Going back to school when you’ve already got a life filled with family, work, community, sports or hobbies can be a real challenge. And yet many people return to the classroom every year at every age. If you’re thinking about going back to school, we can help with information and encouragement.
1. Get Financial Help
Health Works Institute is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to administer Pell Grants, Direct Loans, and the PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students). To find out how much aid you qualify for, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at: www.fafsa.gov Within two weeks of your application being “successfully submitted,” our Financial Aid Administrator, Alexa, will send you an email message and invite you to contact her. When you speak with her, she will explain your eligibility to you, and she will begin to guide you through the process for obtaining your aid. Click here for general information about federal financial aid.
Money is an issue for many adults who are going back to school, and many of our students need a friendly expert to guide them toward a clear understanding of their personal financial situation. This is the first step toward determining if now is a good time for you to return to school. Alexa can meet with you in person or by phone or Skype. She will help you create a personal budget for the 10 months or year that you will be in school, and she will explain all of the options you have for covering the costs of your education.
Also, scholarships aren’t just for young students. Many are available for older students, working moms, and non-traditional students of all kinds. Once you are enrolled in one of our programs, you will be notified of scholarships that are for esthetics and massage therapy students who are currently attending school.
2. Can you afford not to go back to school?
Investing in your education is one of the smartest things you will ever do. The National Center for Education Statistics collected data in 2014 showing the employment rate for adults and young adults with a degree or certification post high school was 30% higher than a high school diploma on its own. Completing a certification program in esthetics or massage therapy can also result in a big boost in your earning potential. The sooner you make the investment in your education, the sooner you will enjoy the benefits of entering a new career field.
3. Is this the right time in your life?
Life demands different things of us at different stages. Is this a good time for you to go back to school?
Younger students may decide to enroll now, so that they can establish their career before they have a family and take on other responsibilities. Some students have held a variety of jobs and learned about the world and themselves by having important life experiences, and they are ready to make a commitment to a real profession, rather than “just a job.” Older students may have worked for many years at jobs that were not fulfilling, and they long to have meaningful work that makes a positive difference. When parents of young children are thinking about returning to school, they must ensure that they have good day care in place, or they need to confirm that their family members will be available to take care of the children while the student is in class. When children are older, a parent may decide, “Okay, I have dedicated myself to my family for many years, and now it’s time for me to pursue my interests.” Similarly, some students feel that they have done what others thought they “should” do, and now these students assert their intention to do what they “want” to do, what has been calling to them and just feels right.
4. Balance Work, Family, School
If you determine that the circumstances of your life are in alignment with your desire to pursue further education, your next step will be to focus on time management, stress reduction, and balancing school with the other parts of your life. During new student orientation at Health Works, you will be guided in using a calendar or planner to schedule all of your activities, including studying, working, caring for yourself and others, etc. You’ll review the necessity for good self-care on the physical and emotional levels, including effective, practical ways to minimize your stress. Throughout the program, our Student Adviser provides ongoing support for managing the demands of school and achieving a healthy balance with all of the components of your life.
5. Find a Support System
So many non-traditional students are going back to school. Are there people in your life who will be your cheerleaders? Are your friends and family members offering to help? Take them up on it – accept their offers to cook you a meal, run an errand for you, or do a load of laundry! Perhaps your employer will allow you to study during breaks and slow times. Finishing school will be up to you, and you don’t have to do it alone. As you get to know your classmates, identify those with whom you’d like to form a study group, and/or make agreements with your entire class about how you will support each other through the learning process. Get online and search for “non-traditional students” – you’ll discover how others like you have achieved their goals.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns as you start your back to school journey!