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Debunking the Fears of Returning to School

February 11, 2019 1:03pm

Fear is a major factor in what keeps many adult learners from returning to school online to complete their college education. Will I fit in? How long will it take me to finish? I’m afraid I won’t do well because I failed classes in my youth, I won’t do well taking my classes online, etc. However, once they try online classes, many students not only enjoy the platform, but prefer it over taking classes in a traditional classroom setting. Here are some common fears and what you should know to help ease your mind.

I didn’t do so hot years ago and I’m afraid to fail again.

Many adults worry that they won’t succeed because they struggled with or even failed college courses in their late teens or early 20s. But the fact is that things change over time and so do habits. Adult students tend to be more focused because they have set goals in mind – a new career they want to explore, a promotion they want to obtain or just learning something new for personal growth. Adult learners often have spouses, jobs, and children at home, helping to keep them motivated to succeed in the classroom.

“I earned my degree online and I always share my experience with my students,” says Miranda Kober, academic success coach at Southwestern College. “I tell them that going to school online is great because you can take just one class at a time, instead of being stressed out over four or five classes. It makes a big difference.”

Technology has also come a long way over the years and there are many resources just a mouse click away that likely weren’t there when you were last in school. And when it comes to transferring in credits and assessing your transcript from previous colleges, don’t stress yourself out. Some colleges don’t transfer in F’s, helping to give students a little boost when they are heading back to school.

It will cost too much.

While the cost of going to college has likely risen a great deal since you were last enrolled, there are still some cost effective ways of finishing your degree to consider. One good thing about online degree programs is they can be less expensive. Not only are you able to save on the cost of transportation to and from a campus, but some online schools don’t charge as many fees for online programs as they do on ground. For example, schools may not charge online learners activities fees, shuttle fees, etc. because they are not utilizing a campus the way traditional students are.

And there are also scholarships and grants you can apply for. According to Edvisors, in the 2013-2014 academic year, about 3 million students who qualified for a Federal Pell Grant, did not file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unlike student loans, Federal Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. It’s free money being left on the table simply because students are simply not filling out the FAFSA. The financial aid department of the college you are looking to attend will assist you with filling out your FAFSA or you can find instructions online. It’s also wise to check their website or ask the admissions department about special scholarships offered through the college or other ones you might qualify for. Every little bit helps!

I don’t have the time.

Sure – about the last thing you want to do is take precious time away from your family and hit the books. However, investing in your education is one of the best investments you can make! Yes, it will be tough and stressful at times, but today’s online degree programs are designed with adults just like you in mind.

Online classes can be taken from the comfort of your own home, the local library, or nearby coffee shop. And you attend class when you have time – after work, after your kid’s soccer practice, or in the middle of the night when you just can’t sleep. Online degree programs are usually offered at an accelerated rate with courses being offered in five, six, or eight-week session. This allows you to have a more focused study schedule and complete the program at a faster rate. Many online degree programs can be completed in just over a year – compared to the four years it takes to complete an average bachelor’s degree in a traditional setting.

“If you manage your time effectively, the short length of the online classes is perfect to complete a degree quickly,” says Aaron H., Southwestern College graduate.

If you’re interested in exploring the many benefits of earning your degree online, contact the Southwestern College admissions staff today or explore degree options and highlights online.


You might also enjoy reading these articles:

5 Common Misconceptions about Online Learning
Top Reasons Why a College Degree is a Valuable Asset
Are Accelerated Online Courses Right for Me?

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