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Adult Education and Its Advantages

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When was it decided that higher education be handed down traditionally to people graduating from high school? Primary and secondary education is most obviously reserved for the youngster, but why is higher education most commonly reserved for the young adult? Was it decided that adults beyond the age of 25 no longer had a malleable cognitive ability to retain the amount of instruction offered at a university level? NO WAY! Was it that when a person reaches the age of responsibility, they are indentured into the swift current of the workforce in whatever entry-level position they are given in order to provide for themselves or for their family, and if they miss the window of opportunity for college, they are forever out of luck? Some might think it so.

Since “tradition” has taken its seat among the higher of education, setting a definitive model of a college student, any college enrollee over the typical age of 24 is now officially labeled “non-traditional,” and the myths surrounding the difficulty in continuing or adult education have intimidated people from pursuing their degrees later in life.

However, the adult student is turning a new chapter, and adult education is on the rise. In 1970, only 28% of the college student population were 25 years or older, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education. Based on a report done by the Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE), to date, approximately 47% of students over the age of 25 make up our college campuses, whether they are new students or returning to further their education.

So many people in the workforce are unhappy with their current salaries or career and consider a change or a betterment of their lives through discovering new avenues of industry. Fortunately, benefits to adult education are quite extensive and colleges and universities are making it very convenient by offering a variety of programs to meet the adult student’s need and schedule.

Here are some advantages:

  1. Distance education via computers and the internet have made the distribution of information quicker and more efficient, and provides the flexibility needed to allow adults to continue to work full-time and learn at a self-imposed pace.
  2. There many sources of financial aid offered to adults wishing to go back to school. What people fear is whether or not they’ll qualify for such help, and they miss out on the variety of aid offered in the form of grants, low interest loans, scholarships, etc., that are given out regardless of credit, GPA or income level. Part-time students can also apply. Additionally, many companies will offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees wishing to further their education in that respective industry or as stipulated by that company.
  3. Adults starting new or returning to school most often have found within themselves a strengthened desire to succeed. Studies have shown that 80% of adult students graduate as compared to a 50% average graduation rate among the traditional students.
  4. Adults have a bank of knowledge from life or work experience that can contribute to what they will learn in school. This is a fantastic advantage over their younger peers. Adults also view their professors as peers and are less intimidated by them.
  5. Higher education for the adult is a life changing experience. Most often, adults go to school to further their education in hopes of salary increase, chances for promotion, or they go to school for change, hoping to enter into a better field or pursue a field that they have a deep-rooted passion for.

If you are an adult considering higher education, starting new or returning, remember that the advantages overshadow the difficulties in pursing your degree later in life. Because most colleges and universities have tailored their programs to fit your needs, going back to school is completely achievable!


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Unnati over 3 years ago Unnati


Can't you publish simple, short and clear advantages..?

Todd Wallace over 8 years ago Todd Wallace


Number 3 is absolutely true. I have experienced that one firsthand. To add to number 4, adult students have something to give back to the younger students due to their life experience. Todd Wallace http://www.thefirstplacetogo.com