Should You Go Back To School As An Adult? - Money Under 30 - Deepstash

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Adult higher education

Adult higher education

According to the National Center of Education Statistics, the number of students over 25 who pursue higher education will increase.

Older students have many options, such as online courses, professional certifications and doctoral programs. While it can be difficult to fit school into your lifestyle, navigating student life and adult responsibilities are possible.

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Consider the ideal time

There are two signs that you are ready to go back to school.

  1. You know what you want. You picked the subject you want to study and the goals you want to accomplish through your education.
  2. You're reasonably sure you can pay for it. Ideally, your education should open career doors that will enable you to pay back any student debt.

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Paying for school

  • There's no age limit for federal aid. So you can fill out the FAFSA again, but now as an adult. FAFSA can also help you narrow down federal aid prospects.
  • Contact the financial aid office of the school you would like to attend. Ask if you can enter your upcoming year's projected income of the FAFSA, which is helpful if you plan to scale back on work hours.
  • Ask about grants and scholarships. Search independently for scholarships, such as on Fastweb and scholarships.com.
  • Paying for school get you tax breaks. A common student tax credit is the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • Consider a loan.

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Choosing a program

Choosing a program

Consider your logistical requirements. Is there a program near where you live? Do you have transport available? Should the program offer evening, weekend, or online classes?

Start your research:

Look up program rankings, find the program's graduation rate, investigate how many graduates are employed and read student reviews.

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Certificate, certification or degree

  • Free massive open online courses (MOOCs) are ideal if you want to know more about a subject.
  • Certificates are non-degree-granting programs and are helpful when exploring a new area or increasing your current expertise.
  • Professional certifications or trade certifications. Certifications can qualify you to perform a specific job.
  • Degree programs. These train you for a specific job or give you a broader education in a particular subject. Bachelor's degree programs take four years.
  • Advanced degrees. These degrees help with an employment niche. A master's degree can increase your earning potential.

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Work and study

Work and study

Many people work full-time while studying. Their employer may also help pay the tuition.

You can study full-time or part-time. Full-time will get you quicker to completion, but part-time will allow some breathing room to attend to other responsibilities easier.

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