Thinking of Going Back to School?

It is no secret that times are tough. Over the past few years, reports state that more than 2.6 million jobs have been lost, and families all over the country are struggling to make ends meet. With job cuts, salary cuts and uncertain futures, many women are trying to find ways to add to the family income and/or make more money for their families.

Knowing that education helps us gain a competitive edge in one way or another, more women are thinking about going back to college than ever before. Research shows that at most ages, more education equates with higher earnings. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women who graduated from college earned about 76 percent more than women with only a high school diploma.

Here are a few things to consider when making the decision to go back to school:

1. Financial considerations: Making more money is the number one reason women go back to school. Money is also one of the number one reasons women don’t go back to school. They don’t have the money to pay for tuition and books and all the other expenses that come with schooling. Finding a way to fund your schooling, such as a scholarship from, will bring peace of mind and help you look forward to the financial benefits that come from increased education.

2. Balancing family/work/ school life: Before going back to school, consider how you are going to balance your family (kids), spouse (if applicable), home life, job if you already have one, as well as the didactic load school will place upon you. De-clutter your life and your home so that you have a reasonable amount of “stuff” to maintain, and seek out help from those around you. Keep your home and car organized so that your mind isn’t overwhelmed by all the to-do’s. Explain to family and children what changes will take place and get everyone on board.

3. Keep the end in mind: It can be easy to get overwhelmed and only focus on the stresses of the day when you are trying to balance school and family and job and house. Try to keep the end result in mind and don’t loose the vision of what you are accomplishing and why.

4. Stop the guilt: As women we tend to feel that things should be perfect, or that we should be perfect. We are not perfect and we dont have to have perfect homes or lives either. Don’t let guilt get in the way of your goals. Remember there is a season for everything in our lives. Now might be the season for going back to school. In a few years, it will be a new season. You don’t have to do it all at once.

5. Family Time and Personal Time: Make it a priority to spend at least an hour a week together as a family and an hour a week by yourself. Use the time to rejuvenate and strengthen relationships. The benefits will be huge, and it will help you and your family get through the challenges of going back to school.

Recognizing that this is a very difficult challenge to balance, there is much more to consider. But this is a good place to start if you are thinking about going back to school. Not only can a higher degree lead to more income, but it builds self confidence, increases your knowledge and/or skill set, can provide a sense of security, and is a great way to make new friends.

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