You want a better job and a better life. You know that having a college degree is a great way to achieve those goals, but you have questions. We’ve pulled together answers and resources to help you as you explore returning to complete your degree.
Is having a degree really worth it?
Financially speaking, YES! According to the US Census Bureau, people with bachelor’s degrees average over $2 million in lifetime earnings, versus $1.2 million for high school graduates. (That extra $800,000 could really come in handy). In addition to more money, the value of a college degree can be seen right here in Mississippi, where over half of all jobs will require an education beyond high school. Completing your degree also gives you a sense of accomplishment and opens you up to career opportunities that you might have otherwise missed.
What are my chances for success this time?
Adult learners have a 67% overall satisfaction rating with their college experience. That’s 26% higher than a traditional college student. The biggest advantage you have is experience. You’ve had time to be out in the “real world.” You’ve seen what opportunities are out there, and what it takes to achieve them. The bottom line is this – if you plan to complete your degree this time, you probably will.
What are my options for enrolling?
Most adults who set their sights on returning and completing their degrees have obligations in their life, such as family and work that make it impractical to enroll as a full-time student, but there are other options to consider that can make returning to college a more realistic goal.
Part-time student (taking 1-11 hours) – earn that degree one or two classes at a time, on your own schedule
Online courses/degrees – many Mississippi colleges and universities offer online classes as well as degrees that can be earned entirely or mostly online
Evening & weekend classes – Take one or two classes every weekend if that works best for your schedule or try night classes to leave your days free for work, family or homework.
Is there help for adults with children to return to college?
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that almost 5 million college students in the U.S. are also parents, so you are definitely not alone! And here’s more good news – there are a growing number of scholarships specifically for students with dependent children.
It will take hard work and focus, but you can do it. As more adults with children return to college to earn their degrees, institutions are increasing the accommodations and resources for student parents. For example, 48% of the colleges and universities in Mississippi offer some kind of childcare services. (you can find out if a school you’re interested in attending offer daycare services here). The Mississippi Department of Health and Human Services (MDHS) also has many programs and services to help parents fulfill their dream of a degree such as a list of approved Child Care Providers and the Child Care Co-pay program.
How do I pay for it?
It’s true, college can be expensive. But there are many ways to get financial assistance. The very first thing you need to do is complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. This is a universal form that colleges use to determine how much financial aid to offer each student. From there, you can find a wide variety of scholarships and grants to help with the cost, including our C2C Grant.
And you may be a LOT closer than you think to completing your degree, depending on how many credits you earned previously. In fact, some adults who use the Complete 2 Compete program find that requirements have changed and they already have enough credits to complete their degree (Just find enough money to pay for your graduation cap and gown!)
Where can I find grants and scholarships?
Most Mississippi schools offer, and can help you find, financial assistance to go back and complete your degree. A Complete 2 Compete coach can also point you in the right direction. Beyond that, a little time searching the internet will typically lead to a lot of resources, including these grants and scholarships exclusive to Mississippi.
I need one last little bit of motivation…
Read the story of Jemeika Jones, a Complete 2 Compete graduate who faced incredible odds and still completed her degree. Once you’ve read her story, you’ll believe that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… because it is.
Where do I start?
If you’re ready to learn more about the next steps to completing your degree and securing a better future for yourself and your family, start by submitting the Complete 2 Compete app.
The C2C Program is tailored for Mississippi adults and supported by the 24 state colleges and universities, helping them to return to college and complete their degrees. You will work with an experienced C2C Coach who knows the ins and outs of college and who is committed to giving you the support and guidance you need. Your C2C Coach will help you navigate the sometimes-complicated process and support you through every step of the journey – from enrollment through to degree completion.
Contact C2C today and see how close you really are to finishing what you started.