Going back to school is a huge decision and should not be taken lightly. In order to be competitive in today’s economy, having some sort of formal education is a necessity. This has prompted many adults of all ages to return to school for further education and training.
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If you’re thinking about going back to school, here are some things to consider first.
1- Finances-How much does the degree cost? How will you be paying for tuition, supplies, & books? All of these things can add up quickly if you do not have a plan in place. Some scholarships pay for tuition only and some have restrictions on how many hours you need to take each semester. Depending on that can also help you make the decision as to how fast or how slow to move through your college program. Check with your financial aid office and your school about grants, scholarships, and FAFSA or financial aid.
If you are a military spouse, here are a few well known scholarships broken down for you:
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2- Time-Do you have time to fit in homework, studying, assignments, and reading? What is your plan? How will you fit school into your schedule? What responsibilities will you have besides school and how will you manage it all? Time management is a huge factor in being a successful student. To earn a college degree, you have to plan your time accordingly. Check out the digital and hand-held resources below that make time management and planning easy.
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3- Commitment-Are you committed to going back to school? How will you persevere through life’s ups and downs, while remaining committed to your goal of finishing school? Life is going to happen while you are in school, that is a given. How will you handle it while remaining dedicated to your goal? Who is supporting you in this endeavor and who can you lean on when things get tough? Once you have made a decision to go back to school-stick by it. I promise you will be glad you did.
4- Job Market-What does the job market look like in the field you are interested in? What degree and certification is required for the job you want to pursue? The best thing you can do is to research the job market in the area you want to study. What jobs are available in your current city in the area you desire? What educational and experience requirements does the job have? Doing this research is going to help ensure you are pursuing a degree that will place you in the area you desire. Go to Indeed.com and investigate your field of interest.
5- Research schools & programs thoroughly-Have you compared programs and schools? Out of state, in state, online schools versus online programs within your state? Do not choose the first school you look at and be weary of schools that promise you the moon to enroll in their program. I cannot stress enough to DO THE RESEARCH. Compare programs, the costs, length of programs, accreditation, and look up reviews. It is so important to choose a school that meets your needs, but it is essential to find one that is not predatory leaving you with debt and a worthless degree. Click here for a free download to help guide you through your research.
Donning your cap and gown and graduating with a degree is one of the most exciting educational achievements of your life. It’s a great feeling, most especially if you have encountered hardships while in school and you have resiliently risen above them.
Set yourself up for success by planning your education accordingly, preparing for the financial aspects of college, researching programs thoroughly, managing your time to make school a priority, searching the job market, and creating plans for resiliency throughout life’s ups and downs.
Best of luck to you in your educational endeavors!
© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2018.
Hi there. My name is Wendi. I have spent the last nine years as an Instructor and adult educator in the community college setting. I have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Media. My true passion is helping others plan for and achieve educational goals. I am an Army wife, Beagle mom, blogger, freelance writer, and freelance instructional designer. Join me on this journey as I share my experiences, insight, resources, and inspiration on the Strength 4 Spouses blog. My hope is to inspire you to find your strength through the sharing of education, stories of perseverance, and resources for a happy, holistic, and healthy life.
Great post, Wendi! I’d never heard of Picniic – what a cool app! I’m going to recommend this to my students during orientation. Starting school can be a daunting task. Thanks for breaking it down via resources needed. So helpful!
It’s a neat app for families and planning. I love the “shopping lists” on it. I love helping people plan for college-it’s truly my passion.
My husband just went back to school to finish his degree, definitely can’t support the planning and time commitment enough over here!
It’s always a good idea to further your education, but definitely takes a lot of planning and balance to juggle everything.