Going the Distance…From Your Living Room (Guest Post)

Will Bankovich, freelance blogger for Study2U.com and full-time dad, wants to be Bill Cunningham when he “grows up”.

My three-year-old is crying, the cat just barfed on the carpet, spaghetti is bubbling over onto the stove and, in the midst of all this, I’m on the phone with a shady mechanic trying to get quotes on a new alternator so I can make it to work this week. The last thing on my mind is “Gee, I should really go back to college”. But maybe it should be.

Are you a single parent thinking about going back to school? (Photo courtesy of Kevin Cawley via Flickr)

Are you a single parent thinking about going back to school? (Photo courtesy of Kevin Cawley via Flickr)

 

A 2010 National Poverty Center press release reports that over 31% of families headed by single individuals were under the national poverty line. This is by far the poorest sub-group in the country, without factoring in ethnicity. Naturally, this statistic leaves out some vital factors: assistance such as food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid, employer-provided insurance and other subsidies/social services. Including, most importantly, that life with low-to-modest wages does not equal a deprived life for you and your kids. Small budgets can lead to creativity. You can be penniless and still build a life of love.

However. When you’re trying to take care of your family, higher learning equals higher earning. The statistics on this are well-known facts. Those in possession of a college degree are making more money. Fortunately, there are many, many resources out there for non-traditional students. I saw an article not too long ago focused on “the best fields of study for single parents”. Nonsense, I say! The best area of study for anyone is whichever career they want to go into. Period.

Distance learning is obviously a popular option for those with priorities at home. Online courses cover basically every area of study, are beamed right into your living room and tend to be cheaper than most standard colleges and universities. You work at your own pace and can probably make your kid a sandwich while you’re taking a test, or work full-time, squeezing classwork into your own spare moments. And forget the commute! You can earn credits in your robe and slippers.

With all the talk of student loans crushing the millennial generation, you’d think financial assistance would be a tough nut to crack. If this is your first foray into academia, Pell Grants are your new best friend (they can only be used towards a first degree). Pell Grants can be combined with other types of funds, and there are no restrictions on the number of scholarships you can apply for. If there’s any money left over the refund goes to you, to help out with other expenses.

The last thing to consider is the example you’re setting for your kids. Afraid they’ll see you pulling out your hair trying to juggle your job, a brand new course-load, being a good parent and well…life in general? Rest assured, you’re illustrating the importance of education to those kiddos. Not just school, but life-long learning and the pursuit of passions. And that’s just about the most important trait you could hope to instill.


No matter what type of student you are, The Secrets of Top Students can help you succeed.  Order your copy today!

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