Going Back to School
Posted on November 22, 2022 by CHS
Deciding to go back to school as an adult can be an important, exciting, and daunting decision. It signifies a desire for growth, and that you have set goals that you are working to achieve. Returning to education can invigorate your learning process by sparking curiosity, offering new perspectives, and broadening your outlook and exposure to the world, it can also open new career opportunities. Returning to school can be challenging, but there are preparation tools and resources to help you succeed. Below are some general tips to help you get started.
General Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult
Now that you have decided to pursue professional education as an adult, consider the following:
- Have a plan. Plan for the type of education you wish to pursue. Whether you are returning to an unfinished program of study or starting fresh with something new, having a plan will help you fulfill your educational goals. Research key factors, like the amount of time your education will take to complete, whether the program is full time or part time, and the careers your new education will afford you. Take some time to also establish your motivation for this journey.
- Research the school. It is important to choose an educational institution that aligns with your career goals. Not every program or school is accredited and may not be recognized as a valid institution by employers in your career industry. When it comes to accreditation, regionally accredited organizations are generally most recognized for their academic-based programs and offer degree programs with a wide range of career options. Nationally accredited organizations are generally more career-specific, like vocational and trade schools.
- Assess your financial need. The costs for units, textbooks, and time can mount up quickly, and some fields of study may be more expensive than others. Familiarize yourself with the financial aid department of your educational institution to explore its resources and funding options. Certain grants and scholarships are created specifically for returning students. Student Loan Hero has comprised a list of these opportunities here.
- Manage your time efficiently. Balancing time for school, work, family, and rest will require thought, preparation, and self-discipline. With only so many hours each day, you will need to identify your priorities and budget your time accordingly. Being realistic with your time will help you maintain your schedule and limit the chances of overextending yourself.
- Value your experience. Though balancing education and career can be challenging, your unique dual perspective can be an advantage in both arenas. Your experience in the real world can translate to your studies, and your developing education can immediately be applied to your professional environment.
- Utilize available resources. Nearly every school offers student resources to help ensure their success. Commonly offered resources include enhanced library services, tutoring, study groups, student advisors, and mentors. Because students may not have time to access these resources in person, many of them are offered online; these can be beneficial to seek out when you need assistance.
- Maintain focus. Maintain your focus and remember that with time and dedication, you will emerge from the other end of the program with the degree, certificate, or educational advancement that you worked toward.
References and Resources
- Going Back to School as an Adult article by My College Guide.
- Going Back to School as an Adult? Here are Grants and Scholarships for Returning Students article from StudentLoanHero.com.
- How to Go Back to School as an Adult (And Why You Should) article from Indeed.com.
- How to Choose the Right College in 6 Steps (With Tips) article from Indeed.com.
- How to go back to school as a working professional article from University of Massachusetts Global.
- What's the Difference Between Accredited & Non-Accredited Degree Programs? support FAQ from Learn.org.
- Checklist: How Do I Go Back to School? article from National University.
- How to Go Back to School: 6 Tips for Adult Learners article from University of Bridgeport.