How to Get Students Back in School
Going back to school is no easy feat. For students who have had to stop attending classes in the past, getting back into the classroom is a goal that is frequently barricaded by multiple hurdle, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Lucky for Comebackers, Elissa Nadworny from NPR has your back. Her latest article outlines six steps to get you started.
- First, Nadworny recommends examining your motivation. Knowing what your degree will mean to you and why you want it can help narrow down your search and give you something concrete to rely on to get you through when times get tough. Everyone has their own situation, so everyone will have their own reasons – find what works for you and own it.
- Nadworny’s next step is to begin looking into ways to cut costs. Though media loves to talk about how much college costs, there are also many ways to keep the numbers lower than advertised. First and foremost, students should make sure that they are filling out the FAFSA to ensure that they are eligible for federal aid available to them. Students should also investigate their university of choice to see what aid options are available.
- Next Nadworny says to make sure that students re-entering school have a support network established in their life. Students are adding on something new, not changing everything, and should make arrangements in their life accordingly. Call on the people in your life to assist you how and where they can. This is a group effort, and you are not alone in this journey. Also explore options like tutoring online to help where others can’t.
- Building on the support network note, Nadworny stresses the importance of picking the right school for your needs. Asking around to see what schools offer for students with lives similar to yours can let you know upfront what is available to you and what schools will stand behind you and support your success. Don’t feel like you have to take the first offer that comes your way – you deserve a school that fits your needs!
- Nadworny also recommends looking into programs or speaking to schools about getting credit for things you have already completed. Military service, past college courses, and job experience are all potentially redeemable for credit. Specifically, she recommends CLEP for those with past education experience and the Joint Services Transcript for those with a military past.
- Finally, Nadworny emphasizes positive self-talk. Not getting discouraged if you get a “no” or if someone tries to tell you that you aren’t cut out for college can make all the difference. Remember who you are doing this for and that you can do anything that you put your mind to. You’ve got this!