Sarah Ancel serves as senior vice president and interim leadership for Complete College America CCA , a national nonprofit whose mission is to leverage its alliance of states, systems of higher education, institutional consortia and partner organizations to close achievement gaps and provide equity of opportunity for all students to complete college degrees and credentials of purpose and value. In fact, according to the Lumina Foundation , a full 38 percent of undergraduate students are older than 25, 58 percent work while enrolled in college and 26 percent are raising children. Regardless of the facts, however, that traditional, younger image still persists, making the idea of a return to school intimidating for many older adults seeking to switch careers or enhance their skill sets by enrolling in college. Not only might they feel out of step with their younger peers, but they face the additional challenges of financing their educations and balancing work and family time along with their studies. This guide provides tips for easing this transition, paying for college and addressing the hurdles that may arise in a midlife return to college. There was a time, long ago, when a person would proudly stick with one job until retirement and then be rewarded with a handsome pension and gold watch.
Those who decide to go back to school typically do not think of applying for scholarships. Adult scholarships are more difficult to attain in contrast to students entering their freshman year in college. There is no doubt that attending college requires some financial assistance. Adult scholarships are the answer for those seeking better career and work opportunities; seeking upward mobility and better positions tend to require extended education. Adult students typically have more bills and family to support when trying to pay for school.
Going to college or entering a job training program is a big decision. You have to be in the right frame of mind to succeed at getting a credential or finishing your degree. There are many reasons adults over age 25 return to school. Some are planning a career change or need new skills or credentials to move up in their career.
Contrary to common belief, there are millions of adult students out there that would like to go back to college, but they are having difficulty finding funding and creating compatible schedules. Unlike the students that go to college right out of high school, adult students have a different set of challenges because they often have family and work obligations and more limited funding opportunities. However, despite the challenges, there are still a lot of opportunities for adult students out there, but it does take some time and effort to find them. Although you may already have a job, it will still be difficult to pay for college because college in general is expensive. The first thing you should do is look for a school that has a more affordable tuition rate and offers more flexible class options like distance learning courses, online classes, and correspondence classes.