Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Back To School

Deb Peterson, a contributor for that is part of The New York Times Company, offered 8 critical questions to ask yourself before deciding to go back to school.

1.   Why are you thinking about going back to school?
Why is going back to school on your mind lately? Is it because your degree or certificate will help you get a better job or promotion? Are you bored and looking for a way out of your current situation? Are you retired and want the thrill of working for a degree you've always desired?

2.   What exactly do you want to accomplish?
What is it that you're hoping to achieve by going back to school? If you need your GED credential, your goal is crystal clear. Choosing the right option will make your journey more efficient and more economical.

3. Can you afford to go back to school?
School can be expensive, but help is out there. If you need financial aid, do your research ahead of time. Find out how much money you need and how you might get it. Student loans aren't the only option. Look into grants and pay-as-you-go.

4. Does your company offer tuition reimbursement?
Many companies offer to reimburse employees for the cost of education. This isn't just out of the goodness of their hearts. They stand to benefit too. If your company offers tuition reimbursement, take advantage of the opportunity. You get an education and a better job, and they get a smarter, more-skilled employee. Everybody wins.

5. Can you afford not to go back to school?
Investing in your education is one of the smartest things you will ever do.

6. Is this the right time in your life?
Life demands different things of us at different stages. Is this a good time for you to go back to school? Do you have the time you'll need to go to class, read, and study?

7. Is the right school within reach? 
Depending on your goal, you might have lots of options open to you, or very few. Is the school you need available to you, and can you get in? Remember that getting your degree or certificate might be possible online. 

8. Do you have the support you need?
Remembering that adults learn differently than children and teens, think about whether or not you have the support you need to go back to school. Are there people in your life who will be your cheerleaders?

Call Palo Alto College’s Corporate and Continuing Education Division today and see how Palo Alto can help you with some of the questions you might have.

Palo Alto College
Corporate and Community Education Division

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