The life of a modern person is pre-determined for years ahead, especially in terms of education. First, you receive pre-school education, then follow 10+ years of school, 4+ years of college or university, and then follow either a career path or additional training. That’s what we are said to be a “norm,” and that’s how it typically happens.
Nevertheless, due to the growing cost of tuition and many other reasons, many people around the world start pursuing careers right after graduating from high school. Years later, they feel like it’s already too late to pursue higher education. But is it really so?
The Rise of Adult Students in Higher Education
According to reports, in the US alone, there has been a significant increase in the number of adult students coming back to school in the past decade. It all started in 2008 and the major economic downturn that accompanied this year. 2008 was marked with a huge number of job losses and, respectively, a huge number of adults realizing they needed to pursue higher education to stay afloat. This gave rise to adult student college enrollment.
Compared to 2000, when 11.9 million adults enrolled in higher educational facilities, already in 2010, their number has reached 16.8 million, and it’s predicted that this number will grow to 18.5 million by 2024.
Key Challenges for Adult Learners
Despite an ongoing upward enrollment trend, the number of challenges facing adult learners is quite big.
First and foremost, adult learners lack time to pursue education. Many of them are forced to balance between working and studying, which puts additional pressure and holds them back from achieving academic success. Luckily, today, students of all ages have plenty of handy tools to make their lives simpler. Now, adult students can always turn to professionals saying, “please, write my essay for me,” to get more free time for working or taking care of their families without giving up on their studies. It helps them find balance and ease stress.
Among other issues facing adult learners, we can highlight:
- Financial struggle;
- Social anxiety;
- Lack of confidence;
- Lack of support;
- Harder access to classes.
Nevertheless, though these challenges are real, the growing number of adult learners suggests that it’s never too late to pursue education. With the support of their families and the help of professional services like DoMyEssay, millions of adult students manage to overcome these challenges, graduate, and start new lives. And that’s when they start gaining real benefits from their decision to go back to school.
Why Do Adults Decide to Go Back to School?
Knowing about some stats and challenges facing adult learners in colleges, one more question that has to be answered yet is what drives adults to continue their education?
As was said earlier, the first significant boost in the number of adult enrollment was initiated by a major economic downturn and widespread job losses. Nevertheless, the economy has picked up since then, but the rate of adults enrolling in colleges keeps growing.
Why? In fact, there are quite a few reasons for that:
- Financial need – there is no secret that specialists with a college degree tend to receive higher pay. Respectively, one of the first reasons that make adults return to school is the desire to get better-paying jobs.
- Tough competition – one more reason to continue education is to be able to compete with younger workers who are more educated.
- Career change – whether due to dissatisfaction with a current job or in pursuit of one’s dream, many adults decide to make a career change after years of working in a particular field. As you can guess, a career change isn’t easy to do without relevant education. Thus, this is one more weighty reason to go back to school.
- Accessibility of education – finally, one more reason to enroll in college as an adult is that the accessibility of education is now as high as it has ever been before.
This list could go on. Depending on a person’s character and life situation, there might be plenty of other reasons to make the decision to pursue higher education as an adult. Whatever this reason is, there are two undisputed facts that no one can argue with – 1) the number of adult learners keeps growing every year; 2) regardless of the age, in the 21st century, anyone can pursue higher education with ease.
To give you some inspiration, let’s recall the three oldest college graduates of all times:
- Twila Boston has received a BA degree from Utah State University at the age of 98.
- Nola Ochs graduated from Fort Hays State University in the same year as her granddaughter when she was also 98.
- The oldest college graduate is Leo Plass, who has received an associate’s degree at the age of 99.
All these people prove that nothing is impossible in today’s world.
The Bottom Line
So, can it ever be too late to pursue education? The answer is most certainly no! The growing number of adult student college enrollment and millions of success stories indicate that, in the 21st century, acquiring education is possible regardless of your age.
Of course, in contrast to younger students, adults who come back to school tend to face a larger number of challenges. Nevertheless, the benefits they can get from this move are well worth it.
We hope that this article will help you better understand the population of adult learners in colleges and, hopefully, will get some adults inspired to continue their education too!