Returning to College – Yes

Returning to College

Do older students get more out of their college education? To this question, one must respond in the affirmative.  

Older students tend to get more out of their college education, simply because they are much more likely to apply themselves academically and to take their education seriously. (This is not stating that some younger students do not do the same, as there are many who are very serious about their college education.)  

Older students often have a better idea of what they want to achieve academically. They know how to pursue the new goals that they have established. They may realize that if they had taken their earlier education more seriously, they probably could have done better.

Looking back in retrospect, never corrects the problem. There are no roads backwards. They can only move forward in life and this is what older college students invariably seek to do. They choose to go onward and upward, while younger students know that their education is compulsory. Thus, their basic motivation is different.  

Older students often seek the opportunity to complete things that they started earlier in life. Maybe they dropped out of high school, college or university, against their will and welcome the opportunity to continue their education on a college level.   

Older students may be more financially secure, as well. Having been out in the work force and with relatively good job security, older students often find that they have enough money to pursue the new direction that they wish to take.

It is not always easy for older people to return to school, on any level, simply because it can present an upheaval in their lives. Many of them do not see any need to return to higher education, while others dream of being able to accomplish something that they always wanted to be able to do.  

Kudos to the older college students, motivated to continue their education!

Perhaps they have already raised their children and have grandchildren. This can be an incentive for them to return to college.

Older students often take one or two courses at a time, instead of having a full course load. This allows the older students to pursue the courses they take in more depth, perhaps even on a higher interest level. Older students who do this, are much more likely to take their courses seriously.

Another reason why older students return to college, has do with job descriptions, employment advancement or the need to change jobs. Employment opportunities invariably change, over the years.

What was available in terms of employment in their earlier lives, may no longer be appropriate. In order to stay employed, the older employees may have to upgrade their education and skills, or take more advanced studies. Many jobs require a minimum of college level education. Some employers may be willing to pay for higher education for their employees. This is also a strong motivational factor. 

Younger college students have their own reasons for doing what they are doing academically, but the older students often have a higher degree of interest and motivation. Yes, there are many different reasons why older students get more out of their college education than younger students.