You’re A Returning Adult Student: Benefits & MORE

Returning Adult Student

Not every high schooler attends college immediately after graduating, which is an excellent choice for anyone and everyone to make.

Over the years, many schools and academies have always been receptive to older and adult students. So, whether you’ve decided to make a change in your career, you’ll find many places that might help you get that extra credit.

What is a returning adult student? An adult learner, or in other words, a mature student, is a person involved in the continuous pursuit of knowledge and learning. These terms are most applicable to people who go back to school to finish a degree or earn a new one.

This article aims to introduce who adult students are and discuss various things and benefits of becoming an adult student.

Who Are Returning Adult Students?

Over the years, various trends have changed the way students approach their education and how universities provide the college experience.

Adult students are more commonly known as non-traditional students when it comes to higher education. These types of learners contrast regular students because they are usually much more mature, do not attend school full time, and have familial obligations outside the academy.

One significant trend on the rise now is the influx of adult and mature students returning to school to finish their degrees or earn their degrees for the first time.

Adult or mature learners are very different from their regular and younger counterparts because they tend to focus on their goals. These may be because they wanted to advance in their respective careers or drive to learn new things inside an institution.

Furthermore, adult students also face a unique set of challenges when they re-enter or enter college. Firstly, while it is true that they have better management skills, they also tend to face greater demands of responsibility, especially when it comes to their careers and families.

Second, most adult learners have not been inside a classroom for a very long period.

Because of this, they may need to take more time to adjust and adapt to the routine of being a student who attends college. Finally, most adult students may have difficulty incorporating the technology many universities use to augment their learning experiences.

Things To Consider Before Enrolling As An Adult Student

Statistics show that adult learners currently account for 40% of postsecondary students. Typically, returning students have experienced postsecondary education and have gone back to school to continue this pursuit. Adult students, on the other hand, are anyone who is over 25 years old.

Adult students can also be returning students since the two are not mutually exclusive terms. Adult and returning students are usually referred to as “nontraditional” students since they are not your typical, fresh outta high school learners. Truthfully, this designation does not actually hold any bearing in the educational environment.

Benefits Of Returning To School

Going to college as an adult isn’t very different from going right after you graduate high school. What makes it different is that you have more life experience and responsibilities under your belt.

No matter the age, every student gains access to unique opportunities while in college, like attending theaters, special lectures, and many other perks.

Of course, there may be fewer extracurricular activities available to you if you opted for online education, but you get the idea. Schools exist to help you learn more about a given subject and help you grow as an individual by exposing you to different people.

As a returning or adult student, it may get nerve-wracking but rest assured that you’re pretty much already equipped.

These are the things you’ll need most in class: management skills, independence, patience, and attention to detail. All you should do is pick a program you want to learn from and start your college experience.

1.   You Can Study On Your Time

Adults lead busy lives. They have responsibilities to their careers, families, and sometimes even traveling. Be that as it may, it should impede anyone who wants to get an education, and fortunately, it often doesn’t.

There are many options and methods you can take to be able to earn your degree without having to compromise your responsibilities. You can opt to take classes completely online and finish your coursework from the comfort of your home.

You can take morning or even evening classes and be a part-time student. Also, you have the option of just taking classes in the summer.

This is to say that just because you have a life outside the university does not mean you should not further your education to improve your chances of growing your career.

Many schools allow you to sort and choose your schedule so that nothing will conflict with your time out of the university.

These schedules may seem a bit bizarre, but the important thing is that this lets you have the peace of not having to sacrifice any of your obligations and responsibilities.

2.   You Can Change Your Field

Returning to school isn’t exactly something you would do on a whim. It takes a great amount of focus and commitment to finish and gets a degree, not to mention your time and resources.

Make sure to rethink your goals and be certain you’re going back to school for the right reasons. Finishing your studies in a certain field is an amazing way to propel your credentials, further opening you up to more and more opportunities.

If your work life is feeling a little bleak, returning to school and getting yourself more options is a great way to revitalize your passion and fuel your inspiration.

People normally spend more than 40 hours at work each week, so having something you actually like to do can help you along the way.

This will improve not only your productivity but your quality of life as well. No one really benefits if you dread going to work after all.

3.   You Can Make More Money

In the current socio-economic climate, a direct correlation between education level and salaries exists. It is because people who have had more education tend to receive higher salaries.

It makes sense because the jobs you can work as a high school student vastly differ from the jobs you are qualified for when you have a degree.

Having said that, returning to school is one of the best ways for you to increase your income through opportunities to learn a new field or excel in the career you already have.

The salaries granted between these two accomplishments reflect the amount of training required to hold these opportunities.

Other Things To Consider Before Returning To School

Everyone in college has different situations with their work, their families, and even their financial statuses. It means that no one else but you can decide on going back to school.

You may need to consult this with your family if you have one, but ultimately, you will still have the final say for yourself.

Balancing Your Obligations

As an adult student, you should expect to have more on your plate than the average 18-year-old. Of course, you have responsibilities to your job and your family, requiring much time and attention.

While considering going back to school, keep in mind that you will have to balance your coursework with your time at work and your time with your family if you have one. Especially if you do not want to sacrifice one for the other.

The key here will be finding harmony between the commitments you made and will be making. Since the time you have for work is the most rigid of the three, it will be good to establish your schooling around that time frame.

Note that there will be less time for you to run your errands as well.

Suppose you have children to take care of. Figure out how to take care of them all while juggling your academic endeavors. Some schools offer child care services to parents who are also students, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Managing Your Time

Make sure to plan out your schedule even before going back to school. Consider whether you are enrolling as a part-time or full-time student.

Will you be retaking your previous classes? How many units will you need to take for you to finish your degree? Make a timeline and plan out your steps to determine how many years it would take for you to graduate.

Consider how much time for your family and work you are willing to sacrifice for this endeavor. If being a full-time student is much too strenuous for your schedule, there is no problem in prolonging the length of your program for you to be still able to meet your requirements comfortably.


Being a student in college is tough. It is even tougher when you have to juggle your family and your career on top of being a student.

One could argue that the effort of retaking a degree is going to be worth it, and it might just be. Going back to college can yield you a better future and open up so many opportunities for you and your career after all.

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