Article | 2:17 min read

Is Going Back to College the Right Choice for You?

Life Events

If you’re thinking about going back to college to continue your education, or you’re considering giving it a go for the first time, you’ve probably got different expectations than a recent high school graduate. Instead of parties, think night classes. Instead of dorm room living, think online courses or an off-campus apartment. Think it over—is this the right move for you?

A professor teaching a college course

Will you be more financially secure with a new degree?

There's a problem that many new graduates are facing. Employers want to hire people with more experience. But you need to get a place to actually hire you before you can have experience. Your end goal might be to make more money, but with this dilemma, you might not actually be able to find a job.

The solution to this problem is to look for academic programs where experience is built in-internships, real-life applications, etc. You might feel silly working as an apprentice when you're an adult, but it's one of the best ways to get your foot in the door if you're looking for a new career.

Are you going back to college to gain more confidence or another personal reason?

Maybe the reason you are going back to school doesn't have much to do with increasing your salary at all. If you've been feeling unfulfilled or that you missed out by not going to college, it can't hurt to reconsider going back. You probably won't have the same type of experience as the typical twenty-something in a college town, but you will feel good about furthering your education if that is your goal. Even if your future salary doesn't have much to do with your decision, you still need to make sure you won't put yourself in trouble financially.

Do you have the money to fund your new endeavor? Are there any scholarships you can apply for?

You can tease your younger classmates all you want about your years of wisdom, but you're in the same boat when it comes to the price of tuition. The cost of college is no joke. Tuition rises constantly and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The average cost of tuition today is $31,231 at a private university and $9,139 at a public university [1].

You're at an advantage compared to your younger classmates because you probably have an income and at least some money saved. It's still not easy, however, to pay for college. You'll need to decide if you want to take out loans or try to pay for your education in full.

Look for scholarships for adults returning to school. You can also apply for financial aid as an adult. Just because you're a little older than the typical college student, doesn't mean that you should miss out on the same opportunities offered to them.

There are a lot of factors to consider before you buckle down for a new academic career. Make sure you do your homework on student loans and take your time researching the college path that is right for you.


[1] Why does a college degree cost so much, CNBC


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