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Advantages of Being an Adult College Student

January 09, 2015 by Kelly Paul |

Photo: Booklet on Table "Don't Just Stand There"Yes, there really are advantages to being an adult college student.

When thinking about a return to college many adults imagine all the OBSTACLES they will face and forget to think about the ADVANTAGES they have as adults in the college classroom. So in case you're struggling to identify those advantages - we've outlined some for you below.

Clear Goal

Why are you in college? Is it because it's expected of you or is it because you want to learn something new? Maybe it's because you want to keep your current job or move on to a new career (check out our blog 5 Secret Ingredients for a Successful Career Change). Whatever your goal is it's likely more clear than the goal of the average college-bound teenager who is still exploring what he or she wants to do in life.

This advantage helps you to better select courses and a discipline so you can hone in on what you want to get out of the learning experience. 

Life and Work Experience

Your life and work experience puts you miles ahead of the average 18 year-old college student. You've paid rent, maybe paid a mortgage, work a job for a living - not just for pocket money. You've also probably voted in multiple elections and may be raising children. You understand having to balance sometimes opposing demands and make difficult decisions. You also likely know what it's like to fail and to succeed - outside the classroom.

This advantage helps you in the classroom because you're more likely to be able to connect your learning to workplace and community applications - because you've been there.


Let's face it, you're attending college to learn. You recognize the importance of a quality education. You likely aren't seeking the "experience" part of college that so many traditional-age college students are looking for. Student life and attending athletic games probably aren't at the top of your "want" list. Completing a degree while working and keeping up with your family likely is. 

This advantage helps you manage time, seek help when you need it, and get the most out of your courses and degree program.  (For information on how much time college coursework takes, check out our blog post How Much Time Should One Commit to Online Degree Coursework.)



By: Kelly Paul

Photography courtesy of Unsplash.


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