Are you thinking about going back to school? If you are, then you will join a rapidly growing segment of the adult population that wants to benefit from continuing education. Thanks to the advancement of online schooling, learning a new trade or taking graduate classes to improve professional credentials has never been more accessible. There is only one question for anyone that plans to go back to school.
How do you pay for it?
Back to School: Why it's a Good Idea
The average professional changes jobs 12 times during his or her career. Some of the job changes involve switching vocations, while other jobs require the addition of one or more professional skills. For whatever reason, changing jobs represents the primary reason professionals go back to school, whether the continuing education requires just a few classes or a full blown multiple year study program.
Here are a few other reasons why going back to school is a good idea:
- Remaining relevant in a highly competitive workforce
- Meeting professional challenges
- Desire to learn new skills
- Fulfilling the attainment of a long term goal
How Will You Pay for School?
If your employer encourages you to go back to school for professional advancement, it might offer an education incentive program that pays for some or all of a continuing education. Typical employer sponsored education programs require workers to achieve a certain grade point average and/or receive a degree. Another way to pay for a continuing education is to set up a savings account solely for the purpose of paying for tuition. Try to place your money in a generous interest bearing account to accumulate more money for educational purposes.
Many professionals choose the financing option to pay for the second go around at a college or a university. Since there is not an age limit for federal aid, you should consider completing the same FASFA form you submitted when you attended college the first time. Contact the student aid office of the schools that have made your short list of candidates. One important tip to remember is to ask financial aid offices if you can use the income you expect to earn over the next year, instead of the income you earned the previous year. Going back to school usually requires a scaling back of work hours, which means next year's income should be lower than what you made the previous year.
The Convenience of an Online Education
You do not have to enroll at a brick and mortar school to enhance your professional credentials or pursue a lifelong education goal. An online education offers numerous benefits, with the greatest benefit being reduced costs. Tuition costs at online programs are typically lower than at more traditional brick and mortar schools. Even if you enroll in an online program that costs about the same or a little more than a traditional college or university, the associated costs will be lower if you enroll in the online program. You do not have to pay for commuting costs, as well as for expensive textbooks.
Here are some other reasons why an online education program might be for you:
- Flexible schedule
- Allows you to work full time
- More conducive environment to learn
- Wider variety of courses and degree programs
- One-on-one interaction with instructors
- Convenient way to advance career
- Better strategy for acquiring technical skills
- Easy to transfer credits to other programs
Do not allow cost to prevent you from advancing your career or realize a lifetime education dream. Visit Classes and Careers to help you find the right path for going back to school.