Are you ready to go back to school?

By Britney Hardweare

If you are nervous about enrolling in a college program for the first time, you can find comfort in knowing that plenty of older students are returning to school, too. Between 2000 and 2012, 41 percent of undergraduate students were 25 and older, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Take this fun quiz to determine if it’s the right time for you to go to college.

1. Family and friends would ______ if you decided to go back to school.

A. Offer their support and help

B. Shrug

C. Hold you prisoner until you changed your mind

2. How do you feel about your current job?

A. I’m in a rut.

B. It can be stressful and I’m open to other options.

C. I am pretty satisfied where I am.

3. Have you thought about which college you would like to attend?

A. I’ve already got my top choices picked out.

B. I’ve looked at a few websites.

C. I don’t have any time to look!

4. What do you know about FAFSA and other financial aid resources?

A. I’ve done my research and am ready to apply for financial aid.

B. Umm … I’ve looked at a few scholarships.

C. What is this thing you call “FAFSA”?

5. Do you know what area of study you’re interested in?

A. Look, I’ve got this all figured out.

B. I just can’t decide yet.

C. Can I talk about this another time?

Mostly As: You’re All Set

You’re ready to conquer the world! Don’t forget to search for school amenities that can ease your transition, such as career-building resources and child care programs.

Mostly Bs: You’re on Your Way

You’re on the right track, but you still need help navigating some details. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides loans and grants based on your financial status. Visit fafsa.ed.gov to get started. Also, ask your employer if tuition reimbursement is possible.

Mostly Cs: You Need More Time

According to a study by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, adult learners often play multiple roles as parents, caregivers, and employees that can take priority over education. Online courses can be a great start if an on-campus lifestyle is too demanding.

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2014/06/19/employee-tuition/index.html

http://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/research-adult-learners-supporting-needs-student-population-no

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_303.40.asp

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2013/02/21/fafsa-tips-to-help-nontraditional-students-pay-for-college

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/10/11/should-you-go-back-to-school-for-your-career

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