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How to Talk to Your Family About Going Back to School

How to tell your family you're going back to schoolIf you are thinking about going back to school, your decision may impact your family. Short term, it may require sacrifices from everyone to keep the family running smoothly. Long term, it could mean a lot of advantages, like more job opportunities, or potential higher income. Here are some tips for how to have a conversation with your family about your decision to pursue your educational goals.

Be Straightforward

Tell your family from the onset that going back to school is a big commitment. You will have to spend a lot of time attending classes, completing assignments, and studying. Consider posting your class schedule where everyone can see it, so your family will know when you need to devote your time solely to school. Schedule time to study as well, so you know you will have time to dedicate to school. If your family is aware of your school schedule, they can plan their schedules accordingly and you can all work together to coordinate meals, activities with your kids, or date nights with your spouse.

Going back to school is not only a time commitment; it’s also a financial commitment.  Discuss with your family the effect that the cost of going back to school may have on your budget and discuss ways to fund your education. Explore all of the available options for financial aid and research scholarships through your school, job, or other resources.

Share Your Reasoning

Tell your family why you are thinking about going back to school. If getting a college degree is something that you have always dreamed of, or if you are going back so that you can secure a better-paying job down the road, share that with them. You can also explain the steps you are taking to ease the burden on yourself and your family. Pursuing your degree online may give you more flexibility to attend classes at times that are convenient for your family. Applying for financial aid may make your degree more affordable.

Explain the Big Picture

Talk to your family about your long term plans, and what will happen after you get your degree. You can discuss how your job prospects may improve. If you plan to pursue a degree in a different field from the one you work in now, or if you are not currently working, talk about the kind of job you would like to have after you get your degree. Talk about the possibility of a higher salary, more opportunity, and improved job satisfaction.

Ask for Help

Juggling a job, a family, and college classes is a big challenge. Once you have talked to your family about going back to school, ask them to help you. By letting your family know that you may need extra help while you’re in school, you will feel less stressed and your family will feel more invested in the process.

Going back to school is a big decision. Involving your family at the beginning of the process will help everyone to adjust and will help everyone share the same goal. Your family wants to support you and see you succeed.

Need to discuss going back to school with your boss too? Here are some tips.

Learn more about being an online student.

Colorado Technical University cannot guarantee employment or salary. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.coloradotech.edu/disclosures. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.