Many older students are choosing to undertake college in their 20’s and 30’s. Some of them have families and others have a fulltime job in addition to college studies.
Yes its definitely a good idea to go to college when you’re 25. Many people in their 20’s and 30’s are attending college nowadays so you will be in good company.
There are many benefits to starting college in your mid-20’s and beyond. Most people do not realize this until they actually start their college a few years later.
Starting College At or After Age 25: It It OK Or Weird?
Do you feel weird going to college at 25 years or older? This feeling is natural but things have changed in the world considerably since the 1970’s.
Nowadays, especially since the mid to late 1990’s to the early 2020’s, having many older students above age 25 has become very popular in most college classrooms.
The only people who make a big deal of college age are some parents, older relatives or colleges where most students are in the 18 to 21 age bracket. Your best choice is to ignore these negative messages and go for it and see what a positive difference college will make to your life!
49% of all College Students Between 25 to 60+ Yrs
As per the 2022 census on educational attainment, over 49% of all college students are 25 years or older. So you have nothing to worry about as nearly half of your classmates are likely to be around 25 or more. This again depends on the college demographics, as some colleges attract a younger crowd, whereas others cater to a mixed crowd of 18 or 19 year olds, along with others in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or more.
Benefits of Life Experience and Career Focus
Older students usually have a lot more life experience and some of them will also have quite a bit of work experience. So such older students will be able to better communicate with faculty, and have a more real-world perspective about college and career.
All of these can be great motivators for successfully and quickly completing their college degree. Also, these older students can be a great asset to the classroom due to their wider knowledge on the subjects. They can also offer better advice and help to their younger classmates on life and academics.
Focus More on Academics Than the Younger Crowd
Young people generally focus more on the weekend partying than on the weekday classes. But it’s just the opposite with the older students. They are well aware that their career will grow and that they will earn more for the rest of their lives, once they complete their college degree.
This example that the older students set will encourage and motivate more of the younger students to focus on college studies and less on other temporarily passing matters.
No one Will Know or Care Unless You Tell or Emphasize It
When asked, most students in their teens are unable to figure out if any of their classmates are over 25 or not. Most of them do not care much about the age either and are perfectly comfortable with students of multiple younger and older age groups.
Only if you repeatedly mention to your classmates that you are 25 or older will they place any emphasis on your age. Otherwise, it will be business as usual and it will make no difference to anyone whether you are a teen or in your mid or late 20’s.
Check College Demographics Before Joining
If you want to be absolutely sure that there will be students of your age and other older 25+ yrs students, check for this before enrolling into a college.
You can visit the college and speak with some of their existing students and a simple campus visit may be sufficient to know more about this.
Here is a list from USNews of Colleges with Most Students Age 25 and Older. Take this list and also visit the college and speak with their students.
These steps will ensure that you join a college in which you have enough students of your own age to keep you company.
Superb Positive Career Growth
As someone who is about 25 years old, you already have some career exposure and real life experience. You most likely have a clear career goal and are looking for a college major that will tie in nicely with a type of job you have in mind.
This will prove very beneficial for your career. If you already have a job, you will get better pay and promotions at your workplace upon degree completion. If you are not currently working and plan to study fulltime, you will still be able to more quickly get the right job in an in-demand field that you choose for your college and major.
Since you already know the realities of life and the burden of paying your bills on time, you will not be wasting time attempting a college major with very few job opportunities.
Instead, you will be clearly set on a job with high growth job opportunities in a field that you are interested in. You will also be much more capable of taking on job interviews as an older student due to your greater life experience.
Benefits Older Students Bring To The Classroom
The broader perspective older students bring into the classroom will be obvious from the type of questions and interactions they have in the class. This will facilitate better learning for the whole class and lead to more intelligent class discussions and debates with faculty and classmates.
Also, older students are strictly focused on academic learning and will usually not hesitate to ask questions in class when its important to get a clarification on something. This will enable better learning of the subject matter for the whole class.
Younger 18 or 19 year old students usually tend to feel peer pressure and many of them tend to take their college studies very lightly and focus more on the college social life. This often leads to lower grades, lesser preparation for a career and thereby more difficulties in a smooth career progress.
Will Have Some Older and Younger Friends in College
As an older student of 25, to succeed in college, it is important for you to be comfortable with classmates and college mates of all younger and older age groups.
Have a more open mindset and learn from the lessons that students of all age groups are able to bring into the classroom. Do not shy away from asking a younger student for help when you need it. By doing this, you will not only learn more academically but will also have all the more fun in college as a slightly older student.
You Are Still Very Young
At 25, you are still very young and if you start now, you will be done with college graduation before you reach 30. The early 30’s is a great time for a new career and you will have many productive years in the workforce.
You have your whole life ahead of you, so be glad you’re starting college now! Upon college graduation and getting a good job, you will be able to afford a good life, home, fancy car and so much more.
Having a satisfying career will also give you happiness and fulfillment! Moreover, at this age of 25, you will still be eligible for many college scholarships as long as you’re willing to attend college fulltime.
