Returning to College might not have been a part of your adult-life plans, but perhaps your career path demands that you get a new degree, or you are looking into learning new skills or starting a new career.
Whatever your reason is, it’s never too late.
Every year, the number of adults who return to school to acquire a degree keeps increasing.
According to Maryville University report, over 717 000 adult students enrolled in online classes in the Fall of 2016, and the numbers keep growing every day. The idea of returning to school might seem like a pipe dream, especially if you think of having to study for long hours and juggling family demands and work with school work.
Also, you might be wondering where to start from. How to start applying for admissions into institutions, and how to cope when you get there.
This article will show you how to earn a degree as an adult student and succeed at it. Let’s begin.
9 Steps To Help You Earn a Degree Later in Life
These steps have been compiled to help you ease the processes involved in your enrollment for a course in your advanced years. It’s best to modify each step as it applies to your peculiar situation.
1. Explore Online and Night Courses
You might run on a tighter schedule because you probably have to combine schooling with family demands. However, you can explore online and night courses to make learning easier and more flexible.
By taking online courses, you would learn from the comfort of your home and still tend to your family’s needs. More so, if you take night courses, you would have more time to focus and learn after you’ve closed for work for the day.
In the end, the idea is to work with a flexible schedule that would be able to accommodate other commitments you have.
2. Get Ready by Boosting Your Skills
Boosting your writing and tech-related skills like computer skills would aid your learning as a mature student. You can do this the DIY way—watching videos on YouTube or reading materials online to help you through the process.
You can also contact your preferred school to find out if they provide skill-building programs for students. Some schools offer these programs as part of orientation programs for new students or the courses they would take in their first year.
You can also attend workshops and visit writing and computer training centers to help you learn better.
3. Find Schools That Support Mature and Working Students
When looking into earning a degree later in life, ensure that the schools you apply to are institutions that facilitate adult learning; otherwise, it might be a bit hectic for you.
Therefore, look for institutions with adult learning resources such as daycare facilities, part-time learning options, and weekend-learning options.
This would make learning easier for you, especially if you are nursing your child or running a full-time job.
4. Consider Cost and Get Financial Aid
When applying to institutions, explore all available options regarding tuition fees and other expenses. As an adult, you would probably be sponsoring yourself to school, and you don’t want to be stranded financially before or after you start learning.
This is why you must conduct your research and go for an institution with an excellent curriculum and affordable tuition fees.
You can also ask your boss at work for tuition reimbursement programs as some organizations do this for their most qualified staff. By doing this, you would save money while learning and acquire the best results.
5. Apply and Enroll Immediately
When contemplating returning to school, explore all your options, select the learning style that works best for you (either online or offline) and apply and enroll immediately.
You need to apply early to increase your chances of getting admission and also so you can start schooling and graduate in real-time.
6. Put Your Commitments in Order
To succeed as an adult student, you would have to put your organizational skills to work.
You’ve got to schedule a time for classes and homework periods and carve out time to spend time with your family and attend to their needs. If you don’t do this, your different commitments would clash, which may get overwhelming for you.
7. Set Realistic Goals
You’ve got to set practical goals to make notable achievements while learning.
While going for 20 units per term may seem like a smart move to wrap up your degree in real-time, it might not be the most effective decision.
Taking more than you can handle will overwhelm you and may make you quit before you start. Therefore, you must set only realistic goals to combine your studies and other commitments effectively.
8. Get Help
Your brain might trick you into thinking you can do it all by yourself, don’t fall for it.
Delegate responsibilities as much as you can; ask relatives to help you with childcare or hire a babysitter to help you with your kids while you study.
Get a housekeeper to help you care for the house while you attend classes.
By delegating enough responsibilities, you will save more time and energy, which will help you stay focused and productive.
9. Maximize Your Connections
College advisors, college professors, counselors, study groups, etc., are always available in colleges to help you through your challenges, make the best use of their help.
Ask them questions, let them help you clarify things, and show you how things are done. This will help you avoid making many mistakes and set you right on track.
Going back to learn and acquire a degree later in life shouldn’t be difficult. If you plan to earn a degree later in life, then the steps listed and explained in this article would guide you. They will help you through the process of starting a degree and succeeding at it so you can fulfill your dreams of earning a degree later in life.
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