1, 2, 3: Earn Your College Degree

Come on, you know you want one. In fact, at some point in your life, maybe when you were a junior or a senior in high school, you planned on getting one. Or maybe after you worked for a few years, you knew you’d need one to get ahead. But somehow, it didn’t happen for you. Life, in all its many forms, interfered. And now here you are, trying to compete in a global job market with newly minted college graduates, and you’re thinking about it again: how to finally earn your college degree.

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Good for you. You’re about to join the growing number of adult students now taking college courses on campuses or online. Statistics from the National Center for Education (2010) estimate that you and your age-mates make up 20% of America’s current college students. As such, you can expect your bachelor’s degree in any concentration to earn you about $20,000 more a year than someone who has only a high school diploma (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010).

But is increased income alone enough to make you go the distance and earn your college degree? Let’s face it, college is hard. Now that you’ve got a job and a family, it won’t be a walk in the park. But if you can keep three simple principles in mind as you contemplate acquiring the coveted title of “College graduate”, you’ll be able to avoid some of the more common pitfalls that often cause adult students to drop out of school.

Earn Your College Degree Tip #1: Keep your life in balance- If you put too much into your school work, your home life will suffer. While the work will be challenging, college will also introduce you to new people and new experiences, so take the time to enjoy it. It might help you to ask other adult students how they manage to keep it all together. Form a community of learners with those in your classes and include those who live in your household in your college experience. If opportunities arise, take your family and friends to campus so they can get involved as well. And remember that college is only a small part of your adult life (Carroll, 2007). You might miss a few social events and have to spend some weekends studying, but college will not last forever.

Earn Your College Degree Tip #2: Approach your academics realistically- If you were one of those students who breezed through high school, be prepared for a shock. Colleges have now embraced technologies that require students to use 21st century skills. The problem is that many adults returning to school still have study skills belonging to the past century. Get yourself a computer and an internet hook-up. Even if you are attending classes on campus, you’ll still need to write and research. If you’re not much of a typist, start practicing. Most adult programs focus very heavily on writing skills, so now is the time to brush up on verb tenses and buy a good, basic writing handbook. Be aware that most assignments in college will have a due date several weeks in advance. Manage your time accordingly so you can get the work done on time, but do not procrastinate.

Earn Your College Degree Tip #3: Look at the big picture- Yes, it’s tempting to take on overtime hours to pay for your son’s new braces, but taking on too much at your job will ultimately cost you time to work on your primary objective, the college degree. Before you register for your first class, be realistic about how many hours you can work full time and still put into college. It might be better to start with one or two classes instead of jumping into a full time schedule. See what funding options you have. Visit the web sites on financial aid for college and make an appointment with the financial adviser at your institution

Congratulations on taking this big step on a new journey by earning your college degree. Your life will change from this moment forward. And if you need a little help along the way, contact us here at 123TutorMeNow.com. We have certified tutors trained in adult learning theory who can help you earn your degree in just 1, 2, 3.

References:

Carroll, M. (2007). Problems of finding a balanced life while in college. Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/users/197048/show_articles.

Ellis, D. (2003). Becoming a Master Student (10th Ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.

National Center for Education Statistics (2010). Outcomes of education. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/ch_5.asp.

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