Thinking about going back to college? As a full-time working person, this can be difficult to imagine. When will you find the time to go to school? And if you can do it, will it be worth the trouble and expense?
Until recently, there may not have been an ideal solution. But now, thanks to a degree program designed for people who have been out of high school for four years — the fully online Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree program from West Virginia State University — it’s now much more viable.
The following sections illustrate how it can happen.
Dispelling the Myths
Advisers have heard it all, according to the Chicago Tribune. While schools are making it more convenient than ever for adults to return to college, many would-be students have a prepared list of roadblocks – some realistic, some not – that are holding them back.
Misconceptions about going back to college shouldn’t interfere with you achieving your goals. Here are some common myths about returning to college:
- You can age out of college. If being too old is a disadvantage, it hasn’t stopped older students from attending college. Forty percent of undergraduate students are 25 or older, according to the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, and 51 percent have independent status. Many advisers think that being older is an advantage. Age brings experience.
- It’s impossible to balance full-time work with earning a degree. WVSU’s RBA program allows you to receive college-equivalent credit for your work experience in certain cases.
- You have to spend hours on campus, away from family and friends. The RBA program is completely online. You won’t have to step foot on campus unless you choose to attend your graduation.
- A degree doesn’t equal more profitable work. A stronger education is your ticket to advancement opportunities or a career change. The statistics reveal the value of a college degree. “Americans with no more than a high school diploma have fallen so far behind college graduates in their economic lives that the earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record,” USA TODAY reported. “College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute. That was up from 51 percent in 1999 and is the largest such gap in EPI’s figures dating to 1973.”
Going Back to College and Making It Work
Fast Company offered some tips that can help make going back to college go as smoothly as possible.
- Work with your employer. Working full-time and attending school can create some serious demands on your time. Communicate with your company and supervisor about what you’re doing and how your plan can bring additional value to the organization. This can help you gain some flexibility.
- Combine work and school projects. Many students are eligible to integrate assignments with their job, which can benefit a company in a direct way. WVSU’s RBA program allows you to use work responsibilities as school assignments.
- Create a schedule. Control what you can. Make the best scheduling choices for the time you have to devote to school.
- Make time for yourself. Give yourself time to breathe and make time for family and friends. A regular brunch on a weekday morning can be a small time commitment that helps you decompress and enjoy time with loved ones.
It's Time to Head Back
Earn your RBA online so you can have the flexibility to work while you finish school.Learn More
Overcoming Concerns With Going Back to College
A report from Public Agenda and The Kresge Foundation examined some important questions and considerations about going back to college. Here are some of the findings, along with how it can all work with WVSU’s RBA program.
- Affordability: Prospective students are worried about the cost of their education. WVSU has one of the most affordable tuition rates in the state at $301 per credit hour. Financial aid is available as well.
- Work-Life Balance: Balancing school with the demands of work and family is another major concern for prospective students. The RBA program is designed for adults who work — so much so that work responsibilities can become school credits.
- Online Availability: Prospective students hope to take at least some classes online. The RBA program is 100 percent online.
- Unique Goals: Prospective students want to be sure that their education supports their specific goals. Students in the RBA program design their course of study to reflect what they want out of their education.
Ready to get started? Learn more about how the fully online Regents Bachelor of Arts from WVSU can help you go back to college and achieve your goals.