Continuing education 101
Older students face challenges when they return to college
Attentive as he is, the information is of little use to Smith. His parents stopped supporting him almost 20 years ago.
He doesn't have a roommate, but he does have the following: a wife, who has also gone back to college full time; three children, all in school; aging parents he cares for; a life supported by loans, grants and government aid; and the dream of a college degree as a path to a better future.
Roger Smith is 36 and one of a growing number of students enrolling in colleges and universities later in life. He’s a full-time health sciences major and hopes to go to nursing school after he graduates in May.
Mid-life students such as Smith juggle school projects, homework and midterm exams with household chores, paying bills and putting food on the table. They sit in college classrooms surrounded by 19- and 20-year-olds, then go home to spouses and children of their own. They put themselves in debt, deferring sleep and material luxuries for the promise of more security