Want to Return to School? Learn How to Make it Happen
Published on April 26, 2016 by Staff Writer
In the Internet age, it’s easier than ever to make going back to college a reality. Even so, if you’ve been out of school for a while, it can feel impossible to know where to start again. If you’re feeling stuck on the road to returning to school, here are three steps you can take to get you headed in the right direction.
Step 1: Think about your goals and what it takes to achieve them.
• Spend some time writing down why you want a degree.
Maybe you want to advance in a career you already love, or want to start a new career entirely. Clearly identifying your goals and passions will help you find the school that’s the right fit for you, and make completing your degree that much easier.
• Think about the challenges you’ll face along the way.
Going back to school can mean a big impact on your lifestyle, both in terms of finances and your daily routine. It can be helpful to make a list of the sacrifices you’ll need to make, and how you’ll meet and overcome these challenges. Being realistic about what it takes to achieve your goals from the beginning will make it easier to prepare and plan for success.
Step 2: Research schools.
Once you’ve completed the first step, you should have a better idea of what kind of college experience is right for you. Maybe you want to learn on-campus, but need a school that caters to adult learners. Or maybe you’re leaning towards online education.
• Research schools that meet your needs.
Doing a Google search can be a great place to start, but you can also ask friends and family for recommendations. If you’re looking for a local program, pay attention to ads on radio, TV and public transportation.
• Make a list of questions to ask.
Look at the list of challenges you made in Step 1, and think about what questions you should ask so that you can be prepared to meet those challenges. Maybe you need to ask about financial aid, childcare, or if previously earned credits will transfer towards your new degree. Be prepared before you contact schools, so you won’t forget to ask anything important.
• Request information and contact admissions at all the schools on your list.
Make sure you get all the questions you brainstormed answered, and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions of the admissions staff as you need to. All of this information can help you decide where to go to school.
Step 3: Think about how you’ll pay for college.
It’s no secret that college can be extremely expensive. Thankfully, scholarships and financial aid are available to students who qualify. Here’s how to get started finding out if these opportunities are available to you.
• Learn how to fill out the FAFSA.
This is important even for returning and non-traditional students. Stay tuned on this blog for more information about the FAFSA and how to fill it out.
• Research Scholarships.
You might be surprised how many scholarships are out there that you might be eligible for. Google can be a great tool for finding information on scholarship opportunities. Start a calendar of scholarship application deadlines, so you can easily meet all of them.
With this information under your belt, it’s time to apply to the schools that fit your needs and your budget. Hopefully, you’ll be admitted to your dream school, and well on your way towards your dream career.
At Broadview, we’re proud to watch our adult learners succeed in gaining their degrees and going on to careers they love. If you think that Broadview might be the right place for you, feel free to contact us for more information.
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