Friday, May 17, 2024

Why Do Adults Go Back To College

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My Gut Tells Me That This Is The Best Choice For My Family

Going Back to School Over 40?! But, WHY??

I think this one is key. Like I said, I wrestled with this night and day and drove myself and my family bonkers trying to weigh the pros and cons of this decision. Once I made the choice , it felt like a literal weight was lifted off my shoulders. Thats how I knew it was the right choice.

No, Im not dancing in the streets at the prospect of schooling my kids at home next year. Its going to be bananas here with two parents working full-time while schooling two kids. But, now that I dont have to worry about the above 15 things that have crowded my kind for weeks, I can start to see that while next year will suck in many ways, it will be doable and okay.

Because in my mind there literally isnt any other choice than to make it work.

Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think They Are

“There are hundreds if not thousands of colleges out there that are really not designed for the adult learner,” Klein-Collins says. “So someone who is a busy working person shouldn’t really waste a moment looking at those kinds of colleges.”

But there are schools that do a great job educating older adults, she explains in Never Too Late. The book offers answers to persistent questions, like, “What do I do if it’s been ages since I took algebra?” or “I have a few college classes under my belt how do I get those credits to count?”

Klein-Collins spoke to NPR about the logistical hurdles adults face in college, and how to overcome anxieties around going back to school. The following interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

Never Too Late

The Adult Student’s Guide to College

The Adult Student’s Guide to College

Who are these adults looking to go to college?

They’re people who might have started college right after high school, but never finished. They might have had a lot of really great work experience and can’t afford to quit their jobs in order to go back to school. They might have military service. Maybe they’ve received some technical training and leadership experience. Maybe they are raising a family.

These are all people who are really good candidates for going back to school. And these are the kinds of people you see in classrooms these days. It’s not that unusual.

What are some of the logistical hurdles these folks face?

How Will You Pay For School

According to recent statistics, approximately 42.9 million Americans with federal student loan debt each owe an average of $36,406 for their federal loans. No one wants to get into that kind of debt for the sake of an undergraduate degree. This explains why more adults arent going back to college, even if it means lowering their chances of landing their dream job.

Fortunately, there are ways to save money an online college costs just a fraction of what a campus-based institution may charge. Learning from home also means avoiding paying for things like student housing, meal programs, daily commutes, and more.

If you intend to receive your education from a more traditional university, you should look into financial aid options. If this isnt your first time going to school, your parents probably filled out the FAFSA. Fill it out again, this time as an adult, to see what kind of federal grants and loans are available. Remember, there is no age limit for federal aid.

Check with your employer, too. Some companies offer education-related benefits that can help you pay for your education.

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Degree: Masters In Nursing Management/leadership

Brenda Echols wanted to pursue her masters in nursing management/leadership with Western Governors University, a nonprofit online university designed for working adults. She was and still is the only person in her family with an advanced degree. Here’s what she had to say about her journey to a master’s degree as an older student.

“My biggest challenge was overcoming breast cancer while working on my degree. It almost took me out of school, but when I thought about it and talked it over, I decided to hold on and hold out as strong as I could.

“I believe others can do it, too, if they believe. It’s never too late to believe. Being a student helped me maintain my focus during my challenges. My dream sustained me along with family and friends. I never missed a beat.”

Reasons For The Increase In Adult Student Enrollment

8 Steps to Going Back to School

There are a number of reasons for the tremendous growth in the number of adults enrolling in higher education, certificate, and degree programs:

  • Increasing competition. Older workers are faced with increasing competition from younger employees who are more educated in the latest technology. They feel the need to improve or update their education, especially in digital technology, to keep up with the latest trends and developments in their fields. Otherwise, they face the risk of career stagnation or being overlooked for promotion in favor of younger workers.
  • Ease of access to education. The growth of online education has made it easier for people of all ages to enroll in degree or certificate programs. In addition, more of these programs have gained accreditation, making these qualifications readily accepted in the workplace.
  • Job dissatisfaction. Many workers who are unhappy in their jobs are realizing that further education could be the key to enabling them to make a career change and improve their employment situation.

Have you been thinking about making the switch to a job thats more fulfilling? Check out the programs available to you, and see how they can help you discover your new career path.

