Going Back To School As An Adult

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Last Updated on December 21, 2020

It’s never too late to go back to school and get an education. Of course, there are extra challenges to studying as an adult, such as funding and commitments. However, there are ways around this if you’re eager to study.

Here are just a few tips for returning to school as an adult.

What Are Your Funding Options?

Before going back to school, you’ll need to consider you finances:

  • How are you going to pay for your courses?
  • How are you going to continue to pay your current bills and expenses?

Most mature students pay for their course fees by taking out a loan, just as young students do. You can, of course, pay these fees out of your own pocket, but this isn’t easy given the high cost of fees.

When it comes to continuing to pay the bills, you may need to consider working as you study. You may be able to reduce your hours to make things more manageable.

Alternatively, a partner or family member may be able to help support you during your studies.

Your chosen college may be able to offer grants to help cover some living costs – eligibility will depend on your income and whether you have responsibilities such as children (it’s always worth looking into regardless of your circumstances).

Find a Way to Study Around Your Commitments

If you’re still working or you have kids to look after, you may need to find a study option that allows you to work around these commitments. Distance learning courses are often the best options. Such courses allow you to study in your own time from home rather than having to attend set lectures and seminars on campus.

You should still consider establishing a weekly schedule so that you stay on target with your studies. If you’re continuing to work, you’ll want to arrange set shifts that allow you this time to study. If you’ve got kids meanwhile, it could be worth looking into childcare or arranging something with your partner/a relative.

Study in the Right Environment

To help you focus on your studies, you should try and work from a suitable space in your home (i.e. not in front of the TV whilst the kids are around). Find a quiet room that you can use as a study in which people won’t keep disturbing you – this could be a dining room or your bedroom.

If you feel too distracted, consider working from a local library. If you’re studying on campus, the college should have a library you can use.

Talk to Other Mature Students

Talking to other adult students could be beneficial. You may even be able to find mature students in the same course who you can study with.

If you’re studying remotely, you can talk to other mature students using online forums or by creating social media groups on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Your college may even have a society or a group for mature students to talk to each other.

My Life, I Guess

My Life, I Guess is a personal finance and career blog by Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and older millennial from Ontario, Canada that strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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