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Does It Make Sense For Me To Go To School?

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Does It Make Sense for me to Go Back to School?

The cost of education is rising steadily and expected to continue to increase. Today, most people require financing to complete their education. Potential students should have a solid financing plan before enrolling in a program.

There are multiple methods that can be used to finance your education. Evaluating these options before enrolling can help potential students determine if going back to school is a smart financial move.

Basic Factors

Addressing the challenges associated with going back to school is the first step in determining whether now is the time to go back to school or not.

  • Those returning to school often have multiple responsibilities such as caring for family members, raising children or holding down a job. This can make it much more difficult to take on a full schedule of courses.
  • Today, 12 percent of students nationwide are over the age of 35 and schools are adding options to appeal specifically to this demographic. Online campuses, commuting programs and other options can help you finish your education while addressing your other responsibilities.

Education is considered a long-term benefit which will pay off years after you complete the program. You need to be prepared for the challenges this may create in the meantime so you can be sure you are ready to go back to school.

Other Approaches

Today’s job market is very competitive and completing a college degree or technical certificate can greatly expand your chances of improving your earning potential.

  • Many upper level positions are closed to those that do not have a degree, limiting upward mobility for those that never finished their education.
  • Employers may require a technical certificate in order to enter certain fields. They need to ensure that all employees have the level of expertise necessary to meet the demands of this job.
  • Unemployment rates are significantly higher for those that do not have a high school diploma. These rates improve as level of education rises.
  • Jobs that require a college degree are more likely to offer a pension, savings opportunities or health insurance.

Jobs that have higher education requirements tend to pay more than those that do not. The median weekly earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree is $868 for women and $1141 for men, which is nearly double the rates for those that do not have a high school diploma or never attended college.

Making Your Transition to School Easy

Once you have decided to go back to school you will need to focus on finding a program that is suitable for your needs.

  • Be selective in the programs you apply for. Only apply to programs you qualify for that you know can lead to better financial prospects when you are finished.
  • Apply for scholarships and grants. Do not be afraid to demonstrate why you are better than other candidates and deserve to get this funding.
  • Apply for degree programs and financial aid early. You are more likely to get accepted and get a better deal if you are one of the first to be reviewed.

Continue to think positively. Those that focus on their past educational failures or believe they are too old to complete a degree tend to be less successful. Similarly, those that focus simply on their financial needs rather than expanding their horizons tend to be less appreciative of the degree they have earned.

http://www.aarpworksearch.org/Tutorials/Documents/Back-to-School%20Financing%20Guide.pdf


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