Adults Going Back to College – Top 10 Tips

Last Updated on September 5, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Adults going back to college is a trend I see more and more of.  When I graduated high school, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I had some vague ideas of jobs I might enjoy but nothing specific.  Instead of going to college right out of high school, I took a secretarial program and decided to wait and see what I wanted to do.  After a number of years as a secretary, I realized that definitely wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  I joined the ranks of adults going back to college at that point.

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While I started going back to college as an adult with no children, part way through my education, my daughter was born and I had to juggle being a wife, working full time, going to college part time, and taking care of a newborn.  Managing all of these things at once took a great deal of organization and flexibility.  I’m very glad I chose to become one of the adults going back to college at that time because the education I got allowed me to advance in my career and ultimately learn skills that would allow me to work at home. Here are a few tips that I learned that I hope will help you.

Adults going back to college

Adults Going Back to College – Top 10 Tips

  1. Choose a college that has options that allow you to take classes when it’s convenient for you.  I took my classes in the evening and on weekends. Not all colleges offer this option. Online education is a great choice for those that need to have a flexible schedule due to children or a full time job.
  2. Carefully consider your major. You want a career that will make you happy but you also want a career that will allow you to increase your earning potential and find a job.
  3. Research the support services a college offers that will help you find a job when you graduate. You may need to have help crafting a resume or with interviewing skills if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while.
  4. Consider whether you need a 2 year (Associates) or 4 year (Bachelors) degree.
  5. Consider costs carefully. Going back to college can be expensive.  Shop around and make sure that you choose a college that’s in your budget.
  6. Find a support system. It may be your best friend, your husband, or a family member. Make sure that you have people around you who will support your decision to go back to college. You’ll need them when you get stressed out.
  7. Don’t neglect your health. Staying up till 3am and waking at 5am will eventually catch up to you. Eat right, get enough sleep, and give yourself down time to unwind. You’ll only fall behind if you get sick.
  8. Start slowly.  Start by taking one class that you have a fairly good grasp of already. If you jump into three technical classes while managing a job and children as your first experience, you may be overwhelmed.
  9. Get organized. Don’t find out at the last minute that you’ve scheduled your daughter’s doctor appointment in the middle of your final exam.  My planner is my life line.  There is no way I could do what I do without it.
  10. Be realistic. Going to college as an adult will take some getting used to especially if you’re juggling other responsibilities.  There will be times when you wonder if you have made the right choice. Expect this before you begin.  It is worth it in the long run and can open many doors for your future.
adults going back to college

Ivy Bridge College (IBC) is a great option for adults going back to college because of their focus on helping moms succeed by offering great support services, flexible scheduling, the ability to earn an associate’s degree in as little as 17 months, and the ability to seamlessly transfer to “name brand” 4-year schools to earn a bachelor’s. That flexible scheduling is so important when you’re a busy mom.

One of my readers is going to win a $1,000 tuition discount on classes at Ivy Bridge College!  To be eligible for the $1,000 discount off tuition at Ivy Bridge College (IBC), the qualifying individuals will need to be degree seeking, enrolled in IBC a minimum of part-time, and new to IBC (specifically, not someone who has already applied to, enrolled in, or requested information from IBC). Classes at Ivy Bridge College Extension are not eligible for the discount. Limit one per person.The tuition discount is valid through September 1, 2013.  To enter, simply leave me a comment about why you’d like to become one of the adults going back to college this year! Enter through the Sweeps Keep widget below.


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Ivy Bridge College. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating and a discount on classes at Ivy Bridge College.

8 thoughts on “Adults Going Back to College – Top 10 Tips”

  1. These are great tips! I was in the middle of my education program when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I want to go back one day, and hopefully major in social media or marketing. I will definitely need to make some of the considerations you listed above, namely convenience and cost.
  2. These are great tips I did think about going back to school at one point in my life but don't have the energy and being close to retirement I don't think it will really happen
  3. Thanks for these tips. I have considered going back to college but not sure I have the energy right now. I really would like to further my education, though!
  4. These are great tips! I've been back to college many times as an adult. Still no degree, I keep hopping around from program to program. I want to go back and finish though, I'm pretty close to a Communications degree. I prefer online classes, because I like to work at my own pace. They're great because I can knock out three weeks worth of assignments in one day sometimes. I've finished entire classes in under a few weeks that way, then just had to take the tests and finals that were released on specific dates.
  5. I would like to go back to college so I could gain some more skills and hopefully one day have a career I'm passionate about. 
  6. I went to college as an adult. I missed out on the social aspects because I was already married and had a young baby at home. It was hard but totally doable. I was proud of myself for sticking to it and finishing.

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