What to Know About Returning to College as an Adult

Bachelor degree communications

Are you looking for a way to advance your education as an adult? Are you interested in pursuing a human development and family studies degree or our master of business administration degree? Target schools that are well known for helping adult students get back into school. They’ll know the ins and outs of the system and help them get through the process more efficiently. These types of schools may also be more flexible in terms of applying previous school credits or work experience towards a degree. Schools that focus on adult education may also have classes that cater to working adults or offer some flexibility in terms of childcare. It’s never too late to go back to school for your human development and family studies degree or English degree!

Why Is Going to College So Important?

One way to think about paying for college is that eventually, it will pay for itself. A 2012 Pew Research report showed that employees who had a minimum of a bachelor’s degree had median earnings of $45,500, compared to employees with only some college ($30,000) or those who only had a high school diploma ($28,0000). Not going to college could actually cost you around a half million dollars in the long run, when you consider the average wage or salary of a college graduate. And indeed, over 80% of those who attended college said that having their degree paid off.

In 2013, Americans who had a degree from a four-year college made over 95% more per hour (on average) than their peers who did not have a degree and the average starting salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $45,000.

What Are Some Challenges I May Face Going Back to School as an Adult?

Of course, deciding to go back for your degree — be that a human development and family studies degree or a psychology degree — can present you with its own challenges. If you’re working full-time, it can be exhausting to study and work — and find time to go to classes, especially if you also have a family.

If you have small children, finding care for them can be expensive or difficult to manage without a partner — or if your partner also works long hours. You may also feel a little out of place, if you attend a school that’s geared more towards “traditional” students between the ages of 18-22.

Parking and transportation is another thing to take into consideration. If you need to commute to classes but don’t have a car or your schedule doesn’t align well with public transportation, class can be an extra hassle.

And, of course, finances are a big consideration — again, especially if you’re supporting a family. Tuition, books, the cost of transportation, and other costs can significantly add up and if you’re already on a tight budget, going back to school can feel daunting at best.

What Should I Look For In Colleges as an Adult Student?
You should certainly look at institutions that support continued adult education. Some may provide daycare alternatives right on campus or free parking and easy access to public transportation. Others may offer scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition and books that are specially designed for adult students. And, these types of institutions may have a curriculum that’s better tailored towards adult learners, doing away with some of the general education requirements and focusing on the track or degree the adult student is interested in pursuing.

You should also check and see if night and weekend classes are available and whether or not you can take some online courses as well. You may want to ask how easily your credits can transfer and whether your work experience could exempt you from some entry-level classes.

Whether you’re interested in a human development and family studies degree, a communications degree, or something specialized to aid you in your current field, choosing to get a college degree — or go back to school for a more advance degree — can have many benefits for you and your family.