A lot may have changed since you began your college career. Now you’re looking to complete an unfinished undergraduate degree or begin a graduate degree. Many adult learners face similar fears about returning to the classroom after years, possibly many years, away. If you find yourself worrying about the following, you’re not alone!

  1. “I don’t know which school is right for me.” Finding the right program is easier than ever. Resources abound online, where you can combine school rankings, social media communities, and online reviews to paint a picture of the pros and cons of each option. The majority of adult learners take a year or more to determine when and where to get their education – don’t let the selection process discourage you.
  2. “I don’t have enough time for school.” Taking your time is key to balancing work, life, and school. How long it takes to complete your degree will differ depending on variables like format, prerequisites, and transferrable credits. More and more schools are offering courses online or in the evenings in order to cater to the convenience of working adults.  
  3. “I can’t afford it.” With the cost of college on the rise, you may be asking yourself, Can I afford to go back? However, the question you might want to consider instead is, Can I afford not to go back? According to The Pew Research Center, college graduates outpace students with some college or a two-year degree by $15,000 each year. The gap widens for those with a graduate degree. Your short-term investment will have long-term payoffs.
  4. “I’ll be the oldest student in class.” When it comes to the classroom, age is an asset – your professional experiences enhance your education. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the adult student population is growing. More than 38 percent of students are over the age of 25 – a percentage predicted to increase by an additional 23 percent by 2019.

The right school for you will have the resources to help you work through any worries or reservations you may have about going back. Conquer your fears one step at a time and you’ll be off to a great start!