ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Returning to College to Obtain Your Master's Degree

Updated on August 17, 2011
Source

Make Your Plan

Yes, it's really true! You can go back to school after having children, working for years in the workplace, and generally being part of the rat race. If your desire and motivation is strong enough, you can succeed. Having recently experienced this myself, I will let you have a few tips on how it could have gone SO much better:

  1. Make a really good plan! Think it through thoroughly and decide what semester you want to start and how you will pay for tuition and books. If you will be planning on financial aid and loans to help pay for college, get started as early as possible. Go ahead and do it now because you can always update any information on the forms. My experience: I didn't think it through as thoroughly as I should have. I checked into the college I wanted to go to, and found that although I had finished my financial aid information, I had missed an important deadline. But I had already given my notice at my job and it was too late to take back that letter of resignation. So I had to find several smaller part time jobs to equal that income. It was a very disappointing and discouraging event. It ended up taking me almost a year to get back to the point where I could enroll and complete the application process. My advice: write everything out as you would like it to happen chronologically. Sleep on it, continue to think about it and work out the details so that everything will fall into place the way you want it to. I also like to have a backup plan! You never know when you'll need it!
  2. Check your paperwork to make sure everything is in order. No one from the college financial aid department, or the business office, or administration will call you to remind you that you missed a form, or didn't complete the application process. You will have to check everything yourself. And you will have to ask more than once in many cases. In the case of graduate school, the school I applied to has a 2-step process. Step one is to apply to the college--this college charges $20 to apply. If you are not accepted, it is non-refundable. The second step is to apply to the graduate school itself. There was no fee to do this, but the paperwork is intensive. This is where the college reference letters are required, as well as a lengthy question and answer form about your career goals. There was also a research paper required that addresses your career choice. The university also wants to know that you have thought this through and you are not applying on a whim.


Source

Back on Campus

At some point, you will need to actually be on campus to complete your financial aid process, get your books, talk to your advisor and other minutiae (see? I'm already sounding scholarly and it's still early in the semester!). Always ask: what else do I need to do? Is there anything else I need to do? Because there seems to be an unwritten rule that says under pain of death and dismemberment you must absolutely under no circumstances volunteer information to a person who looks lost on campus. This rule has a corollary that says the only time you may volunteer information is when someone has actually spoken in the form of a question, and then just give the bare minimum information to get to the next question.

Looking Forward

It is finally sinking in. I am actually back at university! Although the majority of students here are much younger than me (there go some more teeny boppers looking for a computer in this library), the students in my grad classes are pretty much the same age as I am, so I don't feel so much like a fish out of water, but the first couple of days have been a little surreal. My chosen career path is school counseling. And because my advisor gave me permission, I didn't actually have to have my teacher's certification or take the GRE. But here's the catch: I have to not only carry this full load of classes, but sometime this semester, I have to take the GRE, which is not administered on this campus. The nearest testing location is 50 miles in the other direction. And during the next semester I MUST take the OSAT and the OGET to obtain my teacher's certification.That's okay--I'll get it done! And I'll keep you posted!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)