Going Back to School at 40 – What You Can Expect

College students are getting older and older. In fact, going back to school at 40, or even 50 or 60, has become far less rare – especially as more people lose their jobs, or need to switch careers. Whether you are returning to community college or headed to classes at a 4-year university, there are certain things that you can expect if you are going back to school at 40.

Older women going back to school face some of the biggest challenges. Many of the younger students see them as mother-figures, instead of classmates. Or, the older women feel ill at ease when they discover that they are older than the professor. It can make classroom interactions and group projects a little awkward when one member of the group is seen as the ‘mom’.

But, that should not discourage you from going back to school at 40. In fact, for many older women, going back to school is important enough to face any possible embarrassment. There are plenty of women who gave up on their college degrees long ago, when getting married and having children became the priority. Now that the kids are grown and gone, many moms want to finish what they started – or get the education they missed out on.

Plus, many schools are going out of their way to make older students feel welcome.

If you’re an older student who is thinking of returning to community college, many schools are making it awfully easy. The American Association of Community College has created a special program for older students that focuses on helping them improve their computer skills, helping them apply for financial aid, and even helping them locate old transcripts.

And, many schools offer special financial aid packages for older students. Getting help paying for your tuition, books, and other expenses can make going back to school at 40 much more comfortable!

If, in the end, you are too worried about being the ‘old student’, going back to school for nursing is always a great opportunity. Many nursing programs actually offer classes online, where you can learn and study in your own comfort zone.