If you’re 32 and thinking of starting college then you might be wondering if 32 is too old to start college.

This post will show you a number of reasons that 32 is not too old for college as well as some things that you might want to consider.

So, is 32 too old to start college? It will likely open you up to new opportunities, people have gone to college much older than 32 and you will likely have a strong reason for wanting to go. All of these factors mean that 32 is not too old to start college.

There are actually a number of reasons that 32 is not too old to start college but there are some things to consider.

It will give you new opportunities

The main reason that 32 is not too old to start college is that it will provide you with a number of new opportunities.

Currently, there might be jobs that you don’t qualify for due to not having a college degree. By getting one you should be able to qualify for them. It might even be easier for you to get these jobs compared to other people if you already have some experience in the field.

In addition, over a 40-year working life bachelors degree holders are expected to make 66% more than those without a bachelors degree. Seeing as you still have a reasonably long working life ahead of you it is likely that quality of life will improve after getting the degree.

With that being said, something to consider is that different degrees provide different job prospects. When deciding on your major it is important to research the job prospects that it will provide. You can look at this website to see how well each of the different majors pay.

You will have a stronger sense of purpose

One way that you might actually have an advantage over the other students is that you will have a stronger reason for being there.

Many college students will go straight into college without really thinking about why they are doing it. This can cause it to be difficult for them to study and to make the most out of college. Since you will know why you want to be there it should help you to study more easily and to enjoy your time more as a student.

Another thing to consider is that students will often change their majors multiple times when they are in college. While this is ok to do, it can cause some difficulties with class sequencing. Since you will have had more experience, it will likely be easier for you to decide on your major. This could help you to have a smoother college experience and possibly to finish sooner.

There will likely be other students around your age

It is not uncommon for people to go to college when they are in their 30’s. Some of them never got a degree and decide that they want one and some do it because they want a career change. With that being the case, it is likely that there will be some students in your classes that are a similar age as you.

Another thing to consider is that it is not uncommon for graduate students to work for a few years before starting grad school. So, it is also likely that there will be a lot of grad students, around the campus, that are not much younger than you are.

You’ll be able to appreciate the classes more

Another way that you might actually have an advantage over the other students is that you will be able to see the value in the classes more easily.

Many students will struggle to motivate themselves to study when they don’t see the value of the class. Since you will have had more experience you’ll likely be able to understand why the classes are important more easily. This should help you to do better academically.

People are bad at judging how old people are

Another thing to consider is that people tend to be bad at judging how old people are. It is likely that the other students won’t be able to tell how old you really are. It is also the case that college is a place where people are supposed to go to learn. So, it is unlikely that they will really care about your age anyway.

Things to consider

While there is nothing wrong with going to college at the age of 32 there are some things that you might want to consider.

The major

The major that you choose will have a big impact on the opportunities that you will have upon graduating.

While it is important to study something that interests you, it is also important to study a major that will put you in a good position upon graduating.

This means that before choosing your degree it would be best to research the job prospects that it comes with and how well it pays. You can use this website to see how well each of the different degrees pay.

The college

The culture of the college can vary depending on a number of factors. The age, location, size of student body, acceptance rate and type of college can all have an impact on its culture.

Before you enroll in a college it would help to consider what you want, how well the college is known in your degree field and how well its culture fits with what you want.

Community college

Something that many older students do is enrol in a community college for two years and then transfer to a 4-year university after. Doing this can help to save some money since community colleges tend to be cheaper. You’ll also likely find that your classmates will be slightly older on average.

However, if you do decide to go to community college first, make sure that the classes transfer well into the major that you want to take at the university. Otherwise, you might find that you took the community college classes for nothing.

The amount of time you will have

Another thing to think about is the amount of time that you will have spare that you can devote to studying.

If you expect to be working while going to college it will be important for you to take measures to ensure that you maximize your efficiency and make things easier for yourself.

Things that you can do include:

  • 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.

The SAT or GRE

The SAT and GRE will expire after 5 years so it will likely be necessary for you to take them again. Make sure to take them sooner rather than later so that you can retake them if needed and so that you get them done in time for the college deadlines.

Alternative options

Another thing to consider is that it might not be necessary for you to go to college.

Many of the positions that require a degree will still consider candidates without one. If you have already been working in the field for a number of years you might already qualify for the jobs that you want. Before going to college you might want to try interviewing at some of these positions to see if you already qualify.


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.