When to Go to College: After High-School or Later in Life

We often feel that there is a lot of pressure to go and study immediately following graduation from high-school and there are many advantages to this strategy. However, there is also a lot to be said for waiting until later in life as well. Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of going now or waiting for a little before going.

College

Financial Implications

You can look at this decision from a financial point of view and it works in both ways. The financial advantage of going straight from school is that you have few, if any, financial obligations and this can make studying easier as there is one less stress to be concerned about. Although if you are older then it’s also possible you have savings and assets and can fund yourself completely throughout the course. So this decision may ultimately depend on your situation as arguments can be made either way. If you do have to take out student loans, then maybe it’s less of a long-term burden when young as you don’t want to be paying these off late into your career.

Career Prospects

The reason why are you looking to complete a course of higher education can vary and especially so between this choice of when to go. If you are going back to study later in life then you may be looking to supplement your industry experience and use the qualification to kick on even further whereas for a young graduate you are starting from scratch with no industry experience.

Getting Accepted

The route to getting accepted may be different as a mature student, when you are a school-leaver then it’s mostly going to be based on your academic grades but as an older applicant then you can illustrate your suitability by citing professional experience. In either situation, you may not have the grades to get directly on to a degree course but there are plenty of lower qualifications such as an HNC that can either be a good qualification in itself or one that leads on to acceptance for the degree course.

Difficulties Of Studying After A Break

One thing you are going to have to do if you are a mature student gets back in the habit of studying. This can be a real culture shock as firstly, it’s a long time since you’ve done this and, also there have been a few changes such as the use of technology, online learning materials, academic journals, etc. As a younger student, this is not as big a change although the difference between the type of work school and the university expects can be quite different as well.

Social Life of Young and Mature Students

The experience of being at college or university is quite different for a young student and a mature student. Chances are that if you are going straight from school then you have more time to go out, party and generally live it up. However for a mature student, you will likely find that life’s responsibilities are greater, you may have a partner and/or children and this means you will be in a very different stage of life and concentrate more on studying.