There may be many other reasons for adults to make the decision to go back to school. Whatever the reason, the undisputed fact is that enrollment of nontraditional learners is increasing.

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Additional Takeaways About Adults Returning To College

This report makes isclear that colleges seeking to recruit adults returning to college who haveless than two years of college credit will have a difficult time doing so theywill have a harder time keeping these students enrolled through to completion.The report also makes clear that while community colleges are the largest sourceof the some college, no degree phenomenon, they are also the most popular routeto eventual completion.

Four-year colleges lookingto benefit from this ever-growing population of students may be best advised tofocus on promoting the significant lifelong advantages of completing abachelors degree in partnership with community colleges in their region. Whilethey can go directly after these students, doing so may imply that they canonly attract 20 percent of the 10 percent of all some college, no degreepopulation that is most likely to finish.

I’m Afraid It Will Be Too Expensive

It can be expensive returning to college. The expense alone is enough to cause many working adults to reconsider their decision to return to school and earn a degree. However, when education is viewed as an investment, the costs of attending college do not seem as large of a sacrifice. It’s best to have a long term rather than short term perspective. Salary increases associated with obtaining more education often offset the cost of returning to school. Many colleges, including those offering online courses, are relatively inexpensive to attend. Before deciding against returning to school based on the cost, consider how earning your degree or getting advanced training will help you achieve your long-term career and educational goals.

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In ‘never Too Late’ Finally A Guide For Adults Going To College

There are hundreds of books about picking the best college. But let’s face it: Most of them are written for high schoolers. In reality, 40 percent of college students are 25 or older well out of high school and many have kids, full-time jobs or both.

Now, a new book by Rebecca Klein-Collins offers advice and guidance for the adult student looking to go to college.

What Are The Advantages Of Having Older Students In The Classroom

Why we should NOT Go Back To School

I think one of the most-often overlooked aspects of older students is the value they bring to classroom. One of our CCA Fellows, Matt Bergman, commented to me that he never wants to teach anyone but older adults. Theyre active learners, theyre attentive, they know why theyre there they have the confidence to ask questions, engage and integrate their earlier experiences in order to enhance learning and make deeper connections. And if I may share a personal anecdote, my husband just completed this process. He was a lawyer, and he went back to school to become a landscape architect. He just graduated this past spring, and in terms of comparing the two college experiences, he said that as an undergrad, he was intimidated by the whole experience and by his instructors. But as a 43-year-old, he was able to see his professors as peers he engaged with them in open dialogue. He would find himself squeezing every last minute out of every class, not looking forward to leaving early like he did as an undergrad. Ive seen that firsthand from others, too, and certainly the faculty we work with validate that.

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Schools For Adults Going Back To College

In recent years, the fastest growing population of college students are over the age of 25 adults who wish to advance their careers, dropped out of or never attended college, single parents, military, and those looking to better their life are all choosing higher education. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, between 2000 and 2011 enrollment of students over the age of 25 rose by 41%. Regardless of the reason for pursuing higher education, we here at Best College Reviews have compiled a ranking of the schools that help make the college dream a reality by rating what adults are looking for in a college: flexibility, transfer options, online classes, and acceptance rate.

Returning To School After A Long Hiatus

Adult students going back to school after an extended absence often find themselves asking things like:

  • Can I keep up with the class work?
  • Do I even remember how to write a research paper?
  • Will I fit in with other students?

These questions and feelings of doubt are normal, but you should address them head on, or youll risk developing imposter syndrome. To help ease your anxieties, ask for guidance from your academic advisor or at your student support office. They can help connect you with tutors, mentors, writing coaches and other services designed to help you succeed.

Barbara Pitts was 50 years old when she began working toward her bachelors degree in sociology, and she remembers wondering how the younger students would react to her age. But she quickly realized there was a healthy mix of students of all ages, which ended up benefitting everyone.

This turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences in building relationships, Pitts shares. Through the class discussions, I was able to share my experiences and learn about experiences of my younger classmates and compare with those my own age.

For any adult students struggling with similar concerns, Pitts has some advice: Just go for it! Dont feel intimidated because of your age. You have a lot to give and will be rewarded with what you receive in return.

