As a stay at home parent, going back to school can be an adjustment. Balancing work, home life, and college can be challenging at first, but by mastering your time management skills and staying motivated to achieve your academic ambitions, you can successfully pursue your degree while juggling your other responsibilities.
How to Pay for College
One of the first questions you may have about going back to school is how you will pay for college. Below is a list of several different options you have to help offset the cost of college and pave the way to your new future.
Financial Aid. If you are below a certain income threshold, financial aid may be available to you. Check with your college to assess the federal and state eligibility requirements. Colleges may also offer financial aid independent of the government, so make sure to inquire about any other types of aid available to you.
Scholarships. Many colleges have specific scholarships available to prospective students that are dependent on any number of factors. Contact the financial aid department to discuss available scholarships and to find out how to apply.
Grants. Federal grants may be available to help you go back to school. Visit the Federal Student Aid website to find out more about available grants and scholarships for prospective students.
Loans. For many college students, loans are the preferred way to pay for college. You can take out loans from a variety of institutions including private banks and the federal/state government to attend college.
Balancing School and Caring for Young Children
If you decide to go back to school as a stay at home parent, you may be wondering how to manage the responsibility of caring for young children and your schoolwork. The first step is finding a college that allows you to take classes that fit into your schedule. If you can find someone to care for your children during the day either through daycare or a babysitter, on campus classes may be a good option. If not, you can sign up for online classes that will allow you to complete coursework on a more flexible schedule. Once you've signed up for your classes, determine how much time you will need to spend on your schoolwork a day and carve that time out of your schedule.
Choosing the Best Degree Program and Finding Your Passion
When you go back to school, you may know what your major will be or you might go in with an open mind ready to explore several different paths. This is the time to make sure that your degree path aligns with your passion so that you can pursue a career that will be fulfilling and enjoyable. At the beginning of your college journey, it may not be important to know exactly which degree path you want to pursue, but as you take more classes, you will probably find an area that you are particularly interested in or that you have a special talent for which can help you make your decision.
Getting a Handle on Time Management
Perfecting your time management skills will be crucial at this point because you will need to ensure that you have allocated your time so that you can take care of your children, complete your coursework, and take some time for yourself. Make sure not to skip the last part because it is important to take some time to relax or do something for yourself so that you can avoid feeling stressed and overworked.
Going back to school can be a very rewarding experience. If you're ready to take the next step towards your academic future, fill out the form on this page to instantly connect with schools that fit your criteria and offer degree programs in your areas of interest.