Making this important decision does not need to have you stay up all night trying to weigh all the options, all you need to do is plan and juggle the rigors that come with maintaining active coursework and a full-time job. To turn this dream into a reality, here are a few tips you need to have up your sleeve as you enroll in a degree program.
Get Credit for Your Work Experience
One of the best ways you can save yourself some money and time as you go back to school is by using your prior academic, professional and personal experiences. Depending on the institution you want to enroll in, you might be in a position to get up to 30 credit hours towards your chosen program.
One way to do this is by utilizing your academic portfolio. Create a document that indicates all your professional and personal experience that gives credence to the fact that you do have the necessary acumen to skip some coursework portions. Submit this portfolio to the college’s administrator or presiding professor.
You can also use your professional credentials and accolades, such as military training or a certified computer programmer (CCP) license, to cut down your coursework workload. You may also choose to sit down for challenge exams to prove that you do have expertise in certain areas of your degree.
Returning to school does come with some financial ramifications. However, finances should not cause you concern and consternation. Many accredited colleges have in place some form of payment plans or financial aids. Student loans and Federal Pell Grants are also available to students who meet the set criteria.
You can also approach your current employer for financial assistance. Today, tuition reimbursement is a popular trend in the private sector, so you should check with your organization and see if they have similar arrangements in place.
Transfer Previously Earned Credits
Transferring your previously college credits is usually at the behest of the receiving college. Some have time limits, while others will not place such limits on you, as long as you passed your previous course. Your academic major and university you would like to enroll in will have a major bearing on whether your credits are still good.
Most core courses required for majors, such as general science, Math, History and English do not need to be repeated. However, programs that have significantly changed over the years like Engineering, Computer Science and other similar disciplines, may require you to first upgrade your skill set.
Bringing together all that you have learned here, the main message should be clear, if you are willing to use your life experiences, seek out financial aid and transferring your previous credits, nothing should be in your way of getting your desired degree. The number of adults going back to school is rapidly increasing and universities are more willing to accommodate such requests. Share this information and it could help someone else as it does you.
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