5 Things To Know Before Going Back to School at 30

5 Things To Know Before Going Back to School at 30

15 November 2019 By Kate

30 year old women going back to school with textbooks

Fall in Oregon means the return of rainfall, harvest season, and back-to-school for students. If you’ve been thinking about going back to college as an adult, you may be anticipating fall with a mix of dread and excitement. Knowing how to go back to school without feeling like you’re out of place just takes a bit of research and planning. But there’s really no reason to sweat the small stuff, especially when you are prepared for what’s to come.

How to Go Back to School

1. You’re Not the Only One

Each year across America, thousands of adult learners register for classes at trade schools, community colleges, and universities. And your peers are just as motivated, busy, and cash strapped as you are. While there are still plenty of traditional college freshmen taking classes who are fresh out of high school, many community colleges in Oregon and beyond have a median student age of around 29.

In fact, you’re fortunate enough to be returning to the classroom environment during a time when affordable and flexible college options are abundant. And since so many adults have gone back to college before you, there are now a ton of different resources in place that will help make your higher learning journey much easier to navigate than it would have been 20 years ago. Online course options are one of the best resources available for adult learners. Allowing you to start things off in a very low-risk environment. Plus, you should be able to access online tutoring, online books and more.

2. You Need to Make Time to Study

As a good rule of thumb, it’s smart to schedule 2 hours of study time for every hour you spend in class each week. For example, if you’re taking 12 credit hours this term, you’ll need to make room for 24 in your weekly schedule. While that amount of time can sound intimidating at first, stop to take an honest assessment of how many hours you spend each week watching television, scrolling through social media, or listening to your favorite podcasts. If you have more than 5 or 6 hours a week that is dedicated to watching TV, there’s some room in your life for studying.

If you can’t find that much wiggle room in your schedule for attending class and studying, you may want to look at taking fewer than 12 credit hours per term. However, this can be tricky for financial aid students. So, be sure to work closely with an Admissions Officer and your financial aid office to determine which options are best for you.

3. Don’t Shy Away from Refresher Courses

If you’ve been away from the classroom for more than 5 years, chances are that you could benefit from a refresher course or 2. Most adult learners can benefit from a bit of an academic tune-up and if you lack confidence in a certain subject, now is the perfect time to build a solid academic foundation in that area. It’s probably been some time since you’ve even thought about writing an academic paper or had to factor a polynomial, right? But even if some of the material you have to study in an introductory course feels redundant, you should be able to polish up any areas that were rusty.

4. But What Should I Go Back to School for?

Depending on what you want your future to look like, choosing the right program can go a few different ways. 

You could look into a business program that will help to give a boost to your current career options. If you’re looking for a career change, you could go in the opposite direction and enter into an entirely new field of study. One of the best ways to figure out which program you should start is by speaking with an Admissions Officer.

If you already have some college credits under your belt, they can help you determine which ones can be applied to your new program and modify your plan from there.

5. Will My Company Help Pay for School?

While it would surely be nice to be able to quit your day job and focus on school full time, most adults don’t have that option. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. That’s because many companies offer incentives for employees who are going back to school to pursue a degree that will benefit the company as well. 

Don’t hesitate to ask your department head or Human Resources if the company will help to foot the bill for return to the classroom. In some cases, they may be able to reimburse you for 100% of your school costs—especially if you’re able to maintain a 4.0-grade point average.

Contact Pioneer Pacific College Today

Going back to college as an adult doesn’t have to be a scary or time-consuming process. When you study at Pioneer Pacific College, you can choose from one of our specialty courses in healthcare, business, culinary arts or paralegal studies.

To learn more about all of our certificate and degree programs, call or text “CAREER” to 1.866.772.4636 or contact our admissions office today to request a tour.

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