Going Back To School At 40 [2022 Guide]
For most people, the feeling of going back to school at 40 can be challenging, and in fact, it has sent mixed conflicting emotions to their minds.
You may be excited when the thought of earning a degree comes to your mind, but at the same time, you cannot help but feel anxious.
Feeling excited and nervous is normal when it comes to returning to school in your 40s, but remembering why you want to go back to college should be your motivation.
You should have it at the back of your mind that college is not only for young adults, so if you are considering returning to school in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, please go for it, as getting a college degree is worthwhile.
How To Go Back To School At 40
Of course, you should plan before considering returning to school at 40. Your academic goal may be achievable, but it does not change the fact that you need a plan.
It is important to think about your reason for going and how you will get there. Planning could be your proud way of earning your college degree with ease.
With a plan in place, you can be on your way to the proud moment of earning your college degree. We have listed some steps to help you plan for going back to school at 40.
1. Choose Your Major
This is one important factor you should know before going back to school. Ask yourself what course you intend to study for the next 4 to 5 years.
Now, if you have decided to return to school, you already have an idea of what you want to study. However, it is important you choose a course or major that will help and support your career.
For instance, if your job deals with numbers majorly, you can study accounting, or if helping people is something you do with ease, then you should consider studying social work.
When you are certain of the major or course you want to study, you can now search for schools that offer that particular course or program.
2. Consider Campus Vs. Online
Considering how you intend to attend the course is another factor you should plan for.
If you are a busy person, you can go for an online course, as on-campus courses can give you that traditional college feels.
However, for most people, what they have in mind is studying on campus as they want to meet up with new people, interact with the professors face to face, and have responsibility for regular classes.
Others, on the other hand, prefer the flexibility and convenience of online study. If you choose to study online, it becomes easy for you to access your coursework anywhere, anytime. Both are excellent choices, so choose what fits you best.
3. Research Accredited Colleges
Accreditations are awarded to schools that produce the best graduating students for that year. This will help you get the best school as you may now limit your search to schools with this distinction.
There are several colleges, but then your interest should be the best accredited, and most importantly, your field of study should be taken seriously in the college. Factors like student support service should be something you should also consider.
After looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the schools on your list, you can now go for the best.
4. Send Applications To The School
The next step to take is to send applications to your best top schools. You will also have to get your ready your resume, letters of reference, and SAT or ACT scores, depending on the school.
Also, an official transcript from your high school may be needed, so you have to make it available.
5. Apply For Financial Aid
Finally, it is also important you apply for financial aid. Colleges are more affordable when you can access grants, loans, and scholarships.
You can only get this opportunity when you apply, so you can start by filling out the necessary forms like the government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility.
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Why Should I Consider Going Back To School At 40?
Going back to school after a number of years is a big step, and the right motivation can just be what you need to scale through.
There are so many reasons why you should go back to school, even at 40. Below are a number of reasons;
1. Higher Earnings
Generally, in our world today, people with a college degree earn higher than those with a high school degree. If you are looking at boosting your payroll or salary, getting a college degree will be one of your options.
2. Promotion At Work
It is almost impossible for someone with a high school degree to get a promotion in a company or organization where there a people with a college degree.
This alone tells us that earning a degree is an outstanding achievement and allows you to overcome many challenges as you are more exposed.
A College degree gives your employer the mindset that you can handle more responsibilities hence a promotion.
3. Career Shift In Middle Age
Being advanced in age may give you a clearer idea of what you want, hence a switch in a career that could lead to you returning to school.
You can decide to move into something new, like health, business, education, and even community service. Getting a switch in career will demand some reasonable level of education that will bring satisfaction to your job.
4. Pride And Satisfaction
The thought of having your diploma degree at your graduation is enough satisfaction. This gives some sense of pride and esteem and gives you a remarkable achievement that no one can take away from you.
5. Personal Growth
For some people, earning a degree gives them some sense of personal growth; hence they do not mind going back to school even in their 40s.
While in college, you are exposed to a lot; hence you have to learn to adapt to certain changes, which speaks growth on your own end.
It helps you become a more well-rounded individual, and you will be able to learn about your strength and abilities as it is also an independent life.
6. A Positive Example
The idea of earning a degree is one thing that families love the most. You will stand as a figure of emulation as people around you see your achievement at 40 and believe they can achieve their dreams.
No matter your reason for going back to school, you can also focus on the above goals and combine them with yours to find a good motivation.
Is It Worth Going Back To School At 40?
From the above, we can denote that going back to school at 40 is not bad as those earning more salaries are those with a college degree.
If you cannot face the heat of sitting in a classroom with people, online study can help you accomplish your dream in your own comfort.
You can also grow as a person and set good examples for your friends and family.
Going back to school and graduating is a big accomplishment that should boost your esteem whenever you look back at it.
Now that you know how to go back to school in your 40s and why you should go back, take your time to find the best-accredited school to continue your program.
Do well to tell us what you think in the comment section below.