It is never too late to go back to college. Across the country, thousands of people in their golden years are heading back to the classroom and beginning a journey that will put their dreams within reach. Here are the best tips for going back to college in your golden years.
Tip #1: Find Motivation
Going back to school can be a huge challenge but, infinitely worth while. Going back to college can mean better career opportunities, self-confidence, fulfillment, and more. Before you begin your college experience, do some deep soul searching and find out why you really want to do this. Hang on to this motivation throughout your college experience. This motivation can help you truly celebrate the victories, and can push you through your challenges.
Tip #2: Look Into Financial Aid
Right now there is a huge amount of financial aid available to the older generation of students. Grants, loans, scholarships and more are specifically available to you to help you get the education you’ve always wanted, and to help you achieve all of your goals.
Do some research on the financial aid available to you and choose the best option for you, your school, and your family.
Tip #3: Special Programs Offered
Some schools, states, or employers have special programs available to those willing to take that plunge and go back to school.
For example, some hospitals will pay for their techs, and CNA’s to go to school to become nurses. Some private and charter schools will pay for part or all of the cost for teachers to go get their masters or to certify in other curriculum fields. Ask your employer if there is a program available to you to advance your career.
Some colleges offer the older generations of students a discount for taking certain types of classes. This information will usually be available online but, if you go in and speak with an adviser they will be more than happy to answer all the questions you have for that specific school.
Tip #4: Look Into the Benefits
Looking into the specific benefits of going to college can actually help you form your specific goals. Some of the universal benefits of going back to school are more job security, possible increase in annual salary after graduation, better job and career opportunities, and a new sense of self-confidence.
Look into the benefits you’re trying to obtain by going to college. This will help you choose things like the type of college you attend, the degree you choose, and your major or emphasis of study.
Tip #5: Research Types of Schools
Online universities, state colleges, traditional universities, and community colleges all offer different education opportunities that meet different needs and have different benefits. Choosing the right one for you can optimize your education experience and help you succeed.
Totally online universities are available so you can study at home, on the road, or wherever your life takes you. Schedules are more flexible with online universities, and sometimes tuition costs are lower.
The drawback of an online university is that there usually aren’t scheduled lectures where you discuss the topic with a large group of students. Because everything is online, face-to-face interaction is non-existent.
State colleges offer a more traditional college experience while being a bit less expensive than a major university. You are offered a good education for a good price, and online and on-campus classes are generally available so, you can customize an education that is right for you.
Community colleges offer you a good education at a fraction of the price, with class schedules quite similar to traditional state colleges. The drawback of a community college is that there are fewer majors available than other education options, and graduate degree options are even lower.
Many people attend state colleges to obtain their general education requirements before moving on to a university or state college because it is less expensive and sometimes less rigorous. Some people love state colleges for obtaining trade certifications as well.
Major universities are much more expensive than state and community colleges but, they tend to offer the most bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees and offer an unbeatable education. Major universities also offer a true college experience, and offer great support for students through advisers, counseling centers, and more.
Students who graduate from major universities are sometimes given the advantage in future employment opportunities.
Your college experience can make a major difference for the rest of your life, and starting now is easier than ever. Going back to school is worth the effort and the cost to give you the education you deserve, and to set you up for the career opportunities of your dreams. +