How old is too old to go to college?
The answer is simple: you’re never too old for college. Whether you’re 18, 30, or even 60, college is a place where you should feel welcome and secure. That said, going back to college at 30 has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide on a college degree as an adult, take a look at our pros and cons:
Pros and Cons of Being a Mature-Age Student
Pro: College Will Enhance Your Competencies
If it is your goal to be better at what you do, then going back to college is certainly advantageous for you. One of the clear benefits of going back to school is it will enhance your abilities in more ways than one. Apart from that degree that you will receive, being back to college will give you crucial and updated knowledge and skills in your chosen field, which you can then use to improve your professional performance.
Pro: College Will Improve Your Employment Outlook
It is no secret that college graduates are more likely to be employed than those who have not graduated from college. Also, people who have completed college or acquired even more advanced degrees are likely to receive higher wages. If one of your goals is to advance your position in an industry you work in, completing your degree can certainly help you achieve that goal.
Pro: Being Older Allows You to Pursue Your Real Passion
Many students who enter college right after high school are forced to choose majors that are not their real passion. Making up your mind about what you want to do for the rest of your life at 18 is no easy task, after all. There’s a reason why you almost never hear nontraditional students saying, “I don’t know what to study in college.” By contrast, people who start college at 30 are more likely to know exactly what they want. If you’re 30 or older and you decide to go to college, you no longer have to contend with the question of “do I need to go to college?” Instead, chances are, as an adult learner, you know precisely why you’re going to college and what major you’re taking. College and all other related decisions are for you conscious choices driven by a clear personal vision.
Pro: You Can Choose Flexible Schedules
Another advantage of going back to school at 30 is that there are more flexible schedules available today. Schools recognize the unique challenges faced by an adult student, and thus they provide ways for you to complete schooling while handling other responsibilities. For instance, distance learning and weekend classes are available so that you can balance work, studies, and family life.
Pro: You Will Have Greater Appreciation of Education
As said earlier, many students enter college without a clear idea of what to go to school for. As such, some of them may not be able to fully appreciate studying. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some students to see studies as more of a chore than an opportunity for self-improvement. Going to college at 30 or older, you are more likely to pursue what you really want and understand the value of this renewed opportunity. You’re also more likely to approach your studies with willingness and enthusiasm. This more positive attitude towards learning gives you the crucial benefit of having the desire to make the most out of your education—something that you may not be able to do if you were younger.
Pro: You Will Have a Higher Sense of Responsibility
In the same way that being an older student gives you greater appreciation of education, being a mature-age student can also be an advantage in terms of the ability to be responsible. This is especially true if you’re the one footing all the bills. Needless to say, being responsible increases your chances of achieving academic success.
Pro: You Can Integrate Life Experiences
Now that you’re in your 30’s you are already an adult, which means that you likely have already acquired a lot of life experiences. If you decide to go back to school, you can bring these life experiences to your studies and enrich your overall learning experience. For example, you will be able to relate lessons to your experiences at previous jobs.
While returning to college has its advantages, one disadvantage is the expense. As the cost of college education continues to rise, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars not only for your tuition but also for other school-related expenses. Fortunately, financial aids such as scholarships are also available to older students.
Con: Studying Requires Time
Apart from expenses, resuming your studies also demands time. You will have to spend hours studying, attending classes, and completing academic requirements such as custom essays and research papers. This can be even more challenging if you have to juggle responsibilities to your job and your family. Going back to college as an adult requires you to have excellent time management skills and knowledge of good education tips.
Con: Studying Requires Effort
Working and going to school at the same time will certainly impose greater demands. As an older student, you have to be ready to exert more effort into making sure that you are meeting all your obligations. You may find that while answering the question of how to go back to school at 30 is easy, remaining there until the end is hard.