Meeting the Money Challenges of Adult College Students

Meeting the Money Challenges of Adult College Students
If you are a stay-at-home mom, single parent, or working adult who wishes to get back to school for securing a brighter financial future, then there is good news for you. In the United States, as a matter of fact, 38% of the overall undergraduate college students are beyond the age of 25 (approximately 6.7 million), and it is anticipated that this number will grow to 45% by 2019, as laid down by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Studies show that these grown-up learners experience various difficulties in maintaining a balance in their family, student and work life. There are many reasons behind this but the most typical reasons are handling finances, affordability, and lack of time. However, you should not lose heart. Planning from before can be effective to accomplish your goals. Given below are some helpful tips on how you can do it.

Have a realistic approach regarding the commitment

Returning to school is an important decision in our life. You will need both time and determination to see yourself through. You need to assess a number of things in this regard such as the amount of time you spend and the modifications needed for making yourself fit with your probable coursework. You can choose from both full-time (12 or more credit hours) and part-time schedule. Remember that the more credits you have, the more it is expected you will remain in school and finish your coursework. Also, remember that when it comes to college, lots of homework will be involved, even dissertation writing.

Make a decision about your career interests

Attending college is a matter of huge investment. Therefore, you need to make sure that the probable rewards correspond with job opportunities. There are various sites where you can explore about your prospective openings along with most recent updates.

Research College programs, services and graduation costs

Next, you have to look for a university or college which provides the program of study you are keen about. While choosing this, you need to consider that the school closest to your house may not be the best. You can approach a community college, which comes up with a range of certificates and associate degree programs and most of them have been designed for students who are working. There are childcare and other time/cost-saving assistances like library services and online tutoring. There are a number of colleges that provide accelerated, weekend degree or online courses that may be more appropriate for your work schedule. You can check out college navigator for this. Prior to sending the application, make sure to know about the program costs and what happens to students once they finish their courses. How is the campus facility of the school? Are the students who have passed out getting good jobs in their domain?

Look for financial assistance

There is a belief among adult students that they will not qualify for financial grants and will have to finance the course on their own. This is not a fact. Around 40% of Pell grant recipients are above 25 years. This is a federal grant program. To find out whether you qualify, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This works as your entrance to all federal grants and student loans. Majority of state and institutional need-oriented programs also ask for accomplishment of the FAFSA. If you are an ex-army personnel, you may qualify for veteran’s benefits. Find out whether your employer provides grants or tuition reimbursement programs for successfully finished courses. Keep in mind that nobody assures a scholarship. Therefore, you should not ever pay for a scholarship lookup.

Furthermore, there are certain special programs in states like Kentucky for adults receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. These programs are frequently available in collaboration with community and technical colleges to merge support services and educational grants at one place. One more ground-breaking, cost-saving program is the online Western Governors University which only needs students to appear and pass those courses in which they don’t demonstrate aptitude.

Students who become eligible for scholarships and/or need-based grants normally depend on student loans to address all their educational expenses. It is therefore prudent to restrict the amount of loan you may borrow. Don’t take what you don’t need, monitor your borrowing, and calculate your monthly payments once you complete. Remember that you have to repay your loans even if you fail.

Devise a budget

When in school, it is essential that you create a budget of your earning and expenditures, and keep tabs on it regularly. Checking account and automated bill payment services are helpful in this regard.

Returning to college is a thrilling effort and sensible. So, you should not be disappointed if there are few hindrances on your path. You can talk to your preferred professor, college counselor, friend/family members for counseling/motivation.

In the end, the famous film producer Walt Disney once stated, “If you dream it, you can do it.”