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Going back to school as an adult is something that many people talk about, but not all follow through with the plan. It’s necessary to examine why you want to go back to school and whether it is the right time in your life to embark on a new journey. Ask yourself these seven questions before taking the plunge back into college.

Why go back?
Ask yourself why you want to go back to school. Are you bored and looking for something to do, or do you want to learn a new trade or field to change your career? Know whether you’re returning for the right reasons.

What will you accomplish?
Set goals, whether that is to get your general requirement complete or get a new degree or certificate. Create a plan to get you from start to finish in the most efficient way.

Can you afford it?
School isn’t cheap. Check into whether you can get scholarships, grants, loans, or tuition reimbursement through your current job. Ensure that the program you’re pursuing is worth the financial cost.

Can you afford not to?
Continuing education is a requirement in many fields to keep up with changes in the industry. Spending money on your education is a long-term investment that will qualify you for higher paying positions and promotions. Each degree you earn increases your worth as an employee.

Is the timing right?
Life can be overwhelming when you try to balance everything from your home to relationships, children, and your current career. You’ll need to have time to go to class, study, and still make time for life’s other obligations. Some things may have to take a back seat while you’re in school.

Is the right school accessible?
You want to go to a school that offers the program you want. This may require traveling further than you anticipated or redesigning your educational plan. It may also be worth considering getting your degree through an accredited online college for more flexibility.

Is the support there?
Going back to school as an adult means you’ll need someone to help balance life’s other responsibilities. Having a good support network will lessen stress levels and make your educational experience more fulfilling.