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Top 10 Tips to Make Your Return to College Count

Top 10 Tips to Make Your Return to College Count

As an adult returning to college or university after spending time in a career or as a parent, you’ve made an important and positive choice in your life’s path. Though whether you choose a local college to study for a bachelor’s degree, seek graduation with a master’s degree at a top university or join an online college for your associate’s degree, things will be a little different to your earlier student years. You will have more responsibilities to manage along with your degree studies. To help your transition and return to student life, here are ten practical snippets of advice to ensure success.

#1 Use a Desk for Success

Make a study space for yourself at home, with your own desk and places to keep your materials. If you are to make your college degree studies count, you need to keep your study time distinctly separated from the rest of your daily activity. This is easier to do if you have a defined area for study in your home.

#2 Sit Up-Front in Class

Unless you choose an online college for your degree, you will need to attend physical classes. However it will feel different to when you were there the first time around. Don’t let the fact that you are the oldest in class make you hide in the back rows. Sit up-front, where you will pay attention and absorb more knowledge.

#3 Study the Handbook

Be sure to obtain and read a copy of the college handbook. It’s important to understand the regulations and policies of the school you will be attending and they will all be laid out in the handbook. The handbook will also explain any services and support available to you as a returning student.

#4 Develop a Schedule for your Study Time

If you are juggling a job, childcare and home management with your studies, it would be a mistake to think you can squeeze your study time in as and when. You need to manage your time carefully. Set yourself a fixed daily schedule of study hours and stick to it.

#5 Drop Back in to Your Original College

If you dropped out of college the first time around, consider returning to the same establishment. Unless the college was the actual reason you dropped out, returning to the school you originally attended can smooth the admissions process. You may be able to return without the need to reapply.

#6 Know What Expenses to Expect

Before you enroll at an educational establishment, be sure to talk with the counselors and ask them to lay out the expenses you need to plan for. Put a budget together for your college funding needs and make sure you know where your college funding will come from. The last thing you need is a financial headache in the middle of your program.

#7 Treat Writing Assignments as a Professional Task

It’s easy to feel out of your depth the first time you’re presented with a 1,000 word essay to research and write. However, if you’ve had a career before returning to college, you will have a methodology for getting tasks completed on schedule. Simply apply the same methodology to your writing assignment. Break the task down into bite-sized chunks and then work through them, step-by-step.

#8 Involve Your Family

It’s important to sit down with your spouse and children before embarking on your new college program. You will need their support and they should be able to take over some of the family duties you normally perform. If you have a family meeting and talk things through, everyone can agree on delegated tasks to free as much of your time as possible for study.

#9 Take Advantage of a CLEP

As an adult returning to education, you have an edge over younger students – It’s called life experience. You may have skills from your career which can be counted towards credits. If you take CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests in your strong subjects, the school can validate that your skills are genuine.

#10 Choose a College that’s the Right Fit

Perhaps the most important factor in making your return to college count is the school that you attend. Choosing a college which is close to your home can help enormously when you are juggling education with other commitments. Perhaps an online college will be right for you, allowing you to do all your study at home. Some colleges offer facilities especially geared towards adult students. Try to work out what’s right for you and then find a school which meets your needs.

Why not start by searching the vast database of U.S. universities and other educational establishments at It’s a free and simple way to locate a school that fits your requirements.

Related Articles - Tips for a Successful First Year of College;  Three Tips for Online College Success; Be Realistic About Your College Experience

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