“Go back to school now? I don’t think that is possible. There is no way I can fit school into my schedule.”
Does this sound like you or someone you know? If so, you are not alone. It’s something college admissions counselors from Colorado Technical University hear from numerous spouses on a daily basis. Many spouses are dealing with similar concerns that could prevent them from starting their education:
- I’m raising kids alone while my spouse is deployed.
- I’ve been working extra hours to help pay bills.
- I haven’t been in a classroom for years.
- I can’t afford to go back to school.
- I should wait until my spouse finishes their education.
- We move too much.
Many military spouses are so busy putting their family’s needs before their own that they forget why they wanted to go to school in the first place. Attending school is more attainable than most people think. Online education has come a long way over the past few years — many quality institutions now offer online degrees that are flexible enough to bend to the demands of even the most hectic schedules. At some schools, military students are offered the option to pause their degree program if deployed, and pick up where they left off once they have settled into their new location.
At online schools, classes do not dictate your schedule; you personalize your educational experience. Online courses allow you to take classes when, where and how it best fits into your busy lifestyle. Virtual classrooms allow you to listen to live chats, read ebooks and access online tutoring all day, every day. Most military spouses can fit their studies in early in the morning before their day gets started, and at the end of the day when their children go to bed.
Another question that admissions counselors often hear from military spouses: “What degree program should I select?” There is a common fear of not being able to use the degree once they get it because of the unpredictable nature of deployments. There is a work around. In fact, many military spouses tend to choose a degree in health care or human services since these skills can be easily transferable no matter where life may take you.
Want to know a secret? The admissions process can really be quite simple and straightforward depending on what school you choose. Admissions staff help you through the entire process — from reviewing your past experience and education, to picking out courses and planning your schedule. Even after you’re enrolled, the support continues through financial aid advisors and other specialists with training to understand military benefits.
Final tip. Before you apply, research colleges and schools to find the program that adapts to your lifestyle needs while at the same time providing a rich educational experience. Military spouses can benefit from programs that offer built in support systems such as online clubs and faculty that mentor and support you along the way.
Getting a degree is a life changing experience, but it doesn’t have to change how you live your life.
Eva Mitchell is the National Director of Admission at Colorado Technical University (CTU) where she and her dedicated staff work to help enroll military spouses so they can further their education. Find out more about CTU by visiting www.coloradotech.edu/military or call the military admissions department at 1.866.396.1726.