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Dare To Take That First Step Towards Going Back To School As An Adult Student

As an adult learner, the odds are definitely on your side. Take the first step today and enroll in a study program to relaunch your career. Are you ready to learn more about how you can start the process of going back to school for a bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree? If so, then contact an enrollment advisor today.

Here are some other resources to consider when taking the next step towards going back to school:

University Of Maine At Augusta

Reasons Why I Go To School by bandgeek13

Options overflow at the University of Maine at Augusta, making this an excellent choice for the adult learner who is trying the juggle the priorities of education, children, and work. The University of Maine at Augusta is a branch of the University of Maine System that supports distance education by providing courses and full degree programs at locations all around the state. There are 9 centers located throughout Maine. In addition to these centers, the university offers 25 site locations around the state where many of the online courses can be video streamed, and where students may take exams. These are excellent options for Maine residents, but in order to reach beyond the state borders, the University of Maine Augusta offers fully online classes, blended or hybrid classes, classes via Interactive Television, and video conferencing with two-way video and voice communications. Students may take advantage of one, or several of these options in order to find the best way to complete their degree. Regardless of the method, students can be assured that they are receiving a quality education with ultimate flexibility.

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We Dont Know The Long

Sure, kids dont usually get very sick with COVID-19, but we dont know a damn thing about the long-term effects of contracting the virus. This virus is about six months old. We cannot know in what ways it affects children long-term. Period. There are adults out there who survived COVID-19 who still cant breathe properly and who have experienced organ failure. This virus is no fucking joke.

Previous Academic Performance Was Below Average

There is a quote that says your past does not dictate your future. However, we dont always remember this and think that it does. Because of this fear that our future will be like our past, it holds us back from pursuing new things.

Sometimes, people thinking about going back to school get scared about how they will perform based on their past. The good news is there usually is some distance in years between when someone has graduated and when they choose to go back to school. The time away from school usually allows for people to mature a little bit, gain some new skills around prioritization of time, getting over the fear and with this new found maturity, academic performance is not like the past.

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Discover The Program Thats Right For You

Choose an online degree that aligns with your professional goals and enroll in a program that provides the skills you need to pursue your passion.

Going Back to School is Easier than You Think

Most adults going back to college may not realize they might have already earned credit that can be applied toward a college degree. If youve completed any college courses at an accredited college or university, you could already have transferable credits. Global Campus also accepts transfer credits for work/life experience, such as military training, professional experience, and national testing programs. With 50-plus associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in career-focused fields, we can help you find a program that best fits your needs. To get started, simply fill out the form on this page. A Global Campus Advisor will contact you to discuss all of your options and answer all of your questions about how to go back to college.

Adult Students In Higher Education Statistics

Why go to University? University of Gloucestershire

This chapter of our guide will provide you with statistical insights and facts about the adult student population in the United States and around the world. It will help you to gain a sense of the strength of the adult student body and give you the necessary encouragement to make the decision to enroll in an academic program.

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Back To School: Older Students On The Rise In College Classrooms

Dorms are filling up, classes are starting, and Frisbees are flying above quads at colleges and universities across the country. But these familiar seasonal patterns don’t reflect how a growing number of students are starting the year.

More and more older Americans are heading back to school, often part time or in the evenings, and their rate of enrollment is rising faster than students of typical college age. In 2009, students aged 25 and older accounted for roughly 40 percent of all college and graduate students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That figure is expected to rise to 43 percent by 2020 as 9.6 million older students head to campus.

I’m Afraid It Will Take Up Too Much Time

It’s not unreasonable for working professionals to feel overwhelmed with their current responsibilities. As a result, returning to school can be that much more intimidating. Working full-time, raising a family, and fulfilling other responsibilities are enough to occupy already full schedules.

However, it’s possible to make time to return to schoolâand many adults do it quite successfully. It may require sacrificing time spent enjoying leisurely activities, but it is possible to make the time. If you set a goal and have an unwavering commitment to reach it, you can develop the ability to make sacrifices that will allow you to accomplish your educational objectives.

Working professionals desiring to return to school but who are concerned about the time commitment should consider enrolling in an online program. Many online programs have the flexibility to complete classes, projects and exams whenever students have time, whether it be early in the morning or late in the evening. Students are not required to attend classes and course requirements can be completed at home or from an office.

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