Going back to school can be an incredible, life-changing decision. As a parent, however, the idea of returning to college can be daunting. How will you balance your classes while trying to raise a family? Will you still be able to hold a job, care for your child, and attend school?
These questions are important, but you should know that you have options available. There are flexible college programs that enable parents to achieve their degree and advance their career, without putting their other obligations on hold.
At Goodwin University, the majority of our students – almost 70 percent – are age 25 or older. Additionally, 80 percent of our student body is female. Many of our students are mothers who are balancing childcare with their college courses. These women are a testament to the fact that going to college as a parent is possible for you.
As Zoey Walker, a graduate of Goodwin’s BSN program explained, “I’m a mother of 7; I work 7 days a week; and I was able to graduate the program with honors.”
3 Considerations When Researching Colleges for Parents
When researching different colleges as a parent, it is important to consider the following:
- Flexibility of course offerings.
When seeking a college for parents, perhaps the most important consideration is its level of flexibility. If you have a job currently, take note of whether the college offers classes outside of your work schedule. If you take care of your child during the day, ask whether the school offers evening courses. You may also consider part-time courses if you need to maintain a full-time job.
Another option for parents going back to school is an online degree program. Whether you are at home with a newborn, or simply do not want to spend time traveling to campus, online classes can be a great way to balance school with other priorities in your life. You can take your classes in the comforts of your own home and complete assignments on a schedule that works for you. Some schools, such as Goodwin, offer hybrid online and on-campus programs for those who desire the flexibility of online learning, in combination with in-person class experiences.
Flexibility is the highlight of Goodwin’s degree programs. We believe that parents should never have to put their lives on hold to earn a college education. If you choose to attend Goodwin University, you will work with a dedicated advisor to create a curriculum that works with your schedule – rather than having classes you have to work around. Below are testimonials from students who are also parents:
“I chose Goodwin College because as a full time working mom to a 6 year old daughter, I needed a college that works with my busy schedule.” – Stephanie, a Respiratory Therapy student
“Thanks to Goodwin, I’m ready to take the next steps in my career… Goodwin offers the flexibility to work and support my family. I am able to earn my degree in the evenings and online.” – Steve Davis, Vision Care Technology student
“The opportunity to study online, helps with the many responsibilities I have as a mother and as a nurse.” – Gladys, a Master’s in Nursing student
- Career-focused degree programs.
As an adult, you likely have a good idea of where you wish to go professionally. In order to reach your career goals, however, you need to fulfill certain educational requirements. When considering a college to earn your degree or training, we recommend seeking one that offers career-focused programs.
Career-focused programs are designed to prepare students for their desired professions. They provide students with the relevant skills, training, and experience needed to be successful in their careers. Career-focused college programs are different from traditional colleges, in that students take a very specific course of study to achieve their career goals. Students take classes applicable to their major.
When seeking a college for parents, it is important to review their program offerings to ensure they align with your career goals. If you have already started your degree, you may consider finding a college that offers a degree completion program.
Once you find a college that aligns with your professional needs, then take time to explore their curriculum. Ask if their courses are taught by industry professionals. Inquire about their support services for students, and see if they have a Career Services team to help students into careers they love.
- Financial assistance available to parents.
As a parent, you are likely considering the cost of college. Can you afford to go back to school, while raising a family? Fortunately, many schools, organizations, and state programs offer financial assistance for parents going back to school. Depending on your level of financial need, you may qualify for a student loan. As you do your research, you may also find a lot of scholarship and grant options available to you. At Goodwin, 92 percent of undergraduate degree students receive financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships.
Especially now, amidst a global pandemic, many adults are struggling to make ends meet. Many people lost their jobs during 2020, and childcare options have been limited as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19. For parents residing in Connecticut, however, there is good news. According to a new announcement from Governor Ned Lamont, parents who lost their job and are enrolling in a higher education program will be eligible for support. This support expands access to childcare services so that parents can receive the re-tooling and training they need to enter the workforce again. If you are considering college as a parent, now could be a great time to start this educational journey.
As a parent, it’s important to know that college is attainable for you. As scary as it can be to go back to school and start fresh, there are support services that can make this transition more seamless for you. At Goodwin, most of our students are adults and balancing other life priorities, so you can rest assured you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals focusing on their career path. We also strive to make college accessible for working parents. Goodwin University is known for its low tuition costs, offering one of the lowest costs for private, non-profit colleges in the state of Connecticut.
To learn about starting your degree at Goodwin University, contact our admissions team at 800-889-3282. If you would like to learn more about our degree programs for adults, you may also click here to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.