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Five Things Parents Who Want to Go Back to School Should Know

Many parents, after having spent many years raising their children at home, are making the decision to return to college. When little ones are involved, it’s generally not as easy as simply enrolling in classes and heading off to campus. Before starting a program, parents should be aware of the following factors.

1. Residency Requirements

Online programs are generally popular for parents who are returning to school because they assume that all of the requirements will be completed online. However, some schools do require students to attend a certain number of classes or achieve a specific number of credits online. Therefore, parents must be aware of the rules before taking the plunge.
2. Internships
In addition to having to spend time on campus, individuals enrolled in many programs will be required to complete internships. They are not able to simply do all of the coursework from home, and they will have to take time away from their families, and their full-time jobs, to work at one of these internship opportunities. Before enrolling in classes, parents need to ask an academic adviser when exactly they will be expected to complete these internship opportunities and for how long they will last.

3. Financial Aid

When parents have spent a number of years in the workforce, they might have enough money saved up to fully fund their education. However, this is not always the case, as college is quite expensive. If they are taking out loans or receiving other financial aid, they should be aware of any stipulations governing the funds. For example, many parents opt to attend college part-time or drop to part-time when they realize a full-time workload is too much. When dropping away from full-time status, eligibility for financial aid usually decreases or is entirely eliminated (and you might even be out money), so they will have to find alternative ways of funding their education – it’s often hard for independents to get financial aid too.4. On-Campus Daycare
Another issue that parents face is the question of where to leave their children when they are attending classes! Fortunately for them, many campuses have on-site daycare centers. In between classes, parents can drop by to see how their little ones are doing, and children will make friends with other individuals in the community. Call to see if your institution offers daycare before enrolling, and make sure the daycare offers any discounts for either multiple children or for families who are affiliated with the university.5. Achieving Balance
Parents also need to have a plan for creating balance in their lives, as one of the factors could quickly take over leaving either the home life or educational life to suffer. It all comes down to two things – creating a schedule and sticking to it, and not taking on more than you can handle. Even if say, your degree takes longer to complete than you planned, achieving a balance within your life will ensure that you can survive it!