Chalk drawing of graduate

Earning a college degree is a good thing at any age. It qualifies you for more and better jobs, gives you an edge over candidates without degrees and can be a little extra leverage when negotiating pay and benefits. These are all tangible, really good reasons for working adults to go back to school. But students and alumni tell us there are lots of other, more personal reasons for pursuing a degree later in life. See if any hit home for you.

1. Go back for you. 

Maybe you started a degree years ago but never quite finished, or maybe it’s just something that you’ve always wanted to pursue. Going back to school for self-motivated reasons – versus pressure from family or the job market – can be highly rewarding and fill you with a sense of great personal accomplishment.

2. Feel like you belong.

It feels good to be part of a group where everyone has similar goals and dreams. Even if you pursue your degree online, you’ll be in a structured program where you can interact with your instructor, talk to a counselor if you need to and communicate with fellow students.

3. Conquer the challenge.

There’s a lot of satisfaction in conquering a big challenge, and getting a college degree ranks near the top. Whether you want to prove something to the world or just to yourself, it’s well worth the ride.

4. Take a risk.

Let’s be honest. When you have a job, a family, a home and all the other obligations that come with life, it can be risky to take on one more commitment. But when you overcome that fear and go for your dreams, the rewards are even more satisfying.

5. Set a good example.

Every parent wants to make their kids proud, but you don’t have to be a mom or dad to influence someone’s life. Friends, siblings, nieces, nephews – they’ll all notice you taking the initiative to learn and grow. Someday they may follow your lead.

6. Think bigger.

It’s easy to stick with what’s familiar, but easy doesn’t get you very far. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to learn new things and consider other points of view can be life changing.

7. Gain confidence.

After you earn your college degree, you won’t need the certificate for people to know something’s different. Just knowing you set a goal, worked hard and succeeded will give your self-esteem a noticeable boost.


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