5 Things Adults Should Do Before Applying for College
Are you an adult that’s considering higher education? 8.2 million students 25 years old and over say you’re not alone. According to a report by Georgetown University, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school! That’s a big deal. Whether you’ve already done a little research on where to start, or you’re here because you have no idea where to start, we hope this article can help get you on the right track to going back to school!
1.) Define your Aim
Now that you’ve made the decision to go back to school, what do you want to do? 4 Year, 2 year and transfer to a 4 year, vocational? There are a lot of options to chose from, and narrowing down your field can define the best type of degree program for you. And here’s a fun fact: Job openings in health care, community services, and STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) will grow the fastest among occupational clusters by 2020. It’s a safe bet that any of these degree types will allow you to strengthen your career and give you the most bang for your buck.
2.) Organize Your Pre-Existing Credits
Did you already attend some higher schooling? Are you planning to get a degree or certificate in the field you’re in now? Many programs accept credits from another institution, and even for work experience. If you’ve already been in your chosen field for a certain amount of time- those hours can add up to school credits- which saves you money.
3.) Select an Institution
There are so many options for higher education than there was even 10 years ago, but this is the place where you should put most of your research. While many are legitimate education institutions, the rise of “For Profit” schooling has reared it’s ugly head in the last decade, too. Don’t be afraid to call institutions you’re considering to ask about credit pricing, in and out of state fees and curriculums their institution is specifically known for. Many have won awards for certain curriculums!
It’s also important to know what types of classes they offer– Do they have online or in-person classes? While online curriculums are extremely convenient and affordable, they require a different level of discipline and dedication and some prefer the face to face interaction.
4.) Speak to a Financial Advisor
The truth of it is, paying for college can be hard. There are a lot of factors that come into play when figuring out how to afford the cost of classes. U.S. News highlights some of the financial challenges that come with tuition for higher education:
- Average Tuition in the US ranges from $8,957 for In-state programs to $32,599 for private institutions!
- The average debt for students that took out student loans is about $28,077
- 12 out of 1,028 students applying for grants are awarded grants
- 68.8 percent of all students borrowed money to pay for higher education
Doing your research is essential for finding every available avenue for grants, loan types, and repayment options. Having a financial plan in place will ensure that once college is over you’ll be able to make the monthly payments with minimal impact on your monthly expenditures.
5.) Collaborate with Others
Lucky for you, iAim is the perfect place to collaborate with other people in the higher education field– financial advisors, teachers, tutors, and other students just like you. Setting goals to further yourself in your career is not only admirable, but attainable and iAim will be with you every step of the way.
Have you already enrolled in a program and want to share tips with people just getting started? Comment below and let us know!