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What to Know Before Going Back to School

Advice specifically for adult learners.

Aug 23, 2019

There is no such thing as college-aged anymore. In fact, the number of people between the age of 25 and 34 has increased 35 percent from 2001 to 2015. And from 2015 to 2026, those numbers are expected to increase by another 11 percent according to Forbes. So, working adults, parents, even grandparents who are looking to go back to school to attain a degree have many options, including online colleges. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing where to go back to school.

Make a plan.

First and foremost, think about your goals. Is there a specific degree you are looking for in an exact industry you are trying to enter? These questions are important because building a plan will be vital for your education success. Consider the outcomes you want and the steps you will need to take to get there. Additionally, consider the time that will be required, the support you may need (resources as well as emotional support from family and friends), and the qualifications for the career you plan to enter. Making a plan doesn’t have to be drab, it can be inspiring and motivating, while also helping you be one step closer to your goals!

Find a school right for you.

If you already have obligations like a current job or a family, you should consider your time when choosing a higher education option. Which school is the most flexible? Apart from that, there are other questions to keep in mind: Do you want to attend class in person or online? And apart from that, what is your budget? Keep in mind—your financial budget should include the cost of school, the cost of resources and materials, as well as the opportunity cost if you plan on working less or changing jobs to accommodate your education goals.

Locate your resources.

We touched on this fact briefly in “Make a Plan” and mentioned that it is larger than just resources and materials—but the support you may need from those around you. Will you need a mentor to keep you motivated? If so, can a family member of friend fill that role, or will you require someone a little more hands on? Some colleges have faculty dedicated to this role, so keep that in mind when researching educational institutions and find out if that support is available at the school you’re thinking about attending.

We touched on the financial aspect a little bit, and everyone knows that extra money for school is always a plus. That’s why at WGU Nevada, we are offering a Back to School Scholarship—WGU’s largest scholarship offering to date. It is valued at up to $2,000 per student and is open to new students in any of the more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. New students who are interested in applying have until Sept. 30, 2019, to apply. Learn more at

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