It’s true that life sometimes doesn’t pan out like you thought it may. It’s only human nature that people grow and develop, learning that they had passions for things they never thought they once had. This may lead people to investigate the possibility of further education at a later stage in life; either training in a completely new subject or honing their skills in a specific field. However, further education is not the cheapest of lifestyle choices; degrees usually costing anywhere from 20K-50K. However, if your heart is set on receiving further education as a mature student – there are ways to fund your future education.
What are your options?
There are certain avenues one can pursue when looking into further education. Specific factors have to be taken into account when selecting the type of education or training you will receive; children, time, location and budget are just some of the things to think about.
- Scholarship – If you have outstanding skill or achievement, you might be entitled to a scholarship at a University. Usually, a scholarship will result in heavily subsidised fees in the certain field of study.
- Open University – Not judging on previous experience or merits, the Open University allows students to train in fields they might not have the prior expertise for. Students can take as long as they need to complete modules, enabling students with varying lifestyles to complete degrees at their own pace. One of the most appealing aspects of the Open University is that students can complete a degree from the confines of their own home; sending work by email and attending lectures on such online conferencing platforms such as Skype.
- Evening courses – For people wanting to further their education but have to upkeep their household with a day job; evening courses are seen as the perfect way to learn a new skill. Tiring as it may be to work a job in the day and attend school at night…many people come out of evening school and instantly see their hard work pay off.
- Crash course intensives – There are many institutes out there which offer intense courses in certain fields. For example you can do a 3 month intensive in makeup design – having an appropriate degree at the end to function in the professional world. However be warned, these intensive degrees can sometimes be financially crippling.
How to Fund
There are certain ways you can approach funding for your further education. There are a wealth of grants and loans available to help out mature students. It will take some research to identify which grants are suitable for you and your situation.
Mature students often look into part time work to fund their studies. If you are looking to cut costs down completely, perhaps moving back in with your parents is a viable option (as much of a grievance it may be). This will completely cut down on overhead charges, helping you to focus on your studies. It’s also important to break down your lifestyle, analysing your expenditure to see where you can cut costs.
It’s not uncommon to come across jobs which offer to pay for further education, providing that you work for them for a pre-arranged amount of years. Schools offering adults funding for their teacher training education to then come and teach at their school is one of the most common examples of this.
As you can see, going down the route of further education as a mature student is something that a lot of thought has to be poured into. However with a lot of hard work and planning, you will receive your degree; learning that acquiring a new skill at whatever age is priceless.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Steven Lilley