3 Tips for Going Back to School While Balancing the Books

bachelors in communicationsSo you’ve done it — you’ve decided to go back to school to get your bachelors in communications degree. Economically, it’s a wise decision. On average, skipping college will cost you about half a million dollars over a lifetime. And 83% of those who have went to college say that their degree has already “paid off.”

Knowing that you’re going to get money in the future, though, doesn’t always help pay for college now. Students don’t always get the loans they want, and even if they do, many aren’t comfortable paying off everything from the rent to groceries with their loan.

If you’re going back to school for a bachelors in communications degree and are trying to balance the books as much as possible, here are three things to keep in mind.

1. Many Schools No Longer Run on Only Traditional Schedules

Wondering how you’ll make a 10 a.m. class if you’re normally a barista from 8-12? Many schools today — especially those courting older students who may not be fresh out of high school — are now offering more flexible schedules to accommodate challenges you may face, such as a job, or finding childcare. Going to school part-time or enrolling in online, night, or weekend classes might be the solution. Some classes, rather than meeting multiple times a week, will simply meet once for a three to four hour period, which tends to be more conducive to those commuting to school.

2. Going for an English Degree? Find Work Online

Don’t believe the ads that say you can make $1,000 for two hours working from home — it’s rarely the case, and when it is, it’s not through following an ad. People who can write quickly and write well may have a flexible job option in freelance writing. Sites like Zerys.com can connect writers with a variety of clients and allow them to write articles when they have time for them. It may not average out to much more per hour than a fast food job, but there are no official shifts, and you can take a break when it’s study week without asking your boss for permission.

3. Don’t Forget Scholarships

These days, you don’t need to be a national-award winning biology student to qualify for multiple scholarships. In fact, many scholarships are specifically set up to accommodate disadvantaged students, such as those coming back to work later in life. It’s easy to put off applying for scholarships or get discouraged early on. Make a goal of applying to five scholarships every week, and aim for ones you have a shot at. National scholarships that have 4,000 applicants will be hard to net, but regional scholarships, or scholarships offered through your school, are a lot more likely to come your way.

About 21 million students will go to college this year. Are you going for a bachelors in communications? Don’t be discouraged if you’re doing it a bit later in life. As adult education becomes more normal, more opportunities continue to present themselves to these students.

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