adults-in-school Are you considering going back to school as an adult? A growing number of adults decide to go back to school in order to get a degree to propel themselves towards a more financially rewarding career. However, going back to school is not as easy as it appears, and neither does it directly correlate to a higher income. Read on to see what factors you should take into consideration as you make your decision.

Psychological Effects
Adults going back to school need to keep their capabilities in mind. Avoid overloading yourself with schoolwork, housework, and your job. You definitely will feel overwhelmed and stressed at the beginning, but with time you will gradually adjust to your more “happening” life.

Be sure to reward yourself for small successes every once in a while to keep yourself going. Don’t look at your whole “back to school” venture as a huge hurdle that needs to be overcome. Instead, while keeping your mind focused on the goal (your diploma!), tackle small hurdles like assignments and projects; consider them to be small successes as well. Keep yourself in check; it’ll be impossible for you to fail.

And perhaps you’re a little worried that you’ll be the oldest one in a class of youngsters. Just concentrate on your studies and you’ll be fine.

Time Management
Remember when you went to school as a teenager? School was pretty much your whole life. Attending school during the day, writing papers and studying in the evenings and perhaps some family time after that. But now as an adult, your time needs to be effectively divided between school, family, and your job, at the very least.

Consider if going back to school is worth the impact on your relationships. If you have children, they will inevitably need to adjust, especially if you are going “back on campus” and working part-time. While you’re in school, your child may need to be put in day care as well; be sure to take account of all costs involved. Think about taking online classes if it will be better for your relationships by allowing you more time at home.

When you take an extra responsibility upon yourself, it’s essential that you plan your day effectively. When you add “school” into your schedule, some other areas of your life will have to be cut down. Consider the advantages and disadvantages, and make your “back-to-school” decision wisely.

Financial Considerations
Schooling costs money. That money has to come from somewhere. To make calculations easier for yourself, come up with a budget that encompasses “expenses” versus “income”. Consider how much of your savings you will spend to make ends meet, and if your savings are even enough in the first place. Are your savings and a part time job enough to support yourself, your education, and your family as well?
If you are going back to school to get a degree that will boost your career and paycheck, make sure that your investment makes sense. Consider the cost of your education and your subsequent debt in relation to your potential salary after you obtain your degree. If you end up with a positive yield that’s worth the trouble you went through, great! If not, reconsider.

Returning to school can help your career and open up new doors for yourself and your family. But make sure you’re ready for the commitment first. Put significant thought into your decision to return to school. Look through the costs, advantages versus disadvantages, and make sure you discuss your position with your family. Take it a little at a time, and you will definitely succeed. Go for it!

Connie Davis is a contributing author for NerdWallet, a personal finance website where you can find advice on a range of topics from managing credit debt to where to find coupon websites.

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