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I want to go to college, but where do I start? I'm 28 years old mother of 3, full time job...
Career / 10:38 AM - Wednesday January 06, 2010

I want to go to college, but where do I start? I'm 28 years old mother of 3, full time job...

My husband supports me and it doesn't bother him if I don't have a college education but it bothers me. I have friends that have been going to night classes for 7 years..and still not done..they say its hard but I guess worth it. How can I do it, where do I start?

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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I recommend you start at your local community college. The tuition will be very low and they have a great variety of classes. They will have a department for helping you decide your career choices or you may wish to just start taking your general education classes.

If you need financial assistance to pay for your tuition and books, go to www dot fafsa dot ed dot gov and complete the FAFSA. We are still in the 2009-2010 financial aid year and your awards will be based an you and your husband's completed 2008 Federal Income Tax Returns (remember them from last April?).

This is what I do for my career. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

btw -- it took me 19 years to complete my degree :-)

- Response by utahmom, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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You should focus on your children for a few more years. Then go to college in your 30s when your kids are more grown up and you can go full time.

- Response by greenwind, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, Construction

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Community Rating: Community Star

Do you know what you want to get out of it? Are you fulfilled in your current job? These are questions that you need to ask yourself first. I went to uni straight out of high school and for the better part of, I hated it and felt it was a waste of time. The best thing I achieved from going to Uni was the friends that I made there, that are still my friends today. I graduated, but I'm not sure if it helped me at all in the long run.

College, or uni is great if there is something that you're passionate and motivated about learning but its not essential for self-improvement. If you're really set on the idea, then best of luck.

Best thing to do is look at the schools in your local area, get their course guides and compare testimonials that they prepare and also take a look around the campuses and ask the students of their opinions. I'm sure most would be glad to answer.

Like your friends said, it's going to be extremely tough, especially since unlike me, you have many obligations outside of learning that will have to take precedent more often then not.

Also, be prepared to fail. There's no shame in it, it happens and for some it happens more than others.

Be organised with your time and your assignments. It's a lot easier for mature-aged students to do. I was not at all organised, which only made my life inevitably harder.

And also, if you ever feel like quitting, try and remember why you're doing it in the first place. There's no point to sticking with something that you lack passion or interest or drive to finish.

I went back to uni to get a graduate diploma and ended up dropping out at the very first assignment. I'm not regretful about it. I tried something, and it didn't suit me, and there's no shame in admitting that.

AND! Most of all, really, good luck. The first step is finding the courage to leap.

- Response by oddkitty, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Do you have a high school diploma or GED?

What do you think you want to do?

I would search for your local community college and review what they have to offer and schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Generally there are 3 basic things it can offer: Certificate Programs, Associate in Science Programs, and Associate in Arts-where you would transfer to a university.

Certificate programs are usually additional vocational training.

Associate in Science train you for a careers such as CAD operators, nursing, dental assisting, etc.

Associate in Arts is where you do your basic freshman and sophmore years of college towards a (4-year) bachelors degree.

- Response by boggob, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Political / Government

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Go to a community college and speak with a counselor there. Their job is to help students find their way around, pick out classes, etc. It's a good place to start, anyway.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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Go to your community college and start there. You'll likely have more success there. You can then transition to a university once you've finished an associates degree. I don't even know you and I'm proud of you! Good luck!!!

- Response by quikslvr, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, Washington, DC, Farming

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good for you. first ask yourself what you like to do, what are you interested in, what are your passions. Knowing what you want to get into would be a start and easier when it comes to deciding what college and so on.

- Response by girlpower08, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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I do school through Strayer University... find a local college that might interest you. Go to their financial aid dept. and see what your options are, as long as you have never defaulted on gov't loans (different from reg. loans, they do not check your credit), then you will be approved for a gov't. loan to pay your way through college. Six months after you've received your degree (generally about 2-4 years, depending on which type of degree you are going for) you begin paying back the loan. Of course, if you have the funds to pay as you go, that is even better. I have done mostly online courses b/c I can do my work on my own time... as having a 4 year old and working full time makes it rather difficult to attend the classes in person. I only have 7 more classes left and then I receive my Bachelor's degree, and it will of taken me a little less than 4 years to complete. It's hasn't necessarily been easy, I've had to work very hard... but it's all well worth it to have an education.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Financial / Banking

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Start with some online courses, but make you go through an ACCREDITED college... not thoses "colleges" that have all the commercials on tv....

- Response by nicolegillenwater, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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You have a few great responses already.

I'll just add this: I went to college part-time for 20 years.
I wasn't intent on getting a degree and I didn't know what I wanted to major in but I wanted a better education and I get the impression that's what you are interested in as well.

If that's the case, you could take just one or two classes per quarter or semester and as long as it isn't a financial hardship on your family, I think it's a great idea.

- Response by jenny12, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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just buy yourself a diploma.

- Response by kaosun, A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45, Boston

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I work as a college advisor so if you would like I can take a look at what's available in your area field wise/school wise. It's never too late, especially when their are flexible school schedule (online, night, part-time) options! =) Message me if you'd like me to take a look for ya! Good luck!

- Response by sunkissedwhit1987, A Trendsetter, Female, 26-28, Celebrity

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Online college...I have a friend in Canada that's doing it and will graduate soon.

- Response by tomtomcat, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, New York, Teaching

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It is always worth bettering yourself especially if it is bothering you. first pick what you think would work for you;
Are you good with numbers? - accounting, business
Do you like Science? Lab work? - you could take a lab tech course - get a job a lab tech,then have them pay for the rest

Do you like nursing?
Are you a people person? Sales is a great way to get started

Good luck, and go for it; you don't want to look back and say I should have...etc..etc...

- Response by ruffian, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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I went through similar thoughts when I first decided to go back to school, after being out of school for nearly 10 years and the first step I took was to talk to the college personnel and let them know my schedule, my goals and what I wanted to do and they worked with me to find a flexible schedule where I could continue to go to school AND work part-time(I'm a single parent so I had to be flexible enough to work and go to school)'s been 4 years and it has been tough but it has also been worth what you need to do and go talk to a counsellor or the college advisors and let them know what you need and what you want and go from there...good luck and hope you find what you need...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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I know how you feel I am 28 years old and am expecting my third child. My husband and i both go to school and I am taking courses at the community college while my husband is finishing his bachelors in a adult accelerated program at a local university. I have been going to school on and off for 10 years and will only have my A.S this semester. even though for the last 3 years i have been consistently taking 3-6 credit hours per semester. We also get financial aid and my husband gets the benefit of post military G.I. bill, which pays for college. I tried working part time at nights and going to school 2x a week and had to quit my job because it was to stressful on our family. Let me tell you though if you focus and have determination to get your degree you can do it. I never enjoyed school and my grades reflected that but now that i am determined and planing on getting my DMS, diagnostic medical sonography, degree i have been maintaining above a 3.75 GPA. You can do anything you put your mind to just make sure you know it will be tough.

- Response by A Hippie Chick, Female, 29-35, Home Maker

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