Guide to Going Back to School

Statistics show that more and more adults are going back to school. With the rate at which technology is changing the world, many people are feeling left behind and realizing that they can’t rely on only their current education, skills, and knowledge to compete as strongly in today’s job market.

But you’re not one of them. You’ve seen how rapidly the demands of today’s working world change. You know that gaining more education and obtaining further qualifications will help you to stay competitive in your field. That’s why you’re already considering going back to school—and turning your ambition into action.

mature student on laptop

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Adult Students in Higher Education Statistics

Learn about the diversity of adult students going back to school, where they’re studying, and the reasons why they have returned to school.

Chapter 2: Frequently Asked Questions for Adults Continuing Education

Find answers to your own questions about finances, upcoming lifestyle changes, and expectations for going back to college as an adult.

Chapter 3: Back-to-College Checklist and Preparation Tips

Reference this preparation checklist for tips to simplify your schedule and advice for how to excel in school from day one.

Chapter 4: Going Back to School at 25

Read about why 25-year-olds are going back to college and the tools and resources they’re using to succeed.

Chapter 5: Going Back to School at 30

For those considering school at 30, read about the benefits and rewards of pursuing a higher education.

Chapter 6: Going Back to School at 40

Read about why you should consider the opportunity of reinventing your career and skill set at 40.

Chapter 7: Going Back to School at 50

Learn why many adults are considering school at 50—to advance their career or change directions completely.

Chapter 8: Going Back to School for Moms

Packed with relevant advice and family-centric considerations, moms thinking about going back to college may find this guide useful in their pursuit of a higher education.

Chapter 9: Going Back to School for Working Adults

For adults of all ages, this guide discusses the possible challenges and opportunities for going back to college while working.

Chapter 10: Going Back to School After the Military

Read about making a smooth and informed transition from military service to college student life.

Chapter 11: Going Back to School for Nursing

Consider a career in healthcare and learn about degree options, career paths, and education requirements.

Chapter 12: Going Back to School for Psychology

Consider a career in psychology and learn about degree options, career paths, and education requirements.

Chapter 13: Going Back to School for Computer Science

Consider a career in computer science and learn about degree options, career paths, and education requirements.

Chapter 14: Going Back to School for Teaching

Consider a career in education and learn about degree options, career paths, and education requirements.

Chapter 15: Going Back to School for Finance and Accounting

Consider a career in finance or accounting and learn about degree options, career paths, and education requirements.

Chapter 16: Going Back to School for a Second Bachelor’s Degree

Read about why students are considering a second bachelor’s degree and what they expect to gain.

Chapter 17: Student Loan and Tax Information on Going Back to School

Essential information to help clear up confusion about finances and plan a smooth transition back into college life.

Chapter 18: Scholarships and Grants for Adults Going Back to College

Resources and links to financial aid for managing student financial costs such as tuition, supplies, and other expenses.

Chapter 19: Additional Resources for Adult College Students

Links to helpful government sites, non-profit organizations, and online tools to help you succeed as an adult college student.

Why Would I Want to Go Back to School as an Adult?

Going back to school as an adult takes courage.

You may be older than some of your classmates. You might be worried about how to balance your time. It may be your first time pursuing a degree program, or perhaps you’re considering a complete career change. You’re not alone in wondering how going back to college will play out: In 2015, 8.1 million students 25 years old and over were enrolled in college and university.

Pursuing further education, however, isn’t just about getting a degree. It’s about moving forward and taking that first step toward a more rewarding career, toward higher income potential, and toward a better you.

This is your moment. The future belongs to you.

Am I Too Old to Start Studying Again?

Whether you’re returning to school at 25, 30 or 40, you’re never too old to start studying and continue learning. After all, the demands of today’s workforce won’t slow down as you get older; if anything, today’s working world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Pursuing further education can position you for success—regardless of your age.

Statistics show that many people like you, across America and throughout the world, are going back to school and re-educating themselves. Many of them are working adults who opt to study part time by attending classes outside of normal working hours, or earn their degrees through online study.

The Beauty of Online Education for Busy Adults

You don’t have to give up the financial stability of a full- or part-time job in order to go back to school as an adult. Many colleges and universities offer accredited online degree programs that grant you greater flexibility and the ability to maintain your job while completing your studies.

Online educational programs have many benefits:

  • Study while you work. You may choose to complete an online degree program while continuing to work. You can enroll in one or two classes per semester as opposed to a full course load, for example, which can help you balance your time between work and school.
  • Flexibility. Online classes are often offered in asynchronous formats; they provide you flexibility to finish coursework on your own schedule within provide time frames each week. You can access your online program whenever and wherever its suits you, whether that be early in the morning before work, during your lunch break, or in the evening.
  • Access to educators and classmates. When you’re enrolled in an online program, you’re not isolated from your instructors and peers. Most online programs enable you to communicate with course facilitators, professors, and industry experts via email, telephone, Skype, or video. You can also communicate with fellow students via discussion forums, chat groups, and social media.

How This Guide Will Help Adults Who Want to Go Back to School

This guide strives to answer all the questions you have about going back to school, and it provides all the information you likely need to get started. First, we give you an outline of the statistics of adults who have made the decision to continue their education. This should help you to feel more comfortable and give you the confidence to take that step.

We also provide answers to frequently asked questions for adults wanting to return to the classroom. Our guide provides a comprehensive checklist for going back to college and tips on how to prepare yourself for your new venture. We devote sections to providing information on how people of different age groups should prepare for college and what they need to know.

This guide outlines specific advice for mothers, working adults, and veterans. It also features dedicated chapters to advice for education in some of the most popular specialties: computer science, nursing, finance and accounting, teaching, and psychology.

Furthermore, we supply valuable information on how you can apply for student loans, scholarships, and grants to help fund your academic pursuits. Our guide also includes information on your eligibility for tax relief as a student. Finally, we include a list of additional resources that you can access for more information on going back to school.

It’s time to be brave. It’s time to take control of your future. It’s time to get back in the classroom and reboot your career.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can start the process of going back to school for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, then take that critical next step and look into your options. One brave decision is all that stands between you and the future you want.


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