If you’re 24 and thinking of going to college then you might be wondering whether or not 24 is too old to start college.

This post will show you a number of reasons that 24 is not too old to start college as well as some things that you might want to consider.

So, is 24 too old to start college? Since you have a long working life ahead of you still it is likely that getting a college degree will be able to benefit you over the course of your life significantly. Also, 24 is still young, many students start college later than 24 and other students won’t likely care about your age.

There are actually a number of reasons that going to college at 24 is not too late and there are some things that you might want to consider.

You’ll have more opportunities

The main reason that going to college at 24 would be worthwhile is that you still have a long working life ahead of you.

There are currently, likely, many jobs that you do not currently qualify for since you do not have a degree. By getting a degree you will be able to qualify for these jobs and benefit from the better pay and conditions over a long time period.

Over a 40-year working life bachelors degree holders are expected to make 66% more than those without a bachelors degree. This means that getting a degree should help to improve your life considerably over the long run.

With that being said, something to consider is the fact that some degrees provide better opportunities than others. Degrees in the STEM field, for example, tend to lead to some of the best job prospects. However, there are also many other degrees that come with good job prospects. You can look at this website to see how well the degree, you are thinking of getting, pays.

You’ll have a stronger sense of purpose

It is not uncommon for college students to change their major multiple times when they are in college. This can cause them to have to take longer in college than is normal and to have to pay more because of it.

Since you will have some more experience now you’ll likely be able to choose your major much more easily and stick with it. This should help you to get through college a lot more quickly and it will help you to plan the sequence of classes that you will take a lot more easily.

It will also be more likely that you will understand why you want to get the degree and the value that it will bring to you. This should help you to motivate yourself to study and to study more efficiently which should help you to do better academically.

24 Is still very young

Another reason that 24 is not too old to go to college is that you won’t be much older than even the youngest college students.

In 2018, a projected 12.3 million college and university students will be under age 25 and 7.6 million students will be 25 years old and over.


The youngest college students will be 18 years old and most of them will actually be older than that. Being 6 years older than the youngest college students is not a lot. So, if you are worried about looking out of place then there really is no reason to be.

You’ll be able to appreciate the classes more

Another reason that you might actually have a slight advantage over the other students is that you will likely be able to appreciate the value of the classes more.

It is not uncommon for students to struggle to motivate themselves to study because they don’t know why the classes matter or they think the classes are unimportant. You should be to see the relevance of the classes slightly better which should help you in doing better academically.

Many students will be the same age as you

Many people choose not to go to college straight out of high school and instead choose to work for a few years first. This means that there will, likely, be many other students there that are of around the same age as you even in your freshman year.

Another thing to consider is that the students that went straight to college that are in their senior year now will be 22-23 years old now. So, there will be a lot of students on campus of a similar age as you.

There will be many students that are older than you

It is also not uncommon for people that are in their 40’s and 50’s to start or go back to college. This means that you will likely see a lot of students, in your classes, that are noticeably older than you are. If it is possible for these students to benefit from college at an older age than you then being 24 really shouldn’t be an issue.

The other students won’t be able to tell your age

Many people are bad at judging other peoples ages and the other students won’t likely be able to tell how old you really are. In addition to this, college is a place where people are supposed to go to learn things. This means that it is unlikely that you will be judged for being slightly older than other students.

Things to consider

While it is ok to go to college at 24 there are some things that you might want to consider.

Community college

Many older students choose to go to community college and then to transfer to a 4-year university after. This is because community colleges tend to be a lot cheaper than 4-year universities so it saves them some money. If you live near a community college then you should consider how well their classes would transfer over to the major that you want to pursue.

The college

Another thing to consider is that the culture of a college can vary a lot depending on a number of factors.

The age, location, size, acceptance rate, size of student body and type of college can all have an impact on its culture. It would be worthwhile for you to consider why it is that you want to get a degree and how well the college you’re thinking of going to fits with what you want.

The reason that you want a degree

Another thing to think about is that it might not be necessary for you to get a degree.

Many of the positions that require a degree will often consider candidates that have a lot of relevant experience. If you have been working in your field for a number of years then you might actually qualify for these positions.

This means that it might be worthwhile for you to try interviewing at places that you would like to work to see if you actually already qualify.

The major

As mentioned earlier the major that you choose can have a large impact on the opportunities that you will get after college.

Generally, STEM majors typically have strong job prospects especially those that deal with a lot of data such as statistics. Computer science is also one that typically gives good job opportunities upon graduating.

With that being said, there are many degrees outside of STEM that also give good job prospects. You can look at this website to get stats on the major that you are considering.

The time that you have

Another thing to consider is how much spare time that you’ll have to go to college. While some people have been able to get college degrees while also working full time, it is not an easy thing to do.

If you are thinking of going to college while also working then it would be worthwhile for you to take measures to ensure that your experience goes as smoothly as possible such as:

  • Taking slightly fewer classes per semester than usual.
  • Planning your entire degree out early on so that you are able to identify any potential problem areas and to spread out the more difficult classes.
  • Use ratemyprofessors.com to get the most highly rated professors. Make sure to schedule classes early since the classes taught by the better professors will fill up fast.
  • Ensure that you study throughout the semester so that you don’t need to cram the information in at the last minute.
  • Planning out the semester so that you can plan your work schedule more easily.

I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.