What to Expect When Going Back to School as an Adult

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Going back to school as an adult can seem intimidating in light of the slew of responsibilities that come with adult life. However, going back to college to finish an incomplete degree or start a new one can be an excellent career-furthering move. However, if you're on the fence about continuing your education later in life, you're not alone.

Choosing to continue your higher education path as an adult is not a light decision, but it has a huge potential payoff. You need to have a clear goal in mind for going back to school and a plan for successfully finishing your degree. Begin by asking a handful of important questions.

How Do Adults Go Back to College?

Going back to college can pose several unique challenges for adults past the typical age range of college and graduate students. Adults over 30 may have more professional and familial responsibilities than the average college student, which makes finding time to dedicate to furthering their education more difficult. 

Fortunately, technology has advanced exponentially over the past couple of decades. With nearly every major college and university offering online degree programs, earning a degree is more convenient today than it's ever been. Many colleges and universities offer hybrid programs that allow students to study mostly online and come to campus for essential in-person classes such as labs.

The key to going back to college as an adult is defining your goals. Then choose a school that will accommodate those goals and provide the flexibility needed to achieve them.

What Are the Challenges Adults Face Going Back to School?

Despite how far online education has come, adult students still deal with common struggles when going back to school. The primary challenges include:

  • Balancing school with raising a family and full-time work.
  • Balancing school with an overly demanding career.
  • Financial worries.
  • Difficulty getting back into "learning mode."
  • Feeling like returning to college isn't worthwhile.

While there are challenges to going back to school, adult learners can reap long-term benefits from re-entering higher education.

What Is the Best Advice for Adults Going Back to School?

If you're planning on returning to college, prepare yourself for the road ahead with the following tips:

  1. Prepare as much as possible. If you're returning to complete a degree, make sure that you choose a school that will accept the credits you've already earned and allows adult students to earn credit for work experience (usually through entry exams).
  2. Choose a program that will further your desired career. If you have specific career goals in mind, choose a school and program that will propel you toward those specific goals. An academic advisor can also be a great asset.
  3. Choose a school that allows the flexibility you need. It's easy to find colleges and universities that offer a variety of distance learning structures in their programs. If you need a flexible program that allows you to work full-time and care for your family, most higher education institutions can provide a high-quality education that meets your needs. 

While you're getting back into school, remember that you can always seek help from expert online tutors. Schedule your online tutoring session with 24HourAnswers to get the help you need. 

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