Are you thinking of going back to school to get your bachelor’s degree? If so, you are not alone.
Many adults are pursuing higher education after their traditional college years are behind them. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported last year that enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions of students who are 25 to 34 years old increased 35 percent between 2001 and 2015 and is projected to increase 11 percent between 2015 and 2026.
In an uncertain economic future, a degree will make you more marketable in the workforce. NCES also reported that “the median earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree were 57 percent higher than those of young adult high school completers.“
Going back to school is easy if you consider these 5 factors:
Determine Why Going Back to School Matters To You: In anything you do, it’s important to know what your purpose is. People choose to go back to school for different reasons: providing a better life for their families, setting an example for their children, increasing their income, making a career shift, or to move up in their current profession. Write a letter to yourself about why this matters and what you will feel like after you finish.
Find the Right Program: This is probably the most important factor of all. Not all programs are the same but you can be assured there is one that works for you.
Would you prefer an accelerated program? An online program? Think about what your schedule looks like and when you would like to attend class, complete coursework, and how you would balance that with your other work and obligations.
The Mount Saint Mary’s University, Weekend/Evening & Online College is for adults with full-time lives who want to complete their degree in an environment that is designed and catered to meet their needs. At our program you can attend classes online, hybrid, evenings and face-to-face classes held on select weekends near downtown Los Angeles.
Find Out If You Have Credits You Can Transfer Over: According to the Hechinger Report, 37 million Americans have some college credits but no degree. When you attend an information session at MSMU make sure you speak to an admission counselor about this. Pull your transcripts ahead of time if possible and come prepared to discuss. At Mount Saint Mary’s University, Weekend/Evening & Online College you are eligible to transfer if you have a minimum of 24 units and accepts up to 70 lower division units. You can transfer up to 90 units if you have upper division credits from another university.
Search for Scholarships and Financial Aid: Once you have chosen schools and programs that suit you, it’s time to think about money. While student loans can seem scary, consider the cost of not attending college at all. According to a Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce study, “bachelor’s degree holders earn 31 percent more than Associate’s degree holders, and 84 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.”
At Mount Saint Mary’s University, Weekend/Evening & Online College 95 percent of our students receive scholarships and financial aid. You should also find out about additional programs you might be eligible for based on your status as a Veteran or check with your employer for any tuition reimbursement programs that may be available to you.
Talk to Your Family and Support System: Adult students have a track record of high academic achievement in school despite the fact that many are juggling full-time jobs, care-taking and other responsibilities. This is possible because they have a good support network. Plan ahead and share your plans with everyone in your life who will be impacted by your new adventure.
With these tips, you will be on your way to making your educational dreams a reality!