Considering the Rising Cost of College, Is It Worth Going Back to School?

For some seniors, college was a long time ago, and the last thing they’re thinking about is going back. The idea of continuing to learn is attractive; constantly changing industries can make going back to college a necessary move.

Regardless of age, college can improve your career options. It can also give you the opportunity to completely switch gears and go after a totally new career. Many graduates consider an advanced degree program, but there’s one big obstacle in the way. What’s in the Way? The biggest obstacle of going back to school is cost. Many returning students are looking to acquire an advanced degree, but costs are higher for advanced degrees. Returning students often rely on financial aid like federal student loans and other private options. The days of getting a job to put yourself through school are gone – in their place are things like student loans. Additionally, senior students have other pressing financial obligations such as health care, medications, mortgage payments, and more. The added cost of school can end up being too much. It Is Worth Making the Investment? For many, the $150,000 average cost of a graduate degree is outweighed by the higher salary and advancement opportunities over time. An advanced degree’s cost is only worth it if you have a clear path for how that degree will help you in your field. Going for a whole new field may end up offering you a lot of debt in return for limited direction in your new career. However, there are options for seniors to make college more affordable. There are scholarships for seniors going to grad school. They can be competitive, but they’re excellent for defraying costs. Your employer may be willing to pay for graduate school. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement or voucher programs. You could also check into specialized financial aid packages that include grants—but skip the student loans and other high-priced long-term financial aid. Conclusion Going back to school can end up costing a lot of money without a lot of return for senior students. If you can find the best balance of ways to help cover that cost without going into debt, however, then the sky’s the limit as to what you can do.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Andrew who is a Content Associate with LendEDU and may be reached at Andrew.rombach@lendedu.com.