How to Go Back to School. Get ahead at work or prepare for a career change by going back to school as an adult learner. You'll find it's much easier to complete your degree as an adult because you are more motivated to learn and won't be so easily distracted by the college lifestyle. Don't be nervous about stepping outside your comfort zone at work, instead take the risk to learn.

Decide what subjects interest you. You may be looking to improve your current work skills or perhaps you want to start a new career but lack the appropriate education. Pick something that interests you since you don't want to get stuck studying something that will bore you into quitting later.

Check various schools to see if you can get credit for your experiences in life. You could also get credit for training your received at your job. As a last resort, see if you can test out of some courses through the CLEP exam, available at most major educational facilities.

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Pick the way you want to learn. While a nearby college may offer the program you're interested in, you may find that working at your own pace with a correspondence course meets your time constraints if you're trying to work a full-time job at the same time. Online degrees are available, but make sure the school is accredited.

Plan for financing your back-to-school adventure. Employers often offer tuition assistance if the education enhances your work performance. Afterwards, go to the a school's financial aid office and see what programs they have for which you qualify. In addition to low-cost loans, you may find a scholarship.

Apply to schools that interest you. Don't be disappointed if you only get accepted to a few, but you may be surprised at the number of schools that recruit adult learners to diversify their campus. Fill out all necessary forms and, if you are required to submit test scores such as the ACT, dig those out of your closet. Personal recommendations and an essay will be expected from most institutions of higher learning.


Community Colleges are easier to enroll in, so start there if you are intimidated by the thought of a 4-year program. Let admission counselors know you are a returning, adult student and you may find some admission requirements, like tests, are not required for you.

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