Tag Archive for Education

7 Things to Consider Before Continuing Your Education


paperclip-168336_640If you take a walk around just about any college campus in America these days, you?ll likely see some signs of age on more than a few in the sea of students around you. But while it?s no secret the number of students returning to college after age 25 is on the rise, how do you know if it?s the right decision for you? Here are a few things to consider before continuing?your education by going to college for the first time or by getting an online criminal justice degree in mississippi.

Do Your Homework

Let?s assume whatever profession you are considering pursuing will gain you a higher income than you are bringing home in your current job. You need to weigh the factors, such as the cost of gaining this education, the difference between your annual salary now and the projected salary of your new position, how many years you think you will be working in your new position and the number of years you would remain in your current position at your current salary.

There may be other issues that could also influence your decision, such as whether or not you still have children at home to care for, or a spouse and how it will affect him or her. If it helps, jot your thoughts on a notepad for closer deliberation.

What Field Will You Pursue?

Going back to school as a nontraditional student may have become the ?cool? thing to do after the age of 25, however, it is not the end all and be all of the?professional world. Before you decide to go back to school or continue your education, really think about what field you will pursue. As mentioned, some degrees will really pay off in terms of higher earnings, but some degrees in some fields may not.

Do You Need to go Back to School?

Having a Bachelor?s degree, a Master?s or even a Doctorate may not be necessary to accomplish your goals. Depending on your chosen profession, it is possible an Associate Degree would do just as well. If you have a professional mentor, ask them if they feel it is necessary to go back to school or get a further degree in order to achieve your goal. The last thing you want to do is to continue your education if it only results in racking up debt with nothing to show for it.

What College or University Will You Attend?

You can certainly sign up for and attend courses at a nearby college campus to save money on your college education, but if you do some checking, you may find the courses you need are offered online. Completing your coursework from home when it is convenient for you would be an advantage if you are trying to juggle work, college and a family or other commitments.

Do You Have the Time?

Going back to school or pursuing a higher degree, like a masters or doctorate, can be stressful on you and your family. Finding time for family, work and school can be a real challenge. Don’t forget about how much work you’ll have to put in outside of the classroom on homework, papers, projects and studying for tests. Be realistic and think it over carefully before taking the plunge. You may have time if you give up some time sucking activities like watching TV.

Can You Get Financial Aid?

If you are a returning student, you might think there are no scholarships or grants available. Wrong. If you are planning to go into a field related to what you currently do, check to see if your current employer offers any scholarships or if they are willing to reimburse you for taking some classes. You can also look around online. You might be surprised to find scholarships and grants available for nontraditional students and those pursuing higher degrees after obtaining a Bachelor’s.

Alternatives to Formal Education

These days there are also a lot of alternatives to formal education at colleges and universities. Not only can you take many degree programs online, but you can also choose to self-educate without the aid of a college or university at all. There are plenty of courses available online from professionals in many work fields, and you may even be able to self-educate for free with the help of resources in your community, like the public library.

As you can clearly see, the decision of whether or not to further your education is not to be taken lightly, and there are many things to consider. Take a little time to think about it, and if you still feel it?s the right thing to do, go for it!


Have you ever thought about pursuing more education? Was there anything else you considered before making your decision?


Photo courtesy of: AlexanderStein

How to Prepare Your Child for College

prepare your child for college

7658261288_9673fa20eb_zThat little bundle of joy you brought home from the hospital what seems like yesterday will be headed off to college before you know it. Do you know how to prepare your child for college? What are some of the steps you should take to make sure your child is prepared to enter his first day of life as a grown up on a college campus? Today we’ll discuss a few things that you as a parent can do to make sure your child has what he or she needs to be prepared for their next phase of life.

Prepare Your Child for College Financially

We’ve all read the reports about how expensive college is these days, and how daunting the student loan burden is on young people. There are several things you can do to help prepare your child for the financial needs of college, even at a young age. Start by exploring college education fund options. Is a 529 right for your family, or are there other plans such as a prepaid tuition plan that may suit your child’s needs better? Educate yourself on the options available for college funding for your child, and start early, even if the amount you can put away right now is minimal.?Ultimately, much of this is all done so as to help them avoid debt?as much as possible to fund their education and down the line in later years.

Once your child starts high school, it’s a smart idea to start thinking about career paths and exploring potential scholarship and/or grant options. The different scholarships and grants available are based on a number of different variables, such as parents’ income and net worth, your child’s choice of major, your child’s grade average, and your child’s skills and interests.

The beginning of high school is also the time to let your child know how much, if anything, you as their parents will be able to contribute to their education expenses. And your contribution doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of tuition payments either. You can offer to let them live at home for free, buy a rental property for them to live in during college, or offer to help teach them some side hustle options, they can use to earn money for college.

Preparing your child for college from a financial standpoint also means teaching them about how to budget, spend-track and use credit wisely.? The more you know, and your child knows, ?about the options available for helping your child fund his college degree, the better prepared your child will be to make it through college financially stable and responsible.

Prepare Your Child for College Academically

Starting in 7th grade, it’s a good idea to get your child to start thinking about what types of career subjects might interest them. This will allow you to work with them to pick classes that will work to enhance their knowledge about their career interest field and even possibly get some college credits out of the way by programs such as the PSEO program. It’s also a good time to instill in your child the importance of good grades, extra-curricular activities, and getting involved with charitable causes and leadership opportunities, all of which will enhance their college applications when it’s time to send them out.

If they feel like they would like to be in a field where they could help others, there are different careers they can pursue to achieve it. An?online bsw?for example, can help people who are at risk to social and economic injustices and discrimination.

Prepare Your Child for College Emotionally

College is a different ball game for most kids. The freedom they will have in college, especially if they’re going to school far away from home, will likely be much different than their life as it is at home. Therefore it’s? important that your child know what kinds of benefits, dangers and distractions there are in college life, so that they can be well prepared to handle those new and different obstacles and opportunities when they step foot on the college campus.

Prepare Your Child for College Practically

This means that you teach your child what it means to live on their own. Teach them how to do laundry, what the basic rules are for storing food, and what the basics of cooking healthy?are. Give them opportunities to learn these things at home so that they’re well-prepared for life as an independent adult.

Sending your child off to college brings on a mix of emotions, some difficult as you long for the days of playing in the sandbox and playing Barbies with your used-to-be little one, and some exciting as you eagerly watch your child go off to grow into the person they’re meant to be. The more preparation you do ahead of time, the happier and less stressful all of these changes will be.


Have you done anything yet to prepare your child for college? Was there anything you wish you would’ve known before you left for your college career? If you’re a recent graduate, what’s one thing you would change for your potential future children with regards to going to college?



Photo courtesy of College Degrees 360