The unfortunate reality is that many students cannot afford to attend college for financial reasons. Taking on massive debt is not worthwhile to some, because even though they will attain a college degree, they will still be saddled by monthly payments and interest. However, even though it will undoubtedly take much longer, there is always the option to attend school part time while you work a full-time job. It will require a lot of work and dedication, but taking classes in this manner is more affordable, and your workload will be more manageable. There are scholarships and financial aid available for the right candidates as well, so a college degree might not be as far off as you think.
Understand the Time Commitments
If you decide to take part-time classes, you need to understand the time frame of your studies. It is going to take a very long time to graduate with a four year degree if you are only taking one or two classes each semester. However, there are literally thousands of students taking this path all over the country. The formula is simple. Find a full time position, and take as many classes as you can handle each semester without being overwhelmed. State and community colleges are relatively affordable, so as long as you can find full-time hours paying for it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you can’t afford it and it’s your true goal, look for a company that offers tuition assistance. Many organizations are hopping on the bandwagon of paying for classes, and sometimes will pay $5,000 or more each year towards your education. Just keep in mind that you will have to come up with the money up front, and you will be reimbursed after you finish class with a certain GPA. Typically employers like to see B’s or better if you are taking this route.
Some great examples of two year part time majors are nursing, computer science, early childhood education, or a dental / medical assistant-type role. These majors, especially nursing, can pay very well and there are always plenty of hours available for the right candidate. You should look for a lower level role within the organization you’d like to work for, and get the word out that you are finishing your degree and will be looking for a new role when you obtain your credentials.
Education is an excellent investment. It’s no secret that those with college degrees earn significantly higher incomes than those without. If finances are a limiting factor and you cannot afford to take classes as a full-time student, then you need to consider part time classes. Sure it will take longer to finish your major, but it will require a less significant investment each semester. Part time classes are affordable, and are also an excellent option for many students. Do not use financial reasons as an excuse to avoid the college experience. If you are having trouble paying for class, ask for help, or take on an extra job. Good things will come to those who work hard for what they want, and you should never consider yourself an exception to this rule. Nobody said obtaining a college degree would be easy. You need to make sacrifices and expand your knowledge each and every day. Midterms can be tough, and finals can be even tougher. It’s stressful, and not everyone can handle this. But if you have solid aspirations and you know what you want to do for a career, then attending college and getting a degree will be the best decision you’ve ever made. You will earn more money and have the opportunity to work in a position that you love.