The benefits of returning to school

July 10, 2012

For parents, deciding to go back to college can be intimidating, but it could be a smart choice. While adults should weigh the costs of further education, they should also remember not to forget its advantages.

A fresh start
If you're simply not happy with your current profession and want a change, returning to school presents you with the opportunity to start anew. You can enroll in courses that interest you and pursue a degree that will enable you to begin applying for your dream job. Leaving behind a position you're used to is daunting, but if it's not what you love, making the change may prove worth the effort.

Motivation and support
When you were initially able to attend university, you may have lacked the drive to pursue a degree. Now, if you know what you want and are motivated to chase that dream, you'll be much better prepared for classes. Or, if you're returning for a career change, you'll probably put in more effort since you're majoring in a subject you've carefully chosen.

As for support, even though at times your children may make it difficult to study, you have them to remind you of why you're pursuing higher education. The return to school can offer you a chance for a better life, and it can offer the same for your kids - plus, they'll look up to you and might want to follow your example when they're older.

Having real life experience means you may be able to better understand things you've encountered in adult life such as how the principles of economics function in reality or the actual impact of certain laws and movements. Your professional and personal experiences will make you a more well-rounded student. It's important for all students to eventually understand how their studies influence the world, not just how they're described in books, and you'll be one step ahead on that lesson.

Awards exist specifically for parents attending college in order to help moms and dads pursue higher education. For scholarships for parents, look into the awards offered by the American Association of University Women and Capture the Dream scholarships. Federal Pell Grants may also be helpful for returning parents.

Heading back to school may be challenging, but it has its benefits and could be the right choice for you. 

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