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Back to School - All You Need to Know

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

How to Prepare for Going Back to School as an Adult

Sonya Krakoff

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Making the decision to enroll in a degree program can be intimidating for many adults. Oftentimes, adults are interested in pursuing their education - whether it's to finish a bachelor's degree after years in the workforce, or to advance through a graduate program - but find themselves overwhelmed by the logistics and challenges of doing so, especially after so much time away. However, overcoming these challenges is possible with some planning and smart decision making, and any adult looking to return to school can find a way to make it work. If you're thinking about going back to college as an adult, here are some of the top tips you should keep in mind.

Determine Your Goals

The first thing you need to do in preparing to go back to school - before you even begin looking at programs or institutions - is to determine what your goals are. Are you looking to change careers, or advance in your current field? Do you want to strengthen your candidacy for an upcoming job search, or are you hoping to be promoted within your current company? Are you pursuing your education for career reasons, or is it based on personal fulfillment?

Once you've figured out what you hope to get out of your education, you should then think carefully about the kind of program you'd like to enroll in. Are you simply looking to take a few classes to brush up on the latest developments in your industry? Do you want a certificate that will build upon your existing knowledge in your field? Are you looking to finish your bachelor's degree, or pursue a second one? Or are you looking to take your career to the next level with a master's degree?

Really take the time to envision your future, and then pursue programs that will help you get there. And remember: you might not have all the answers right away, and the decision you make doesn't need to be set in stone. Students often find that once they have a conversation with an admissions representative at their institution of choice, their goals shift - and that's fine! It's just important that you set out with a sense of where you want to go, as this will give you something to work from (and work towards) from day one.

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