Statistics on Adults Returning to College

Due to the economy these days, and the huge number of newly graduated youngsters, the job market is a fierce competitive monster to be reckoned with. Many older, more experienced, adults are using a return to school to add extra armor to their resume in an attempt to come out on top. But the process of making that return can be a long arduous fight all on its own.

Most employees over 35 have disadvantages they must tote along with them through their returning education years. They have families to care for, financial instability due to unemployment, or they contend with their unsatisfying job that they must cling to for dear life until they are able to earn that certification that will allow them to advance onto something greater. Battling all of these added troubles can be tiresome, but if you want something better for yourself, you have to make sacrifices.

Now, it seems that many older adults are returning to college and deciding to make those sacrifices. Some find ways to squeeze schooling into their already hectic lifestyle by waking up before dawn to study, or attending weekend, or online classes. Some other adults returning to college will take on a full workload during the day and then attend classes afterward for some nighttime college schooling.

Student admissions over the age of 35 have climbed in numbers, especially in the last 10 years. Adults returning to college now make up almost 20% of enrollment these days, which is double what it used to be when they were the young 18-year-old demographic. These days two in every five college students are older than 25.

Online colleges have become the best ally to older adults who wish to progress in the competitive workforce. About 75% of colleges offer online courses in the U.S. alone. The University of Phoenix Online boasts 63,000 students attending already with numbers rising. Adults returning to college to finish a bachelor’s degree or earn some type of certification tend to gravitate towards these types of methods because it allows them to attend a class at home while watching over their children, or allot their time given for school in a more convenient way.

The numbers on adults returning to college is on the rise, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Soon, the income gap between college graduates and non-grads will grow even larger and education will be more important than ever.

Pros And Cons When Returning To College At 40

Congratulations! Returning to school is tough overall. Compound this with everyday lives of students who have kids and jobs and you have full havoc on your hands. The pros outweigh the cons when you are 40, and returning to school. I want to list the pros first because I think they prove motivating to be motivating factors when contemplating going back to school at 40.

Pros of going back to school at 40

1. Completing your degree can help you professionally.

2. Even though, you are 40 and will be considered outdated by your younger future classmates, you are bringing something to the arena of academia which they cannot. WORK EXPERIENCE! Your experiences will help tremendously, especially if you want to be a Business major.

3. At 40 years of age, you prove wise. You will find that you contain patience and more of an eagerness to learn. You will find that you will be more zealous in completing homework as well as asking for help from the instructors if needed.

4. If you have a family and career, you already have the time-management skills, which will help tremendously while attending college.

5. You will find the initiative of pleasing your family while improving the life of your family can be a motivational factor. When others give up, you will know that failure is not an option.

6. You will not have the difficulty of obtaining a social life through the college. You already have family and friends. You will be able to concentrate fully on the academic tasks before you.

7. You will be able to relate to your instructors because you more than likely will be the same age or older.

8. Your confidence will rise to the mountaintops and why would it not? Upon graduating with your college degree, you will have the pleasure of knowing you obtained this tremendous achievement while raising children and maintaining your personal life.

9. You will show everyone around you that you are a “go-getter”.

10. You will be a fantastic model for your children and family.

Cons of going back to school at 40:

1. You will feel alienated at first because let us face facts here; you are older than most everyone in your classes, especially if you are attending day classes at your college.

2. You will have to juggle your college classes along with your already busy life.

3. Your boss at your current job may not be supportive of your college schedule. If this happens, you might find yourself switching jobs that will prove supportive or leaving the workforce altogether, at least until you finish school. This could quite possibly create a financial hardship on your family.

4. You will find your energy level not as it used to be when you were younger. Younger students do not have children to take care of, a house to clean, a job to work, and they do not have the daily tasks that you have. I would recommend energy drinks while increasing your daily exercise; of course, you will have to find time to fit in working out in a gym or more walks during the day.

5. If you have children and are a single parent, you will have to make accommodations for your children while at school.

6. You might have to complete an internship for your degree program before you graduate college. This can be a nightmare, especially if you already work. Imagine having to work your regular job to help support your family plus a non-paid internship. More times to none if you are already working a job, the college might waive the internship because let us face it; you already have work experience at 40 years of age. Make sure you ask your academic counselor about this.

7. If you are a parent, you are going to miss things with your children. Most students at 40 years of age are forced to go to school at night. This will eliminate momentous time with your children at night and bedtime.

As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons of going back to school when you are 40 years of age. The best advice I can give anyone attempting this monumental feat is to never give up. It becomes quite desirable to give up when you are tired from your long day of work, dealing with your children, and knowing you have to sit in class for 3 hours at night.

You must focus on the future. What is a year or so of your life in sacrificing when you will be benefitting immensely from your sacrifice with a better financial future? Hang in there and keep reaching for your goals. You will find that at 40 years of age, you will appreciate the sacrifices and opportunities presented to you more than your younger classmates. You will eventually be able to look back on this ordeal as a huge milestone in not only your own life but also that of your family. Your family is depending on you and you cannot let them down. Keep going and good luck!