Returning to School to Earn a Degree

Considerations for Going Back to School

Whether it is for finishing your bachelor's degree, pursuing a master's degree or even a PhD, going back to school is worth careful consideration.

Deciding to go back to school to earn a degree is a big decision. Whether it is for finishing your bachelor’s degree, pursuing a master’s degree or even a PhD, going back to school is worth careful consideration. With online classes or “distance learning” as an option, the decision might be a little easier. Accredited colleges and universities offer undergraduate, masters and even doctorate programs in an online environment so attending class at a convenient time is possible.

Benefits of Online Learning

Asynchronous learning makes getting a degree more of an option for many, including working adults and parents. Many on-line programs are reasonably priced and offer tremendous flexibility. But don’t mistake on-line classes as being easier than traditional brick and mortar classes. For typical degree programs in an on-line environment, expect a lot of time and effort needed to accomplish these academic pursuits.

Many universities offering online curriculum have a continuous enrollment process. This means students enrolling at anytime of the year will find classes starting soon after enrollment. that Online resources like e-books, computer simulations, an online library and voluminous writing and mathematics resources are all available 24-hours a day. Online classes and resource can be accessed from virtually anywhere in the world from an internet-based computer.

Attending an accredited university is beneficial as businesses and professional associates officially recognize academic pursuits and degrees obtained from colleges and universities that have achieved accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a Database of Accredited Post Secondary Institutions and Programs so students can ensure they are attending an accredited university. Schools will also publish their accreditation status.

Considerations for Going Back to School

Going back to school requires a significant financial investment and understanding the options is very important. Determine the best option for paying for this education. Options for paying include out of pocket, getting a loan or applying for a scholarship or grant. Whichever route is chosen, students must plan ahead and stay on top of financial obligations. Schools have financial aid counselors available to help choose the best options for each individual.

Earning a degree requires a considerable investment of time every week. While online classes allow flexibility with scheduling during the week, the coursework can be quite intense at times and students must be prepared to meet attendance requirements and assignment deadlines. On-line classes could require anywhere from 10-20 hours per week. While this may seem like a lot when students are working or parenting, it is manageable if individuals are dedicated.

Recent Entries

University Tips for Current and Graduating Students

Creative Writing Grants and Scholarships – Money for College

Find Colleges and Universities That Meet Personal Goals

Study Abroad Programs

Consider the time it will take to complete the degree and make sure the time commitment is achievable. An undergraduate degree can take anywhere from two to four years to complete depending on how many classes are taken at once and how many breaks are taken during the program. Master’s programs might take approximately a year and a half to two years, and a PhD or Doctorate could take as long as five or six years, or as little as three years.

Individuals may not think that going back to school will have such a big impact to family members, but it certainly does. Students will not have as much time to spend with loved ones when focused on a paper or assignment that is due the next day. Students may have to forego a social event or family function in order to meet a deadline. Make sure that family members are completely supportive.

Returning to School Can be Rewarding

Going back to school to pursue a degree can be an extremely rewarding experience. Online education offers flexibility and options that are just not available from traditional education. Take the time to consider all of the options before jumping in. The more time and planning put in to the decision, the more likely individuals will make the right decision. When the degree program is complete, all that time and effort will be well worth the time.

This blog post is actually just a Google Doc! Create your own blog with Google Docs, in less than a minute.