You Are As Young As You Feel
When you look at it from a brand new perspective, age is just another number and how you feel need not change for this. In fact, most 25 year olds look very young nowadays and it’s hard to notice any difference in age between 19 year olds versus 25 year olds.
Also, it is important for you to live your life to the fullest and not get carried away by any naysayer’s opinions of what makes a good age for college. Find your own life and add more meaning to your life with a college education, great career, good friends, personal experiences, relationships and more!
Most 18 to 20 Year Olds Have Some Older (25+ to 60 Yr) Classmates
When asked, many 18 to 20 year olds vouch that they have older friends from college. So you are certainly not going to be looked at any differently based on your age in your 20’s or 30’s.
It all depends on how you feel and how you project those feelings onto others. If you are perfectly comfortable in college at any age, other students and faculty will also be comfortable with you.
Similarly, you can choose to have a diverse set of friends, some who are younger and others your age, and still others much older than you. This will help you to learn more from each person’s perspective and thereby create a unique and happy life for you.
Scheduling Changes For Older Students
One area that is very different for older students is to do with their increased responsibilities, timings and schedules. Younger fulltime college students can usually devote all their weekdays for college.
But older students are likely to be working fulltime and some even have a family with kids. So you need maximum flexibility in the scheduling of your classes.
Here are some ways you can comfortably introduce college into your already busy life:
1) Work fulltime and go to college parttime
2) Quit work and go to college fulltime and avail scholarships to pay for it
3) Work parttime and go to college parttime
4) Work fulltime and attend online college in your free time
Getting Back To Studying
Going to college at 25 will require you to get re-acquainted with studying continuously. It might initially appear challenging but as you keep practicing studying, it will become a lot easier.
Here are some ways to improve your study concentration and focus:
2) At your college, for any subjects that are challenging, join study groups and ask other students and your professors for further assistance
3) Make it a habit to wake up early every morning for studying. Studying early morning will improve your concentration and focus. You can learn much better in the early mornings when its much quieter and when there are minimal to nil distractions.
Finish College Faster
There are few ways by which you can complete your college much faster. This will help you to get a job much sooner and to reduce your overall college tuition expenses.
You can utilize your existing knowledge and knowhow to obtain college credits as follows:
1) If you previously did any college-level courses, ask for a transfer of those college credits to your current degree.
2) If you have any work experience, you can ask about an evaluation of your work experience for equivalent college credits. Colleges such as Excelsior or Charter Oak make it simple to obtain college credits for work experience or any other learning that happened outside a college environment.
3) If there are subjects you have a good knowledge of, you can also write tests such as CLEP or DSST or even the college’s own challenge exams to obtain college credits.
4) If you did any college courses in a foreign country, instead of a credits transfer, you can have a credential evaluation done of your foreign college credits.
5) Another quick way to obtain college credits is to take ACE accredited online courses at Sophia, Saylor, Straighterline or Study.com.
FAQ on College At 25 and Over
1) At 25, will I be the oldest student in my class?
No, since many older students attend college nowadays, you will likely find many students in your class who are much older than you, along with some students who are younger.
2) Can I work fulltime and still do college?
Yes, you can certainly work and go to college at the same time. Either attend an online college or a degree completion college which will provide you with multiple ways to obtain college credits such as testing out, unlimited credits transfer, online courses and so on.
3) How can I balance family and college studies?
If you have a family and kids, finding time to study for college can be a bit more difficult. Early mornings can still be great for college studies since your family and kids will be asleep. Or if you prefer, you can study longer before sleeping in the nights.
Try to take some college courses when your kids will be away at school or at a daycare. You can take the remaining courses online from home in your most convenient times.
4) How can I afford college without scholarships?
At 25, you will still be eligible for scholarships if you attend college fulltime. But if you can only do college parttime or if you are ineligible for scholarships, just choose the most affordable degree completion colleges and then take a parttime job to pay for the tuition fees.
5) What should I do if I’m unable to concentrate and focus on studying?
Start small and study for atleast an hour everyday, either in the early morning or in the evenings and night times. As you keep learning, gradually keep increasing your study time to keep up with your college course load.
Be sure to take notes and revise the same course materials or textbooks multiple times so that they will stay in your memory and so that you will have a good understanding of the topics learnt.
6) How can I stay motivated when I have so many conflicting obligations such as family and/or job responsibilities?
Completing a college degree will help jump start your career and enable you to more easily meet all your financial obligations such as providing for your family, having a good house to live in and to maintain a good lifestyle.
So whenever you are too tired to study, always remember how beneficial it will be for your life once you complete college. If possible, close your eyes and visualize all the good things such as a great house, nice car, gifts for your family that you will have upon completing college and getting a good job soon after college.
7) What are 3 tips for going to college as an older student?
a. Stay humble and always keep learning. Do not be afraid to ask younger classmates or professors for help with your college studies.
b. Always remember the benefits you will personally and professionally get from having a college degree
c. Focus on a college and courses that provide the maximum scheduling flexibility and affordability