If you left college prior to earning a degree, now may be the time to complete it. Several universities are tempting adults to return by offering programs geared toward nontraditional students. Kentucky, for instance, plans to double the number of degree-holding adults in the work force over the next 12 years. In response, “the state is making a huge push to bring adults back to college” (Colleges Woo Adults Who Have Some Credits but No Degree). Returning to school as a nontraditional student undoubtedly has its challenges. It might mean rearranging your schedule, less free time and less income. The payoff, though, would make your efforts worthwhile. After all, who doesn’t want a shot at better job opportunities and more money?
Those with college credits certainly aren’t the only nontraditional students filling seats in college classrooms. More and more baby-boomers are heading off to school in search of steady and less physically taxing careers. As a result, they are “redefining the traditional notion of retirement by working much later in life,” according to the article, Blue-Collar Boomers Take Work Ethic to College.
This is yet another reason community colleges are stepping up to the plate when it comes to providing more accessible curriculum. With the number of college bound baby-boomers expected to surge, schools will need to work even harder to meet the needs of their older students. These “nontraditional” students bring with them a no-nonsense approach and may not wish to give four years like the younger students. As indicated in the Blue-Collar Boomers article, such students are seeking flexible schedules, credit for prior work experience and effective career placement-counseling.
You don’t have to live in Kentucky to take advantage of this shift. Many colleges are following the trend. In addition to evening and weekend classes, some offer financial aid specific to nontraditional students. For those with children, on-campus daycares are becoming increasingly common. So go on and take that first step. Do some research online or make a phone call. Check out what your local colleges have to offer, and consider the possibilities.
Some things to think about:
What are the pros and cons of returning to school right now?
What will be the short and long term benefits to you?
What sacrifices might you need to make to study and pay for college?
What tuition plans are available to you through your employer or through government or state funds?
What is your long term goal once you have your education?
How hard are you willing to work to make your dreams happen? ( on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being lowest and 10 being highest)