Want a few tips for balancing a busy life back at school as a working mom? Consider these.
Are you a working mom? Are you headed back to school? Believe it or not, you're hardly an exception to the typical student in postsecondary education. According to Working Mother,1 since the 1980s, the number of women heading into higher education has almost doubled – and of all those women, many are mothers, and just as many have full- or part-time jobs. In fact, the American Association of University Women2 reported that more than 60 percent of online students today are women, and the majority of them are over 25.
The healthcare field is especially rife with opportunities for women, from nursing jobs to healthcare IT positions and careers in medical billing. Healthcare is expanding due to recent reform, and it needs qualified, hard-working individuals – whatever their age and whether or not they have kids!
Returning to school
doesn't have to be a four-year investment, either. Many programs preparing you for healthcare fields can be completed in a matter of months, and most associate degrees only take two years – or even shorter.
Want a few tips for navigating what's sure to be a busy but rewarding life back at school? Consider these.
Create a calendar for yourself and one for your family A possible key to a successful education in any field, whether it's healthcare management or a more technological field like medical billing, is organization. The more organized you are, the better your workflow and the better the results of your education.
Create a single master calendar that you keep on yourself at all times. It's important that you have only one calendar for yourself. School is a major part of your life, and it's bound to overlap and conflict with other things. Keeping everything in one place can drastically reduce accidental missed classes, appointments, conversations with professors or soccer practices.
To this end, make sure your family has their own copy of your calendar – and keep it updated on a daily basis. This way, they'll always know where you are and when you'll be around.
Rise and shine and study Sleep is precious, but you'll be shocked by how much work you can get done waking up an hour early on weekdays and setting to work with your mug of coffee. If you're a night owl, you may be tempted to do your studying late at night after the kids are asleep, but if you really want to get your mind at peak wakefulness, take advantage of your early morning hours when you're well-rested.
Organize your home around your schedule Busy moms rarely feel like they're home as it is – and your time is about to become even more scarce. So ensure that you make the most of your time around your house, condo or apartment by organizing your home around your schedule.
Place bins or baskets by the door that contain everything you need before heading out to school. Include a basket by your work desk that's devoted to home-study materials or any requisite online course documents.
This kind of organization is great for school items, but try extending it to your family life as well. Keep your kids' school supplies in one place – and have them do the same for any sports equipment they might need in a hurry.
Think about how much time you could spend searching for your car keys. The end goal here is to take that time back and use it for studying – or maybe a little R&R.
Talk with your employer about tuition assistance If you're working a part- or full-time job, there's the chance that your employer might offer tuition assistance or even reimbursement. Simply put, tuition programs like this allow employers to make investments in their workers, although often there aren't any strings attached. Talk with your boss about any programs you might have at your company.
Seek out grants and scholarships Student debt can be a real problem for some moms and a major detriment to returning to school. While postsecondary education does cost money, debt isn't scary when it's manageable.
The first thing you should do is seek out scholarships and grants. This is essentially free money you can put toward your education – and often all that's required of you is filling out an application or writing a short essay.
There are a number of scholarships and grants geared specifically toward moms returning to school. You can check them out at Scholarships.com, where there's also a special list just for single mothers hoping to return to their educations. Other sources for financial aid information can be found through the federal government. Start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
FAFSA can also help you seek out loans that won't place you in overwhelming debt or have interest that's covered by the government during your time in school.
Did you know that over 75% of Ultimate Medical Academy's student population is comprised of mothers? At UMA, we understand the unique needs of a mother returning to school and we are here to help you pursue your goals. With services such as SOAR,3 academic advising and tutoring, you will be supported throughout your education. To learn more, call 888-205-2510.
For more information on student graduation rates, retention and placement rates and student financial obligations, visit /consumerinfo.pdf.