If you are a single mom looking to go back to school, first of all, congratulations! You are about to embark on an adventure that will surely benefit you and your kids in the future. As you know, nothing worth working for in life is easy, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. Here are some steps for you to take as you begin this incredible opportunity.
Decide What You Want To Do.
By now, you have been thinking about what career field you may be interested in. What is your passion? What are your talents? What do you truly enjoy doing? Perhaps you love helping people and would like to become a nurse. Maybe you love working with numbers and accounting appeals to you. Maybe you want to help protect people and criminal justice is what you want to pursue. All of these a great career choices, and there are so many more. Spend some time in self-reflection and ask yourself what you want to do for the rest of your life. Talk with close family members and friends about it too. Many times talking with others about a big decision like this one helps give you clarity.
Find A School With Your Program and Apply!
After you have decided what you would like to do, it’s time to find a school that offers your program. This will all depend on your career choice. It could be a local community college, an online college, a technical school, or a bigger university. Determine also, what you need to do to apply to the program. Other than the obvious application you will need to fill out, are there tests you need to take? Essays you need to write? Recommendations you need to ask for? Generally you will need to request transcripts to be sent as well. All this paperwork is usually not fun, but it is essential to get it in as soon as you can. You should also find out if you’re eligible for a PELL grant.
After you finish the paperwork, it is time to wait. Hopefully it won’t be too long before you hear if you have been accepted into your program. If you don’t hear within a few weeks, you can always call the school and ask about the “status of your application.” They should be helpful and let you know what to expect.
The Registration Process
After you have been accepted into your program, it is time to register for classes. You will need to decide your school schedule based on your life’s schedule. Will you be taking classes online? Who will watch your children while you are in class? Do you work another job? Keep all this in mind as you register for classes. Most classes are offered online or in the evenings if you need these options. You should also consult your academic advisor to talk about your goals. This individual will help you choose classes and work around your schedule. They will be one of your greatest allies during this journey so never be afraid to contact him or her to talk.
Paying For School
Of course, you will need to pay for your schooling, but there are options available for you since you are a single mother. Many single moms are offered financial aid including grants. Grants are funds given to you to pay for school that you will not need to pay back. You will need to do some research to see how to apply for grants or other financial aid. You will need to fill out the FASFA form (The Free Application for Federal Students Aid). This form will open up the doors to see what type of financial aid you will be able to receive. Don’t let the prospect of paying for your schooling scare you. Just do what you can to see what you will qualify for.
Manage Your Time and Work Hard
After you have figured out all the details, it’s time to delve in! You will be reading, studying and working hard in your classes so make sure you manage your time wisely. If you have family or friends offer to help you by watching your kids, take them up on their offers. You need plenty of time to concentrate on your studies so never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. This will be a busy time in your life, but in the grand scheme of time, you will be glad that you chose to return to school. Your hard work will pay off, just don’t give up!