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Monday, 28 February 2022

What you need to consider if you want to go back to college

There are lots of benefits of going to college as an adult

There are many benefits to returning to college as an adult. Whether you're looking to change careers, get ahead in your current field, or simply learn for the sake of learning, pursuing a college course later in life can be incredibly rewarding.

Here are just a few reasons why going back to college is a great idea: 

  • You'll have more life experience under your belt, which can make you a better student
  • You may find that your new classmates are more understanding and willing to help
  • Some colleges (including CBC) offer online courses, so if need be, you won’t have to worry about attending classes
  • Finally, earning new qualifications in life can open up new doors.

Am I ready to go back to college?

Returning to college after taking a break can be daunting. You may feel like you're behind or that everyone else has more experience than you. But if you're ready to take on the challenge, there are ways to make sure you're prepared for it. At Central Bedfordshire College, we typically see three kinds of mature students at the college:

  • Career Changers -  for those who want a change of career, college courses are great for figuring out what you want to do while still earning at the same time
  • Go-Getters – for those who want to advance their career, part-time study is a great way to do this and in many cases, your employer may even fund your course

  • Education Enthusiasts – for those who love learning and want to explore a new subject, part-time courses are a great way to keep your mind sharp and open up opportunities you might not have otherwise.

If the above describes you, chances are you're ready for a new challenge.

How do I choose which course to study?

We all know that finding the right course for you is important. The wrong course can lead to procrastination, boredom and ultimately frustration. So how do you choose the right course? The truth is, there is no easy answer. It may be worth carrying out some research, signing up for one of our Open Events or speaking to our Careers team who are on hand to offer free impartial advice!

If you’re starting off your search, one way to tackle it is to firstly think about your interests and what you want to learn more about. You could also explore which courses generally appeal to you. Next, consider your skills and strengths. What courses would challenge and engage you? And finally, think about your goals and what you want to achieve. What courses will help you reach your goals? By thinking about these things, you can start narrowing down your options and find the right course for you.

How much will it cost and how will I afford it?

Returning to college after a few years or more can be both exciting and overwhelming. It's important to know what the cost of returning to college will be, so you can set realistic expectations and prepare for the expenses. There are several factors to consider when estimating the cost of going back to college including course fees, travel, and any additional expenses. All of our part-time courses list the associated fees; however, it's important to also consider additional costs such as transport or child-care. By doing your research in advance, you can make sure you're ready to make the jump. Thankfully, we have a team of qualified experts that are on hand to help. Simply get in touch with our Student Services team who can answer all of your funding questions.

Tips for succeeding in college once you've returned

Going back to college after taking a few years off may seem daunting, but it’s also one of the most exciting things you can do and with the right tools and advice, you can be successful. Here are a few tips to help make the transition easier. 

  • First, get organised. Make a plan for what you need to do each day and week to stay on top of your coursework. This includes setting deadlines for yourself and making a schedule that includes time for studying, homework, and relaxation. 
  • Second, get connected with other students. Join clubs or organisations, inside or outside of college that relate to the course you'll be studying.
  • Finally, remember our Student Services team is there for you. Our team is award-winning and can help you with everything from funding, to welfare and more – you just have to ask.

Returning to college as an adult has many benefits but also comes with many considerations. If you’re thinking about returning to college, our team is here to help. Contact us today to find out more about our courses and how we can assist you on your journey back into education.