Have you ever considered education as an adult only to be overwhelmed by a seemingly never-ending array of obstacles?
Pursuing education as an adult isn’t always easy. With so many aspects of life to juggle, the task can sometimes feel so daunting that it persuades individuals from pursuing an education at all.
Today we want to address some of the fears that often accompany adults as they consider returning to school, whether to finish out a degree or obtain an additional one. If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts as you considered education, here are a few reasons why those thoughts might be myths.
1. I can’t afford it.
We’ll be the first to admit that school isn’t always cheap, but there are a lot of resources available that can help lessen the financial strain that sometimes accompanies additional education—even adult and post-traditional learners. Many people are just unaware that they even exist.
Through resources like tuition reimbursement, employer partnerships, and scholarships, you can cut the cost of your education without having to sacrifice quality or convenience.
- Tuition Reimbursement: Employers will sometimes offer incentives like tuition reimbursement to encourage their employees to return to school. Check with your HR department to see if this option is available for you. Even if it’s just a small percentage of the total cost, that little bit of aid, coupled with other financial resources, can quickly lessen the cost into a manageable sum.
- Corporate/Academic Partnerships: Does your employer have a partnership with a local university or network of universities that you can take advantage of? For example, here at Concordia, we have a variety of different academic and business partnerships that allow employees of participating organizations to take advantage of discounted tuition. Check with your HR department to see if your employer has any partnerships that can help you get a discount on your education.
- Scholarships: Yes, there are scholarships for adult learners! You just need to know where to look. Individual universities may have specific scholarships available for adults, like our Uncommon Scholarships, or you can search for additional outside scholarships that are offered specifically for graduate students.
2. I don’t have the right resources.
Without the right resources in hand, it can be difficult to feel confident about completing projects and assignments. However, if that’s the only aspect that is keeping you from pursuing your education, consider this: many universities plan for their students’ resource shortage by making various tools available for free.
For example, if you don’t have a computer, most universities provide computer labs for students. These labs are often open all day to accommodate varying schedule and provide a quiet place to study and complete work. If you have a computer but lack access to WiFi, you can also take advantage of your school’s free WIFi through study rooms, libraries, and more.
You may even be able to get your books for free. For example, our students who are enrolled in certain programs at our local centers throughout Wisconsin get to participate in our book loan program where they can reserve all their books for free. We even ship the books directly to their houses, free of charge!
These types of resources can help alleviate the stress that you might feel about lacking the appropriate resources to do well in your courses. As you research schools, add resource availability to the list of items to inquire about. Ask admissions counselors what kind of resources they have available to meet the needs that you have.
3. I don’t have time.
Everyone is busy, so how do you fit in education with everything else that you’ve got going on? Two words: flexible formats. With so many different options available for non-traditional and adult learners, you might be surprised to find that you actually can make an education work with your already full schedule.
Here at Concordia, many of our online programs are self-paced, letting you set your own schedule. You can even take advantage of a hybrid model that we offer at many of our local centers throughout Wisconsin to experience both online and classroom components. Some of our programs are even available in an accelerated or part-time format so you can juggle work, life, and education in a manner that best suits you.
So, what’s holding you back from pursuing education as an adult? Whether it’s an accelerated degree or a graduate program, you may have fewer obstacles standing in your way than you thought. It might even be time for you to go back to school!
If you’re still a little unsure of whether or not you’re ready to continue your education, we invite you to take our “Are You Ready to Go Back to School?” quiz. In just 15 questions, we’ll get to know you, your lifestyle, your career goals, and your educational expectations, and then we’ll give you our expert opinion on whether or not we think you’re ready to go back to school.
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