To Old to Go Back to School?

Is 27 to old to go back to school? My life is going through some major changes in the past few months. Got divorced, moved to Cleveland from Tampa and will be gaining custody of my son at the end of his school year.

In my old age I now realize the importance of education and really want to go back to school in order to secure a better future for myself and my son. Now, I am not completely un-edumacated. I do have an Associates of Science in EE but from a tech school. And I do have an extensive work history; I’ve been a buyer for several commodities for seven plus years. As you can see though my degree doesn’t really help me in work much. And I can’t really progress much further currently because I do not have a work related degree.

I want to go back and get my Bachelors and possibly my Masters in something business related, with a minor in computers which are my first love. I can not transfer any of my old schooling because the school is not on the same accreditation something or other as a regular college so I would have to do everything over from scratch. I figure I would be around 32 when I finish my Bachelors.

So, am I to old for this plan? To old to completely change careers if I chose to get a totally unrelated degree? To old to continue on to my Masters once I complete my degree? Should I just resign to a life of mediocrity and to never making six figures?

I will (HOPEFULLY) be going back to school full time this winter, at the tender age of 27. That is if Ms Whiteyfoo gets the promotion she should be getting. Otherwise I’ll just have to slog thorugh at 1 class a semester like I have been doing.
It’s never too late. I come from a longish line of late degrees. My father didn’t get his M.E. degree till 85 when he was in his mid 30s. My mother got her RN in 96, and will be getting her masters in 3 weeks. So at 27-32 you would be doing the career switch early.

I’m sorry; I’m on the floor laughing.

27 is not too old to return to school. I went back in 2003, when I was 32, to pursue my bachelor’s in communications. I’ll be 34 when I graduate, then I’m seriously considering taking a year off, then going to law school.

There is no reason to think that you’re “too old” to go back. One of the people in my TV production course is in his fifties. He came back after being gone for 25 years.

I’m willing to bet that you’ll do better than your younger classmates. Age and maturity have ways of making us take this stuff seriously.


My dad was a high school dropout who went back to school and earned a BA at age 36. He then went to and graduated law school, passing the bar at age 39. He’s a pretty extraordinary guy, so I’m not saying anyone could that, but he would certainly laugh at the idea that 27 is too old.

You’re definitely not too old to go back to school. You have some disadvantages that many of the other students don’t have, including your child care obligations. But you also have advantages that they don’t, including a broader perspective, more life experience, and a deeper commitment to your education. IMHO, the ads outweigh the disads.

Before I went to law school, I worked in college admissions/financial aid. We always liked seeing returning students, because they took their schooling more seriously. Because of everything you will have to give up to go to school, you’ll treat school like your job – you’ll show up prepared for all your classes, which will put you head and shoulders above the rest.

As for college, make sure you check out all the colleges in your area. Ask about average class size, average student age, teacher to student ratio, etc. You may be able to find a college that has a higher proportion of “older” students (although, honestly, 27 isn’t all that old in comparison). And look into financial aid and day care options. Different schools have different benefits.

I don’t have experience in the field you’re planning to go into, but I don’t see how an employer would not want to take someone on simply because s/he is a few years older than the others.

As for resigning yourself to a life of mediocrity: don’t do it. Won’t make you happy, and it won’t teach your son the right values. Good luck.

I’m 27 and I’m going to be going back to school this summer. Penn State - York has an Electro-Mechanical Engineering degree that has my name all over it. I work full time and will only be going in the evenings/weekends. I don’t even have an AA yet, but I’m planning on CLEPing out a few credits initially and taking the remainder of my credits (I have about 30 now via community college that I’m hoping will transfer.) to hopefully get my AA in about a year. After that I’m going for my BS. Good luck!

Howdy, neighbor! I (and the redoubtable Airman Doors) go to Shippensburg.


It’s never too late to go back and get your degree. Period.

IIRC, there was an Ann Landers column about that. Someone wrote asking the same question, ending it with, “In three years, when I graduate, I’ll be 32!” Ann quite sensibly wrote back, “And if you don’t go back, in three years, you’ll also be 32.”

How many more years do you expect to work? If you finish at 32 and retire at 65, that’s 33 years to build a career. That seems like enough time. to be worth investing four years in.

My mother was a stay at hom mother of six. She went back to school when my youngest sister started kindergarden and graduated when she was 40. She know makes five times what I make and travels all over the world with her job.

You are going to be 32 at some point anyway whether you like it or not. The only question is whether you want a degree too.

You’re not too old at 27! I am 41 and I kind of am too old for my plan. I have a 20 year old BA in history which I have never done a thing with. I am the assistant to the director of counseling services at an institution of higher learning. I would LOVE to be a counselor here and the counseling staff thinks I would do well at it. However, that means going back to school for a masters in counseling or social work and there are no guarantees that I would get a job here. That means I would start at less money than I make here and if I left here I wouldn’t get the wicked cool benefits and retirement plan. Moral of the story: go for it now!

I will be 45 when I get my first bachelor’s in 2010, in a degree completely dominated by the under 25 crowd. I started part time at a community college the spring of 2004. Worked full-time and schooled full-time fall 2004 and this spring semester. This fall I will quit my cushy job of 10 years to commit to school overtime. I am too old, but so what. It’s fun for its own sake.

No, but you must learn the difference between to and too! :smiley: Sorry, I’m just playing.

I was just a year younger when I went back to school. I had already taken a few years of courses, so I graduated when I was 28, but you are not too old!

Wishing you luck in your new adventure!

Heh. I was going to suggest a grammar class.

My mom graduated from college the same year I did. I was 21, she was 48. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t much that you are too old for at age 27. Diapers, maybe. :wink:

I started grad school when I was 29 (but closer to 30). It’s harder to do when you’re older and you have to pay for it yourself, but it’s definitely worth it. I’d do the same thing all over again! Even though I’m not exactly raking in the big bucks now. But I feel a lot smarter! :slight_smile:

You’re never too old to change careers. I’m sure I’ll be changing careers several times before I retire.

Good luck, Amp!

Good gosh no, I’m just going back to school in a month and I’m 31! I really don’t think it’s ever too late to go back to school.

I’m 26 and I started full-time this spring. I had some transfer credit, but I’m still taking mostly freshman classes to fill in Gen Ed gaps. I’m older than some of my TA’s, but it’s not really a big deal.

No way. I’m a year younger than you and will be finishing my first year of college in two months. I worried at first about being too old, but I’ve never been the oldest person in any of my classes. I’d go for it now while you have the drive to make it succeed. I’d think the longer you put it off, the harder it would be.

It is never too late to go back to school. My husband is 33 and just finished his bachelor’s last year, and is (hopefully) starting lawschool in the fall, which means if he gets in this year, he’ll be 37 when he finally gets his J.D. I am 24 and just finished my AA and I am reapplying (long story, that) to university in the fall.

As long as you don’t mind the fact that you’ll be in class with a bunch of 18 year olds, you’ll do fine :slight_smile: Also, many universities give certain bonuses to “non-traditional” students - often times in the form of a counselor especially atuned to the specific problems that come with being a returning student. It also looks good on an application.

Go do it!

My grandmother was 70 when she got her bachelor’s degree. We got our master’s degrees the same year; she was about 75 (and had gone to Peru for thesis material). Her mother also got her bachelor’s at about 70.

No, it’s never too late to go back to school.