that is convenient and that fits around the work schedule. Think about your hours of availability to see if online learning is the best choice for you.
Increasing numbers of adult students are making the choice to return to college and earn a degree. Because of this high demand, colleges and universities are doing everything possible to ensure that adult learners have what they need to make their education a success. The main worries of adult learners are easily overcome, so there is no reason why you can’t make your college dreams a reality.