If you are 40 and thinking of going back to college then you might be wondering if 40 is too late to go back to college.
In this post, I will show you a number of reasons that 40 is not too late to start college and some things that you might want to consider.
So, is 40 too late to start college? Many people have successfully gone back to college, in their 40’s, in the past, it will likely be a rewarding experience for you and it could provide you with new opportunities. Each of these factors means that it is not too late to start college at 40.
There are actually a number of reasons that 40 is not too late to start college but there are some things that you might want to consider.
It will provide you with new opportunities
One of the main reasons that 40 is not too late to start college is that it could open up new opportunities for you.
Currently, there will be a number of jobs that you don’t qualify for due to not having a degree in that field. If you are looking to enter that field then getting a degree will help you in doing it. This should help you to earn more and to have a more fulfilling working life.
In fact, it is not uncommon for people in their 40’s to go back to college due to wanting a career change. So, you will likely find that there will be some other people, around the campus, that are in a similar position as you are.
With that being said, if you are looking to stay within your current field then it might be the case that the experience you have will be enough to get those jobs. So, you might want to consider interviewing at some of the positions you want to see if you can already get in.
People won’t care about your age
If you are concerned that the other students will be judging you for being older or you are worried about looking out of place then don’t be. Many older students have gone back to college in the past and college is a place where people go to learn so it is unlikely that they will care about your age.
Many people have gone to college at your age in the past
As mentioned already, there have been many other people that have decided that they wanted to go back to college in their 40’s. Some of them do it for a career change while others do it because they want to get the degree for fulfillment.
This means that you will not be the first person going back to college in your 40’s and depending on the major you might find that your classmates will be as old as you as well. When I was in my junior and senior years as a math major I found that most of my classes had one or two students above the age of 40 and a lot in their thirties.
Your experience will likely be more rewarding
Getting a degree is not easy. It requires four years of consistent work and it can be especially challenging if you also have to look after family members and/or work as well. This means that going to college at 40 is not too old is that it will likely be a very rewarding experience for you.
You’ll also likely have a stronger purpose for going to college. Many students will go straight to college without really thinking about why they are doing it. This can make it difficult for them to study and to enjoy their time in college as a student. You will likely know exactly why and what you want to get out of college so you will likely be able to enjoy it a lot more as a student.
It is also the case that many students will often change their majors multiple times throughout college. While it is ok to do so, it can result in class sequencing issues. This can cause students to have to take additional classes and to have to catch up in some of their classes. You will likely be able to choose and to stick with your major much more easily. This should help you to do better academically.
Students can also struggle to motivate themselves to study a subject when they do not see the value in it. Since you will have had some more experience than the other students you will likely be able to see the value in the classes more easily. This should help you to enjoy your classes more and to study them more easily.
Things to consider
While it is ok to go to college at the age of 40 there are some things that you should consider before doing so.
Something that older students often do is go to 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 a lot cheaper.
If you do decide to go to community college first then make sure that the classes transfer over well into the major that you want to pursue at the 4-year university.
As mentioned earlier, it might be the case that you do not need a degree if you want to go to college to change jobs.
Many jobs that require a bachelors degree will also consider candidates with a lot of experience. If you have already been working in the field for a number of years then it could be the case that you can already get those jobs. It might be worthwhile for you to try interviewing at these positions before going to college to see if you can already get the job you want.
The amount of time you’ll have
Another important thing to consider is the amount of spare time that you will have to study.
If you’re going to have to be looking after kids and/or working as well then it will be necessary for you to take measures to ensure that you are able to maximize your efficiency.
Things that you can do could 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
Since the SAT and GRE both expire after 5 years it will be necessary for you to take them again. Make sure to take them early on so that you can make any application deadlines and so that you can retake them if you need to.
If you are going to go to community college first then you will likely find that it is not necessary to have an SAT or GRE. However, you will still need one of them when you transfer to a 4-year university so you’ll still need to take them at some point anyway.