There are many scenarios in which a person may decide to return to school. No matter what stage a person may find themselves, the important thing is they have made a life-changing decision to improve their themselves and they will need guidance and support to adjust to this new and exciting prospect.
Here are some of the potential challenges a mature student may face when returning to school:
A mature student is more apt to have existing financial burdens on their plate.There are many financial support and aid options for the mature student including government aid via Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (OSOG) or Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP). Parents have additional government assistance through Child care benefits and/or bursaries.
If these options are not feasible, many banks offer students a line of credit which gives them access to funds as they need them. Students can visit www.canlearn.ca for government information.
Those students returning to school under current employment may be eligible for tuition reimbursement through their employer as part of their benefits. This is usually for courses that are relevant to their position or potential positions within the business.
Looking into half day or part time courses through flexible diploma options will allow these students to balance their schedules more effectively.
Although hard to imagine some mature students may find new technology a little daunting. Allowing themselves time to adjust to using computers and various software programs will introduce them to a convenience they may not have had in their high school years.
Mature students face scheduling habits younger students may not. It is best for them to schedule study and homework time to be certain they are prepared for it everyday. Mature students may also be surprised by unexpected stress during tests and exams. Arriving early, reading through the test calmly and tackling simpler questions first can help students get through the test more calmly.
Acclimatizing to new social situations can contribute to the stresses of a mature student. There are far more mature students on campus these days and many offer mature student associations. Mature students can introduce themselves to fellow students attending classes in other courses. Meeting with like aged students facing the same challenges of returning to school later in life will create a mutually supportive relationship for both people.