Never Say Never, she finally graduated at age 93!
Have you ever heard someone comment, “never say never,” or, maybe, have used this phrase yourself? We never know what circumstances in life may come our way that will change our plans drastically, for the better or for, the worse.
It seems that every few months, we see a heart-warming story about an amazing individual who has overcome all odds to achieve a life-long dream of some sort.
Reading about a senior student who has completed a college education in their elder years is inspiring. But, what if they had said, “Never” when asked if they could achieve their educational dreams?
Why Are Seniors Choosing to Go to College Now?
One of the most rapidly growing groups of nontraditional college students in the United States today is those aged 50 or over. Many senior men and women from all walks of life are choosing to attend college for various reasons.
Some need a degree or other academic credentialing to go any further in their chosen career. Others are interested in changing career paths altogether.
Still another group of senior students are returning to school to learn about a topic of interest that has nothing to do with their careers.
What Are Their Options?
First, they must decide what type of degree (or other credentialing) they wish to obtain. Secondly, they need to determine if an online college or a brick and mortar classroom works best for them.
There are several articles on this and other sites to help with that decision making process. However, many potential students are not familiar with online colleges Therefore, we will provide a brief commentary on that topic at this time.
Online Degrees Are More Viable Options Than You May Think
You may be surprised at how many seniors are turning to online colleges and universities instead of attending campus-based classes. Online degrees are cost-effective, affordable alternatives to attending a traditional college or university.
They also allow the student to choose the time and place to attend classes. This makes it easier for working students to keep their jobs.
Those with family responsibilities (children, grandchildren or, even very elderly parents) find this a particularly significant benefit.
For all but the luckiest among us, financing a college education is always a concern. The cost of tuition and associated fees will vary between universities.
However, online colleges are usually not as costly as a traditional college or university. Online students do not utilize campus resources, such as recreational activities and classrooms.
So, universities saving on such expenses typically pass along the savings to their online students.
Don’t forget about the additional costs of transportation and parking fees. There is also the time spent traveling to and from class. Housing and meals also add up to a hefty bundle of cash over the time it takes to earn a degree.
Other Benefits to Earning Your Degree Online:
- Students can earn the same degree as do on-campus students.
- They can enjoy learning from professors at the best-known colleges and receive a world-class education without leaving home.
- Often, students can save both money and time by completing their degree sooner online than by attending class on campus.
- Additional benefits to choosing an online college over a traditional, on-campus college are avoiding heavy traffic, bad weather, and parking challenges.
Regardless of the reasons why you choose to return to school, do not take too long to debate the issue.
Have you ever heard anyone talk about “analysis paralysis”? It means that someone takes so long to analyze a situation that they never take action.
They end up never achieving their goals because they allowed themselves to become, in effect, paralyzed. They are frozen in place and never move forward.
The concern over paralysis analysis does not mean that you should not research the available programs to decide which is best for you. It just means that if you are likely to have less time in your future than you do in your past, you can’t take too long to make a decision.
How Do Students Locate An Online Degree-Granting School?
As a senior student, you have a degree of maturity that can help you decide on the right program for you. There are many opportunities with several excellent benefits for those who move forward.
Take advantage of the many online colleges and universities and their varying degrees. Many states have programs designed to help senior students in their quest for a college degree.
The fastest and easiest way to identify these programs is to do an online search for them.
An organized online search will permit you to make a visual comparison between many different private and public online colleges. It is easy to make a spreadsheet on which you can list as many variables as you need to make the best decision.
Each of the colleges/universities will have a website that shares all the vital information you will need to make a decision.
Never, say never.
One never knows when their circumstances will change for the better or for the worse. It could be our health, financial, or personal factors that change each year.
But, nothing stays the same forever. The only real constant is that we are older each year that passes.
We cannot alter that fact, but we can change what we do with the time we have left. Our age alone should not be the determining factor when deciding how to live our lives.
Never say never when it comes to returning to school to get a degree or to pursue a lifelong held dream.
Looking to the Future
Attending online college courses is a wonderful way to keep mentally active. You can also meet new friends or instill new life into an old career.
It gives you the option of taking an entirely new career path. Many people today have several careers over their lifetime
The opportunity to share your current knowledge and earned wisdom with other learners is of immense value. It is very gratifying to help the younger students in your classes.
While this benefit is not often mentioned, I can personally speak for its value. I returned to school myself after having five children.
So did my husband. Our kids are very proud of us and value education more because of it.
Regardless of why you want to return to school, do not allow your age to prevent you from taking the next step. This time next year, you will be one year older.
You will either be more educated and closer to achieving your educational goals or not. One of these factors you can change and one you cannot.
Only you can change your life.
Now may be the time for a re-evaluation of your goals and your current situation. Is it the right time for you to pursue a college degree? Is an online college degree the best choice for you? The clock is ticking.
If you are interested in learning more about the pros and cons of an online degree, check out this article.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay