Do you think of college as a closed chapter of your life? A number of factors may have convinced you to give up on your dreams of graduating from college, but these need not hold you back any longer. Below are four common excuses for not returning to school — and why they shouldn’t matter.
College can definitely be a financial sacrifice, but it need not be out of reach. Many grants and scholarships are targeted directly at non-traditional students returning to school. If you currently work full-time, your employer may also be willing to cover some or all of the cost of college. Be sure to ask your HR team about tuition reimbursement programs that may be available.
As a non-traditional student, you may need to balance a full-time job and family obligations with school. This might seem difficult, but you have more time than you think. Night, weekend, and online classes all can help you achieve dreams you’ve been putting off for years.
If real life makes it impossible for you to balance a full class load, consider attending school on a part-time basis. Yes, this may add a few years onto your expected graduation date, but this won’t seem so bad if you keep your eye on your long-term goals.
Ultimately, while balancing school and life is a challenge, the career benefits and personal satisfaction make this juggling act more than worthwhile.
Fear of failure
Perhaps the first time you attended college, you fell behind in your coursework and suffered terrible grades. Or maybe you partied too hard and failed to show up for class.
Now, however, you are older and wiser, so there’s no reason for you to cower in fear at the thought of a final exam or a term paper. If the prospect of applying with less-than-stellar grades on your record makes you nervous, relax — increasingly generous student forgiveness policies can help you achieve a clean slate.
When you picture a typical college student, you probably think of a youngster between the ages of 18 and 22. However, this perception does not actually reflect today’s college environment. A report from Forbes indicates that the median age of a student at a for-profit college is 27 years.
This figure is expected to only increase as students in their 30s, 40s and beyond recognize the value of post-secondary credentials. It is not uncommon for students enrolled in night or weekend classes to be surrounded by others their age and older.
Although non-traditional students typically feel most at home in classes with a median age of over 25, they can add great value to younger classrooms as well; teenage and early 20s students benefit from hearing of fellow students’ real world experience.