5 questions to ask yourself before going back to school

Whether your career has grown stale, or you're searching for something that will pay better, here are five question to ask yourself before heading back to school.

5 questions to ask yourself before going back to school

You're ready to return to school after taking some time off. You know you want to reflect deeply on this life-altering decision before beginning so that your higher education is as rewarding as possible. Read on to learn five of the questions non-traditional students ask prior to enrolling in a college of university.

1. Why am I going back to school?

It may be to learn, to qualify for your dream job, to keep the job your already have, to finish something you started, or for your own personal achievement; however, it's important to have a clear idea why you want to take the plunge before doing so. A clear sense of why you're there helps fuel your motivation and provides you with a strong sense of direction.

2. Do I want to craft my own degree?

This can be a fun and rewarding path for self-directed and motivated types, such as those attracted to entrepreneurship or leadership. Universities that let you craft your own degree let you pick most of the classes and create a name for the program. You do self-track your progress, but mentors guide you along the way with personalized, thoughtful feedback.

3. Would I prefer to follow the standard bachelor of arts degree format?

For the most straightforward route, students enroll in a traditional college, declare a major, and get started on your general education requirements, or GURs (general university requirements).

4. Would a MOOC (massive open online course) be a better choice for me?

These courses are offered at accredited universities or respected organizations and you can attend them from anywhere that students have an Internet connection. Since the classes are free and are open to any number of students, it could be said that MOOC's democratize education. Some experts say they're a component of the way we will learn in the future. MOOC class creators are moving towards an accredited MOOC university that offers a diploma, so this may be the ideal education format for those who cannot afford traditional education.

5. What is my budget and can I take out loans?

This will of course effect your choice. If you're paying out of pocket, and your budget is not flexible, you may choose to take the low cost or free MOOCs. Tuition at different institutions varies greatly. If you're willing and able to take out loans, you can attend whichever college you want, just think critically about your ability to pay back the loans once you're done.

Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly. Keep in mind that this decision to work toward your higher education goals is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your adult life. Whatever your answers to these hard questions, you will know you made an informed, carefully thought-out choice.

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