When you think about a college campus, you might immediately think of young adults lying out on grassy lawns or playing frisbee. However, as the job market becomes increasingly competitive, more and more adults are considering returning to college. While the choice comes with a host of benefits, many adults are also worried about any potential drawbacks and how to choose the right college for adults.
Here are five things you need to know before selecting a college as an adult learner:
1 – Returning to college can help you advance your career
If you’re still worried about the choice, know it’s a good one. Returning to college as an adult can be the choice that turns your job into the career of your dreams. With a competitive job market and more college graduates every day, having a college degree will give you an edge among the applicant pool. An advanced degree is also a common requirement for many management positions, higher-paying jobs, and promotions.
2 – A College Degree Increases Your Earning Potential
Many people worry about the financial impact of returning to college as an adult. Before you rule out the idea of returning to school because of money, consider what your earning potential could be if you complete a degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor, employees with doctoral or professional degrees make triple the amount as people with just a high school diploma. Even completing an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree makes a big difference in your annual earning potential.
3 – It’s Essential To Pick The Right Major
While degrees can help you change your earning potential over time, keep in mind that not all degrees are created equal. Before you decide, consider your interests, the salary you hope to have, and your long-term career goals. These factors can help you determine the best major for you and determine if financing the degree is the right choice.
4 – Consider How You Will Finance Your Degree
We can’t discuss returning to college without addressing this critical question. The reality of financing your education is a significant obstacle for many. As adults, you may have to juggle children, homes, and other essential expenses. Rest assured, when you are ready to make the leap, there are several options to help you finance your education. Loans, payment plans, and lower-cost online courses are among the many options available to you at adult-friendly colleges.
5 – Choose A College That Suits Adult Learners
After you decide to go to school, it’s essential to choose a college that will be a good fit for you. Not all colleges tailor to adult learners and being in an environment that understands the unique demands of non-traditional students could make a difference in your success. Consider these questions before you pick where to enroll:
Is it flexible?
The reality is that choosing a college as an adult is very different from being an 18-year-old ready to make a cross-country move. First and foremost, consider if the school offers flexible options like online learning, evening classes, and self-paced courses.
Are there financing options for adults?
While many schools can have great scholarships available, some may only tailor to traditional students. Before choosing a school, consider reaching out to the financial aid department to ensure financing options that suit your needs are available for adult students.
Are there resources and support for adult learners?
While traditional students may have the luxury to stroll into any on-campus office during daylight hours for help, non-traditional students may not have that flexibility. From non-traditional course offerings to flexibility for students with families, choosing a good college for adults means choosing the campus that offers the resources for success.
What is the graduation rate for adult learners?
A good indicator of whether a college is adult-friendly is to look at the graduation rates for non-traditional students. While many factors affect completion rates, according to the National Center for Education Success, about 33.7% of adult learners complete their degrees within six years. If a school you consider has a comparable rate, it could be a good indicator of having resources to support adult learners.
Will they help you find a job when you graduate?
If you’re going back to school, the chances are boosting your career in one way or another is a significant factor. If this is one of your biggest motivations, make sure that your school will support you throughout your post-academic journey as well.
Everglades University Is An Excellent College For Adults
With several 100% online degree programs, students at Everglades University can complete their education anywhere with access to the internet. University faculty created our accredited online programs to be exciting and engaging, and they are an excellent choice for returning students. Learn more about our programs and enroll by visiting our admissions page for prospective students.