Going back to school after you’ve had children has so many benefits. Whether your child or children are still very young, or if they’re in school or college themselves, it’s never too late to further your own education and reap the rewards that come with it!
If you have been out of the education system for many years, returning to study can be a daunting prospect. Both financially and as a lifestyle adjustment. Studying is a big commitment, and will often take some sacrifices on your part.
But the benefits are numerous, and once you have the financial side worked out, you can look forward to so many new doors opening that simply would have been almost impossible before.
What advantages are there in going to college or university if you’re a mom or a mature aged student?
Increased opportunities for a new career
The Pew Research Center says that it is consistently found in studies and analyses that “college graduates regardless of generation are doing better than those with less education”.
That makes sense – when it comes to qualifications, an employer who compares the resumes of two candidates; one with a degree, and one without, is more than likely going to give heavier consideration to the degree-holder for the job. Having a degree not only shows that you have related knowledge, but even more so, that you have discipline and consistency in sticking with tasks and deadlines.
These are seriously important attributes to have when applying for any job, and being able to prove them without showing that you’ve committed yourself to years of studying for a degree can be difficult.
If you had a career in the past before taking time away to raise your children, updating your qualifications by going to college allows you to catch up on industry changes. It also shows potential employers that you are not only experienced, but willing and ready to keep your knowledge up to date.
Improve your economic outlook for the long term with a higher paying job
Going to college costs money. Getting a scholarship or grant can potentially save you thousands of dollars, and some can even cover your entire tuition costs.
Whatever financial situation you might be in, if you can fund your studies through scholarships, grants, and personal savings, the long term financial rewards can pay this back ten-fold. It is usually a matter of short term sacrifice for long term gain.
The key is to apply for as many scholarships as you can, find out if and how much you are eligible for through the Federal Pell Grant and other government grants, and create a budget that will allow you and your family to live comfortably, even if more frugally than normal, throughout the time that you’re at college.
Secure the future for yourself and your children
Draw up a table of the pros and cons of going back to college vs continuing on as you are now.
You will very likely come to the conclusion that a college education as an adult is more likely to lead to more secure employment for you after graduation. If your current employment circumstances are insecure, low paying, or just not what you want to spend your life doing, now is the time to decide whether advancing your education is going to be the key to a more secure, prosperous future for you and your children.
Be a positive role model for your children
Your children, no matter what age they are, will be inspired to advance their own education: there is nothing more inspiring than for a child, no matter what age, to see mom studying. Your teen would find it particularly difficult to ignore their own homework and school or college grades if he or she can see that you’re putting in the hard yards and trying to achieve the very best grades that you can.
Regardless of how old your child or children are, you can even organize co-study times at home, to sit down together and work on your own assignments. This dual-study arrangement significantly helps with focus and motivation, particularly when you set a timer and work together to achieve common, individual goals – whether it be completing a project, writing an essay, or committing to one solid hour of studying for an exam. What a great way to bond with your kids, while improving the future outlook for your entire family – together.
If you have a son or daughter that is weighing up whether to go to college themselves, seeing you enrol and make a go of it will certainly be a huge motivating factor and inspiration for your own child to go to college as well. Your kids will be proud of you.
Increased confidence and self esteem
As you attend to your own personal growth through your new experiences and accomplishments at college, you’ll feel a great senses of achievement as each semester passes and you move towards your goal of graduation.
The opening of doors to a new or better career, and the pride that your children and family will have in you will certainly provide that motivation that is so important to keep up during this momentous period of your life. Think of the day you will graduate, and how proud you will feel – and how proud and inspired your children will be.
Top Tips For Moms Going Back To College
Having a positive attitude about your future is the number one thing that will drive you towards enrolling at school, working out your finances, and focusing on your studies and your future.
Think about the big picture: It can be easy to get bogged down in the day to day challenges of studying and making sure your family and your finances are healthy (as well as yourself).
By keeping an eye on the bigger, long term picture and the reason that you’re in school – to improve your life for the long term – you’ll avoid any little setbacks that might pop up and see them as speed humps to drive over as you head towards your final outcome: graduation, a new career, and better financial security for you and your family.
Do you want financial independence?
One of the greatest desires of women, particularly those who have children and are recently separated from their partner, is to be financially independent. To do this, you generally need to be working full time and to have a job that pays enough to not be reliant on your former partner for any financial assistance, further education is highly desirable. The sense of freedom and independence this gives you is life changing – in a good way!