If you’re 26 and thinking of going to college then you might be wondering if 26 is too late to start college.
This post will show you a number of reasons that 26 is not too late to start college as well as some things that you might want to consider.
So, is 26 too late to start college? Going to college will give you more opportunities, you still have a long working life ahead of you and there will be many other students your age. All of these factors mean that going to college at 26 is not too late.
There are actually a number of reasons that 26 is not too late to go to college and there are a number of things that you might want to consider.
26 Is still young
The first reason that 26 is not too late to go back to college is that 26 is still young.
At the age of 26, you will still have around a 40 working life ahead of you. This means that by getting a college degree at the age of 26 you will be able to benefit from the advantages that it provides over a long time period.
In addition to this, it means that most of the other students won’t be that much younger than you. So, if you are concerned about looking out of place then there really isn’t any need to be.
There will be many other students at around your age
It is not uncommon for people to work straight out of high school and then to start college a few years later. It is also at around the age of 26 that many military personnel start college.
Both of these factors mean that it is likely that there will be many other students at around the same age as you. It also means that 26 is not too old for people to be able to benefit from going back to college.
You won’t be much older than most of the other students there
Another thing to consider is that 26 is not much older than the average age of most 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.https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
This means that most of the students around you will only be a few years younger than you.
There will be older students than you
Another thing to consider is that there will likely be many students there that are a lot older than 26. It is not uncommon for people to go to college in their 50’s. If it is possible for them to benefit from going to college then there is no reason that you cannot as well.
You will be able to improve your opportunities
The main reason that 26 is not too old to go back to college is that it will provide you with a number of new opportunities.
Currently, there will be many jobs in your field that require a college degree. 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 long time ahead of you it means that there will be a long time period where you will be able to benefit from having a degree. This should help to give you a better quality of life over the long run.
Having said that, something to consider is the type of degree that you obtain. Some degrees will provide better job opportunities than others.
Generally, degrees in the STEM field will provide some of the best job prospects. However, there will be many degrees in other fields that also provide good job prospects. You can look at this website to see how well each degree pays.
You will have more purpose than other students
Seeing as you will have had a chance to experience the real world for a while after high school you should have a better idea of why you want to go to college. This should help you in choosing your major, staying focused and in motivating yourself to get through the degree at times when you might be struggling.
It is not uncommon for college students to change their majors multiple times throughout college. This is something that you will likely be able to avoid since you will likely have a much better idea of what you want to do. This could help you to get through college slightly more quickly.
You’ll be able to appreciate the value of the classes
Another way in which you might actually have an advantage over the other students is that you will likely be able to appreciate the value of the classes a lot more.
It is not uncommon for students to struggle to motivate themselves to learn the material due to not understanding why it is important. Seeing as you will have some real-world experience it will likely be easier for you to see why the classes matter. This should help you to enjoy your classes more and to find it easier to put in the work studying them.
Other students won’t know your age
Another thing to consider is that people are often bad at judging other peoples ages. This means that it is unlikely that the younger students will be able to tell that you are older than them.
In addition to this, college is a place where students are meant to go to learn so it is unlikely that the other students will really care how old you are.
Things to consider
While 26 is not too late to start college, there are some things that you might want to consider before going to college.
Something that you might want to consider doing and something that many older students do is to go to community college and then to transfer to a 4-year university.
The reason for this, as you likely know, is that community colleges tend to be a lot cheaper than 4-year universities so you’ll be able to save some money. You’ll likely find that many of the other students will be of a similar age as you.
The culture of the college
The culture of a college can vary drastically depending on a number of different factors.
The age, location, size, acceptance rate and size of student body can all have an impact on the culture of a college. Before going to college it would be worthwhile for you to consider what you want to get out of it and what type of college would be the best fit for you.
Another thing that you should seriously consider is the major that you will choose.
While it would be worthwhile for you to choose a major that you have an interest in, it is also important for you to consider the job prospects that it will provide. As mentioned above, different majors come with different job prospects.
As mentioned earlier, 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 amount of time that you will have
Another thing to think about is the amount of time that you will have available to you to devote to studying and going to class.
While many people have successfully obtained a college degree while also working full time, it is not an easy thing to do. If you are thinking of working full-time while also getting the degree then there are some things that you might want to consider doing 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.
Sometimes experience can make up for a lack of a degree
If you have already been working for a few years in the field that you want to be in then you might find that your experience is actually enough to land jobs requiring a college degree.
If you have been working in the field for a while then it might be worthwhile for you to interview for some positions that you think the degree would get you to see if your experience is actually enough for you.