Are you thinking about going back to school? If so, you're in good company. 40% of students in US universities are over age 25.
You may be interested in getting your first undergraduate degree or changing fields. In either case, you'll need to be well prepared to make the most of this opportunity. We've put together the following tips to help you do just that.
Set Clear Goals
First, you'll want to establish clear goals to direct your choices. Make sure you know why you're going back to school.
Do you want to get a higher-paying job to better provide for your household? Or are you at a point in your life where you feel it's time to pursue your dreams after dedicating years to your job and family? Your answers to these questions will help guide future decisions and keep you committed when the going gets rough.
Research Financial Aid Opportunities
Many people worry about how they'll afford school expenses, but the truth is that there are many options to help you pay. The internet is a great place to start to look for scholarships and student discounts. Grants, loans, and work-study programs are other excellent ways to help fund your college education.
Many scholarships target students with specific academic, artistic, or athletic talent. Others are available only for particular fields of study. Specific scholarships are also available to people from certain locations, members of underrepresented groups, and those who demonstrate financial need.
Personalized online search tools can help compare your profile with all the available aid opportunities. You'll receive more information about the options that might be right for you.
Develop Your Time Management Skills
If you have a job and a family, you're already juggling a lot of responsibility. Going back to college means you'll have even more to handle. Classes, homework, and exams need to be a priority if you want to be successful in school.
So, you'll need to make sure you have excellent time management skills. You can choose from several different apps that can make it easier to track your time. They can help you understand how many hours you need to set aside for daily responsibilities.
Making a schedule and following it is a great place to start. Learning how to prioritize tasks and avoid distractions is also crucial. You may need to forgo an evening with friends every so often to focus on studying.
Look into Online Degrees
Maybe you're concerned about the time you'll spend away from home to go to classes. In this case, a web-based university program might be the right choice for you. Getting your degree online gives you much greater flexibility than attending in person.
Internet-based course offerings are more diverse than those you find near your home. You aren't limited to the schools closest to where you live. So, you may end up finding the perfect program for you and be able to enroll even though the college is hundreds of miles away.
Online colleges and universities often offer lower prices than those with in-person attendance. The increased flexibility plus better affordability is undeniably a great deal. If you're sure that you have the skills to study on your own, online classes can be an excellent option.
Going back to college after taking an extended break can be challenging. However, being prepared helps immensely. You'll need to have clear goals and research the financial aid opportunities available.
Developing excellent time management skills is essential. You might also want to look into the options available for online studies. Doing all of these things will help you enter college prepared to do your best.