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How Working Parents Get College Degrees

It might seem impossible to add anything to your already busy schedule if you have kids and work a full-time or part-time job. But it’s a fact that every year, many moms and dads decide to earn college degrees or finish ones they started years ago. Fortunately, there are several helpful hacks that can make it surprisingly easy to finance and obtain a four-year degree while raising a family and working.

The good news is that in the 2020s, there can be more scholarships available than ever before. The trick is knowing how to apply for multiple opportunities simultaneously. Taking part-time course loads and building a quiet, kid-free zone in your home are two other tactics that can serve you well if you decide to pursue a degree. Consider focusing on academic programs that can boost your earnings and career potential. Finally, make a concerted effort to create a detailed weekly schedule that accounts for study time, outings with children, plenty of rest, and all of life’s other necessary duties. Here’s how to begin your educational journey in a commonsense, uncomplicated way.

Apply for Scholarships

One of the big hurdles to obtaining a higher education degree from a four-year college is finances. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of working moms and dads don’t have enough money in savings accounts to cover the full cost of attending school, part-time or full-time. Luckily, they can use services offered by providers like Going Merry scholarships for college students to search for opportunities online and apply for multiple scholarships for which they qualify. Online platforms are an ideal way to cut through the red tape and streamline the application process. Studying and earning good grades is challenging enough. So, it only makes sense to obtain as much funding as possible before beginning a four-year degree program.

Take Low Course Loads

If you’re already working and watching over one or more children, consider colleges that offer all-online curricula, self-paced study, and open-ended completion dates for courses. That way, you have total freedom to structure daily and weekly schedules around study and class time. Another effective tactic for getting the most out of higher education is to keep course loads as low as possible. This can help significantly with stress management throughout this time. Experiment with just one three-credit class at first, then ramp up to two or three to get a feel for how much and use open-ended completion dates

Create a Schedule & Study Zone

Two related factors can make your study time efficient: detailed schedules and kid-free workspaces. Jobs, children, and academic pursuits can coexist if you create an hour-by-hour weekly schedule that allows for academics, outings with kids, family social time, sleep, and routine daily tasks. As all busy moms and dads know, planning is a powerful weapon in the battle against chaos. Don’t forget to set up a study area in your home where you are unlikely to be disturbed by children, doorbells, noise in other rooms, and distractions. Let older kids know that the room is off limits when you’re attending to school-related tasks. Setting reasonable boundaries can be tricky if you have very young children at home, so be patient when designing a quiet place.