Getting the Back to School Bug? Flexibility and Affordability Are Yours for the Taking - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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September 20, 2017

Getting the Back to School Bug? Flexibility and Affordability Are Yours for the Taking

Flexibility and affordability: two of the strongest and most common values for any adult. Even if you don’t have a growing family or a rotation of jobs that keep you busy at all hours of the day, you’re doubtless very busy and don’t have a lot of extra time in your schedule. Going back to school, can sometimes feel like a non-starter.

Resist that mindset. The digital age offers more educational options than ever before to aspiring students of all ages. If you want to expand your career opportunities and knowledge base, you absolutely can. If you have a dream that requires an education, you can achieve it.

Barriers to Education Reentry

As they always have, barriers to education still exist. Affordability is one such barrier. Even if you’re financially stable, the amount of student loan debt with which you may leave college can seem overwhelming. According to Student Loan Hero, the average 2016 graduate has an average debt load of $37,172. Before you dismiss school as an option, though, keep in mind that a bachelor’s or master’s degree can significantly increase your salary potential in any field, making a degree more affordable than you think. And scholarships can make a significant change in the price you end up paying.

Another barrier commonly cited is flexibility. If you live in a low-population area without easy access to a physical campus, have a day job or family responsibilities, or travel a lot for work or pleasure, being on-location may not be possible or appealing to you. Luckily, you no longer need to commit to a campus environment in order to earn a degree.

The Range of Educational Models Available Today

Thirty years ago, if you wanted to increase your educational acumen, you either had to get yourself to a campus, or you needed to find a distance learning program and sign up for mail-order courses. Today, your options are significantly expanded, with fully online programs and blended models that take place both on campus and over the internet.

This likely accounts for the significant increases we’re seeing in students returning to school later in life. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there were 11.8 million college and university students under age 25 and 8.1 million students 25 years old and over. That’s a huge increase of students over typical college age, which for decades hovered between 18 and 24 almost exclusively. Not only is the ratio increasing, but the numbers of students attending college are increasing overall, says NCES: “younger and older students increased between 2000 and 2015.”

If you want to head back to school, whether online or campus, there are programs available. However, many adults find that a blended model works best for them.

The Upside of Blended Learning

Blended learning takes many forms, but its major selling point is the same across the board: Instead of heading to campus for each and every class and exam, you can instead complete courses from wherever you like with a huge degree of flexibility when it comes to listening to lectures, engaging with professors and turning in work.

Some programs enable students to work online all day and attend school once a week. Others allow you to attend class and submit assignments online, then travel to campus for a month in the summer. The program you choose will depend on what works for your schedule and lifestyle, as well as what’s available at your schools of choice.

Taking the Next Steps

If you’d like to learn more about achieving your goals with a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we are happy to help you explore a plan that complements your work and family life. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your career objectives, please give us a call at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.