The Benefits of Going Back to College as a Parent in Your 30s

This post was sponsored by Virginia’s G3 Funding as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Thinking about going back to college can be scary since it was typically viewed as a place for kids out of high school to go while they determined what career path they wanted to take in life. 

Thankfully, now on college campuses and in online learning environments you’ll see people of all ages attending college. 

Whether you left college early to start a family or skipped it after high school altogether, going back to college in your 30s has a ton of benefits and today I wanted to share some of them with you. 

The Benefits of Going Back to College as a Parent in Your 30s
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College options

Before we jump into the benefits of going back to college in your 30s, I first want to discuss the three main options that you have available.

Community College

If you want to obtain a degree in about two years, community college would be a great choice for you. Plus, community colleges (well those in Virginia anyways) offer rolling admissions, which means you can start your education at any time. 

For those in Virginia, there is G3 tuition assistance available to eligible Virginia residents (family income is less than $100,000 and is eligible for state aid) to access higher education in the most in-demand industries (healthcare, IT, early childhood education, skilled trades, and public safety). 

If you’re unfamiliar with G3 tuition assistance, it is a “last dollar” program that covers the remaining balance of student’s tuition costs after state and federal aid is factored in, which can bring tuition down to $0 for those who are eligible. Its slogan is “Get a skill, Get a job, Get ahead”. 

Plus, for students who are really in need, you may also qualify for additional money that can be used towards books and other fees such as transportation and childcare. 

Basically, with G3 tuition assistance higher education in Virginia has never been more affordable. 

Traditional College

Traditional colleges are great for those who want to start an entirely new career and have the time to spend four years or more in classes. 

It’s also a great extension of classes already taken at community colleges. 

It is more expensive than community college, however, there are grants and scholarships available that can lower your tuition costs. 

Virtual College

If going to class in person isn’t something that fits into your schedule, virtual college classes may be better suited for you. 

This is ideal for students who are majoring in fields such as business, finance, or criminal justice that don’t require hands-on work. 

With virtual college, you do have to be dedicated and focused. Since you aren’t in a traditional classroom setting, it’s up to you to make sure that you’re learning all of the course information and meeting course deadlines.

This is how I opted to go to college after becoming pregnant with my first child, and I’ve also been toying with the idea of doing virtual college again in a few years once my daughter starts school. 

Yes, it is more challenging, but the flexibility of being able to go to school on my schedule instead of adjusting my schedule for school works best for me.

The benefits of going back to college in your 30s

Now, that we’ve got the college options available to you out of the way, let’s go ahead and jump into the benefits of going back to college in your 30s.

The Benefits of Going Back to College as a Parent in Your 30s

It benefits your family

While the most obvious benefit of going back to school is that it’ll benefit you personally in a variety of different ways, it’ll also benefit your family. 

Whether it’ll help you land a better paying job to increase your family’s income or simply help you get a sense of yourself back after raising kids, your family will benefit in at least one way when you return to school.

Plus, it’ll also show your children the importance of education and it’ll definitely help them look up to you even more than they already do. 

It benefits your mental health

After you become a parent, especially if you decide to be a SAHM or WAHM, it can feel like you lose your sense of identity and are primarily known as “XYZ’s mom”. 

It’s easy to fall into a routine that is unchanging day in and day out and it starts to affect your mental health.

By going back to college, once the kids start school, you can challenge yourself mentally to learn new things, gain an additional identity again, and experience a new environment – all of which helps your mental health positively. 

You get to do something that you enjoy

Kids demand a lot of time of energy. 

While I’m not saying that having kids is torture or anything like that, let’s face it, once kids come into the picture you end up catering a lot of your life to make life enjoyable for them. 

You may have put your dream career on the back burner to be able to spend time with them during their first years of life or you may work a job that you hate just to make sure that the bills are paid. 

Going back to college as a parent gives you a chance to start working in a field that you enjoy without sacrificing time with your children thanks to all of the flexible options that are available these days. 

You can go back to college as a parent in your 30s

The Benefits of Going Back to College as a Parent in Your 30s

If you’ve been debating about going back to college now that your children are older and more independent, I highly recommend considering it. 

The benefits that you will receive are definitely worth it. 

If you’re worried about how to afford it, look into options such as G3 tuition assistance!

The Benefits of Going Back to College as a Parent in Your 30s

11 Comments

  1. Christy says:

    I went back to college to get my bachelor’s degree in my early 30s. I’m not sure how I managed everything because at the time I was a single mom. My degree now is kinda pointless since I’m disabled and can’t work directly in the field I got my degree in.

  2. I think older students really get more out of their academic classes than people in their teens and 20s. I went to grad school in my 30s. It was an amazing opportunity and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Even though it was tough since I had 3 small kids at home.)

  3. I can see a lot of benefits to going back to college. These are great tips.

  4. Lavanda Michelle says:

    I thought that virtual college would be the best benefit. BUT there are so many great benefits. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Terri Steffes says:

    This was me in the 80s! I was able to work full time as a small business owner and managed to raise a baby at the same time. I had a wonderful supportive husband, too.

  6. Lori Bosworth says:

    I went back to university in my 40s and it was the best decision I made in my life!

  7. Marysa says:

    I would love to do this now, especially since there are so many virtual education options. It is nice to earn a degree to broaden my options for work.

  8. Beth Pierce says:

    You just convince me to go back to college. I see many benefits in doing it

  9. Tami R says:

    Love this post! I think going back to college can be super beneficial at any age! 🙂

  10. Kathy says:

    I think this is wonderful. Going to college is always a great idea. Doesn’t matter what your age is, I think college is for everyone.

  11. Tara Pittman says:

    I think college may be more enjoyable at this age. I would choose fun classes like cooking

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