The average age of an undergraduate student is 21.8 years old. At that age, a student’s primary concern is affording tuition and passing their next exam. College in your 30s is a lot more complicated.
If you’ve made the decision to go back to school, you’re not alone! It’s estimated that about half of the students at for-profit institutions are 30+.
To balance the demands of life with the demands of school, here’s everything you need to know if you want to go to college in your 30s.
You may be qualified for a scholarship that will lower the cost of your tuition just because you’ve already spent time in the workforce before finishing school. Ask your admissions counselor if there are any scholarships available for returning students! Each school offers unique ways to save on your tuition, whether you work part-time for the university or you apply for a particular program that they’re looking to recruit for. Do your research on scholarships available that cater to your stage of life.
Connect With Professors
When you return to school later in life, you probably have more in common with your professors than with your fellow classmates. Take advantage of this connection and build a relationship with your instructors. These are the people who can ultimately recommend you for jobs in the future, so it’s essential to utilize the time you have with your professors.
When you go back to school in your 30s, you’re balancing a whole lot with your schoolwork. Family, bills, a career- there’s a lot more on your plate that needs to be tended to. Be sure to make a detailed schedule for your schooling so that you don’t miss out on important projects or due dates.
If not, life will likely get in the way of your education goals. Getting behind schedule will make it much harder to get your degree in the timeline you want.
Ask For Help
Going back to school is a big undertaking, but you don’t have to do it alone! Reach out to your friends and family to let them know about this next step you’re trying to take. Share your worries and celebrate the exciting opportunities you get from your education. If they know what you need, they’ll have a better understanding of how to help.
Remember Your “Why”
There are days when a new assignment being posted feels like a kick in the teeth. To prevent the feeling of complete overwhelm, take a moment to breathe.
Write down why you decided to go back to school in the first place. Maybe you wanted to get a promotion at work, or maybe you wanted to set an example for your kids by finishing school. Whatever your reason, keep a tangible reminder of the reason you decided to take this bold step.