What Every Mother Should Know Before Returning to College
The age demographic of students pursuing college education is set to change as older people enroll for college courses in greater numbers than their younger counterparts. This is according to The National Center for Education Statistics (NEC) which, in a recent study, projected a 23% rise in enrollments of students above the age of 25, compared to 9% of those below 25. It cited the need to get better paying jobs as the main reason for this shift in student demographics.
However, older students, who also happen to be parents, face more hardships than the younger generation. One group in particular faces the greatest challenge when it comes to pursuing higher education: moms. Besides their studies, mom’s also have the needs of their families to worry about. While financial aid packages might be difficult to find for an older student there are a lot of student loan potentials out there, but the financial burden will still be tough. This makes their time in school a juggling act and, therefore, that much harder. Below is a list of what every mom should consider before enrolling for a college course.
Time Management is Key
As a student, a mother has more responsibilities but less time to handle them. Enrolling for, say, a masters in criminal justice from an institution such as Boston University might seem easy, but without efficient time management, a mom is likely to find herself lagging behind in class.
Get Help with Child Care
A challenge every studying mother struggles with is who to leave her children with while she is in school. According to Sherill Mosse of Family Care Solutions Inc, academic institutions should offer daycare services for studying mothers whenever possible. This goes a long way in helping these students complete their education. She further added that those institutions unable to do so should at least help their students find such services off-campus.
Ask for Help When Overwhelmed
Moms should ask for help whenever they feel swamped by their studies or duties at home. Rebecca Hall adds that help from family can make a huge difference especially during the exam period. On the academics side, Rita Toliver-Roberts of Peirce College has some advice. For one, mothers should seek the help of an academic advisor to determine whether they can opt out of some courses. They should also apply for scholarships, loans and grants meant for studying moms.
Quit Being Supermom
Rita insists that most mothers push themselves too hard which leaves them burned-out or discouraged. She claims that setting realistic short-term goals is the way to go whenever stress starts building up. Mosse concurs with Rita on this issue and adds that in addition to short-term goals, moms should take a breather every once in a while. They should also keep the bigger picture in mind, in this case graduation, and work towards it.
Whether it’s a masters in criminal justice, or an online MBA, mothers determined to pursue an online education should not hesitate just because they have children at home. So long as they manage their time well, find quality childcare services, ask for help when overwhelmed, and be realistic about how much they can handle, they will be fine.