Should I Go Back to College?


Illustration of three people thinking about the question: Should I Go Back to College?

It’s never as easy as a simple yes or no. Going back to college takes genuine commitment and a good deal of effort—but the end result can certainly be worth it.

First, realize you are not alone in this decision. There are plenty of others in a similar position, looking to balance work and home while advancing their education.

Adult learners, also called “non-traditional” learners, are on the rise at colleges and universities across the nation. The National Center for Education Statistics projects enrollments for students age 25 and over to grow 14 percent through 2024, compared with 13 percent growth among those under age 25.

Completing your degree definitely can pay off. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who hold a bachelor’s degree earn 52% percent more than those with some college but no degree.

So if you’re pondering the question “Should I go back to college?” start by knowing yourself and what you want to accomplish. We’ll be here when you’re ready to make it happen.

How to Go Back to College

Don’t let the idea of returning to school be an intimidating one. Let us help you through the process. Here’s a couple of quick steps to get started:

1. Focus on Your Goals

Going back to school should have a purpose for you. Keep that end goal in mind as you navigate the process.

2. Do Your Research

Investigate degree completion programs that cater to adults going back to school, as well as the course flexibility and available financial aid.

3. Make an Appointment with an Admission Counselor

Speaking with an Elmhurst University professional can help you to navigate your way through the admission and application process, taking into account your specific situation.

4. Lean on Your Experience

Your life experience will help you here. Bring it to the classroom to enrich discussions. We’ll take a full look at your academic experience to see how it might apply toward completing a degree at Elmhurst.

Why Should I Go Back to College?

Yes, college is a big life change, and you may need to shift your priorities. You won’t be able to spend your weekends binge-watching Netflix or indulging in your baking habit. Instead, that time might be best spent studying and completing assignments.

Yet for all the temporary changes, going back to school can lead to amazing, lasting results, including:

  • New skills to apply to your current job
  • The knowledge you need to apply for a better job
  • Leverage for a higher salary
  • A stronger professional network
  • Greater job security in a changing economy
  • Experience in a multi-generational environment

In these ways and more, continuing your education can be worth it. To get started, all you need to do is:

  • Review application requirements, including deadlines, transcripts, tests, and fees.
  • Find the program that aligns with your personal goals.
  • Determine what suits you better: full-time, part-time, or online study.
  • Create a manageable schedule that allows you to keep up with your school, work and family obligations.

That last point may mean earning credits at a slower pace, but that’s perfectly fine. What’s important is that you earn your degree in a manner that works for you. At the end of it, you’ll still have your education, and you won’t regret the time it took to get that degree.

Interested in Learning More about Going Back to College?

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Elmhurst offers a number of rigorous programs with the flexible scheduling you need to thrive.

Updated December 5, 2018

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