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5 Tips for Moms Who Are Headed for College

If you’re a mom, there’s a good chance that you always feel pulled in several different directions at once. If you’re thinking about going back to college, you may be concerned about how you are going to juggle it with all your other responsibilities. You can definitely manage it, and the tips below can help you do it.

Parenting and College

Get Your Family’s Buy-In

You’ll need to have your family and friends on your side. You are not going to be as available as they are accustomed to. Your family is going to need to respect your time when you are studying. This might mean finding somewhere away from home to do schoolwork, like a coffee shop or the library. If you can’t do your work away from home and you don’t have a room at home where you can shut the door, you might want to work with your family to come up with some kind of ‘do not disturb’ symbol you can set up, such as a sign that you put on your laptop.

Start Small

A great way to make sure that your decision to go back to school is the right one is to start with something small and manageable. Ideally, this would be an online class. Many schools will let you enroll in a single class without going through an official process of admission. This can help you ease into the experience of being a student again without having to immediately start thinking about the focus of your degree, admissions requirements, financial aid and other complicated issues.

Make a Plan

Once you have taken one class or a few classes and decided this is the right decision, you should start to think more seriously about what kind of a degree you want to get and if you will go to school full-time or part-time, as well as whether you will take most of your classes online or in person. You also need to think about cost. You can apply for federal financial aid, but this may not be enough. You can also take out a loan from a private lender to help pay for school. Banks, credit unions and online lenders are all potential sources of student loans.

Talk to Your Professors

You might be worried about being older and at a different place in life than your classmates, but there are likely to be other nontraditional students in your classes. Furthermore, your professors and classmates may value the life experience that you bring. While you shouldn’t make excuses, feel free to talk to your professors during their office hours about challenges you are facing juggling motherhood and being a college student. They may be more flexible than you expect.

Be an Example

Although you might feel guilty about the fact that school means spending less time with your children, keep in mind that you can be a great role model for them. You can show your kids by example the importance of an education and hard work. You are also showing them that it’s never too late to better yourself or change your life.

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