How Going Back to School Can Give You a Second Chance

By Published on December 26, 2018

When people think of a traditional college student, they typically think of a recent high school graduate aged 18-22 who is going to school full-time. It’s easy to assume that the higher education system might be entirely geared towards this “traditional” student demographic and investing in obtaining more education would be a waste of time.

In reality, these assumptions are simply not true. According to The Economist, as of 2014 the majority of higher education students were nontraditional students. Here are a few examples of nontraditional students:

  • Students who are older than 25
  • Single parents
  • Married parents
  • Students who have taken a long break from school for any reason.


Every nontraditional student’s story is different, and is many times marred by difficult decisions and unfortunate life circumstances. Regardless of what your situation is, it’s not too late to take matters into your own hands and change your circumstances through education.

Here are three ways going back to school can give you a second chance:

1. Change of Direction

Perhaps you are stuck in a dead-end job and need a certification or degree. Perhaps you have grown unsatisfied with your current field of work and now desire change. Maybe you are a single parent searching for a better way of supporting your family. Whatever your reason is for wanting to change your life, higher education can help.

There has never been an easier time for a nontraditional student to come back to school. Colleges and universities are creating more online classes in order to accommodate more flexible schedules. Recent surveys show that nontraditional students prefer flexible scheduling, with 25% of their courses being online.

The rise in the number of colleges and universities offering online courses is fantastic news, as this means anyone can work toward a new degree or certificate, even if their schedule is unforgiving.

2. Job Security

Unemployment is a horrible situation no one wants to find themselves in. Being unable to provide for yourself or your family can be a living nightmare. Fortunately, obtaining more education can help prevent this situation from occurring in your life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education has a direct impact on the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for those who have not graduated from high school is 6.5%. This number drops to 4.6% once a high school diploma or equivalent is earned, and drops even further to 2.5% once a Bachelor’s degree is earned.

Simply put, obtaining more education allows you to gain more skills that allow you to better market yourself in today’s economy. With more marketable skills, you are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to be hired.

3. Building Confidence

If you are a nontraditional student, it’s very possible that you have struggled with self-confidence at one point or another. While obtaining a degree can be a major confidence booster, not obtaining a degree can give people feelings of inadequacy, and make them question whether they should pursue their dreams.

When it comes down to it, confidence is a matter of preparation: The more you prepare in a given field or subject, the more confident you feel. Higher education can help you brush up on your skills, or develop entirely new ones, which will better allow you to take control of your life and better your situation.

Contact CollegeAmerica

Since 1964, CollegeAmerica has been helping traditional and nontraditional students better their respective situations. As a nonprofit, we invest in you and your success – not the other way around. Contact us online today to find out more!

If you haven’t completed high school, don’t worry. Our Denver, Fort Collins, Phoenix and Flagstaff locations offer a GED® prep program that’s designed to help prepare you to take the general education diploma exam, and thereby help you continue your educational path.