Whether you are planning to earn a degree for the first time or are making a return to the college environment in order to study for a graduate degree, getting ready to go back to the classroom as a mature student can be a rather daunting experience. The more years you have had away from academic learning, the more worried you may feel about becoming a student all over again. Thankfully, the education industry of today has a wide range of helpful options for mature students, and with the right preparation and planning, you can have the best time of your life at college either for the first time or all over again.
Online or Classroom?
When choosing a course to complete as a mature student, you have the choice between an online-based or classroom-based degree. Online courses are a great choice if you want to study a particular course at a college which is some distance away. For example, if you want to study for a master of public health degree at the University of Arizona but live in a different state or another country, you can opt to enroll in their public health degree online. Whether you choose an online or classroom-based degree course will largely depend on the degree of flexibility that you require, with e-learning being a far more flexible option.
Studying is by no means cheap, but the cost is a necessary evil in order to achieve what you want from your education and your career. As a mature student returning to college to either achieve a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you will need to prepare yourself in good time for the cost and have a good plan in place for making payment. If possible, you may be able to pay for the cost of the course yourself, however, most students fund their education through student loans along with financial aid grants. Before you enroll, it’s a good idea to look into the different types of financial help available in order to see what monetary help you may be eligible to receive.
Be Open Minded
If you have not been in a classroom environment for many years, it’s normal to feel a little bit nervous about walking through the doors of the lecture hall for the first time. There is likely going to be a million things going through your head in regards to your teachers and lecturers, your fellow classmates, and the course itself. However, the best thing for you to do in order to prepare yourself to go back to college is to try and be as open minded as possible. Before your course starts, you need to be mentally prepared to learn – not only about the topics in the course but even more.
As a mature student, preparing to go back to the classroom can be a daunting experience. Whether you are going to be taking an online or classroom-based course, the right financial, academic and mental preparation can go a long way.
Written by Bill Clark (@BilboClark01)
Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however, will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel, and lifestyle.