Going back to school as an adult can be overwhelming. You must be committed to investing time and money. It’s a major lifestyle change. Because of this, we see people talking themselves out of it all the time. So, we’re sharing a few of the most common excuses people make to avoid going back to school as an adult – and debunking every one of them!
1. I don’t have the financial support.
There are numerous resources to support your journey:
- PELL grants
- PHEAA State Grants (Degree programs only)
- Employment tuition reimbursement programs
2. I don’t qualify for financial aid as an adult.
Wrong. There is no age limit for subsidized/unsubsidized federal financial aid.
3. I don’t qualify for financial aid as a part-time student.
Wrong. Part-time students are eligible to apply and receive aid.
Typically, federal loans through FASFA require a student to be a “regular student”. This means you take 6 credits per semester (part-time), or 12 credits (full-time). Whenever you begin investigating your financial options, be sure to contact the school regarding their policies and procedures. Accredited schools also have dedicated financial aid offices with staff that are dedicated to helping you search and apply for financial assistance.
4. I don’t have time to go back to school.
A full-time, 4-year school is the biggest time commitment. If you have a full-time job and/or a family, it’s understandable if you’re worried about balancing another obligation. Luckily there are plenty of programs, both certificate and degree, that don’t involve that level of commitment.
Check out the different program commitments at our technical school.
- Commercial Truck Driving (CDL) – 5 weeks / 200 hours / Day or Evening option
- Basic Welding – 10 weeks / 200 hours / Mon-Thurs 8am-1pm
- Industrial Electrical – Part-time flexible hours in the afternoon & evening
- Dental Assistant – Full-time 9 months / Mon-Fri 8am-2:35pm
- Automotive Technology – Full-time 2 years / Mon-Fri 8am-2:35pm
- Practical Nursing – Full-Time 12 months day-time or Part-Time 18 months evening
For important information on educational debt, earnings and completion rate of students who attended these program, visit https://lancasterctc.edu/about-us/program-disclosures/.
As you can see, you have options! (every program is different.) If you need a program that provides courses outside regular business hours, many institutions provide courses in the evening hours. We are such a school, AND ranked by FORBES as one of the Top 30 trade schools in the U.S. for the second year in a row.
If you’re more worried about taking on additional schoolwork in your free time, here are some study tips.
- Time yourself. Set a timer for 20 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Repeat twice, with the last break stretching for 10 minutes. This is called The Pomodoro Technique.
- Have a dedicated space. Doing schoolwork in bed sounds great in theory but can confuse your brain. Instead, pick a spot in your house that’s just for studying.
- Block your schedule. Pick out some set days and times at the beginning of the week to be your study times. Don’t plan to do anything else during those times but study.
5. It won’t change my salary that much.
Our graduates earn an average of $37,000 a year and 62% are earning more than the average high school graduate. Going back to school can not only increase your salary now – it can increase your future earning potential. Companies are more likely to advance employees with higher education under their belt. Higher positions also equal pay raises.
Don’t just calculate the immediate difference between your current and potential salary. Multiply each of those numbers by all of your estimated working years. For example, a 30-year old making $25,000 a year until they retire at age 65 will have made a total of $875,000. A 30-year old who is making $37,000 will make a total of $1,295,000. That’s $420,000 more, not including any raises they may receive.
6. I won’t fit in with the other students.
You might be surprised how many adults go back to school, especially if you choose a program that’s 2-years or less. Trade and technical schools are full of adult learners. Even if there are new high-school graduates in the classes, they have picked a trade-driven path just like you. These are motivated students! If you’re motivated and eager to learn, you will fit into any classroom.
Instead of looking for the worst-case scenario, think about how your life could change for the better. Going back to school may be easier than you think.
Bonus Excuse: I don’t know how to apply for going back to school.
Practice makes perfect. And Lancaster County Career & Technology Center has made the application as easy and quick as possible.