2 thoughts on “What are some benefits or challenges of returning to graduate school after a break in training (such as a mid-career professional or veteran)?

  1. As a veteran my challenge was a different type of stress. Taking classes after an 8 year break many things had changed. I had forgotten some things and needed to learn new programs in order to keep up with the class work. I have to plan how and where to use my finances so I don’t end up broke as well as trying to find a job/internship. The job hasn’t appeared over the last 2 years but I am getting more as of late. Trying to keep relevant and keep updating my resume to be more business professional is a challenge as well.

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  2. The financial situations of older graduate students are usually different from those of students in their 20’s in ways that can put them in a better, or worse, situation to manage the financial challenges of graduate school. Among older students, it is very common for them to be completely on their own financially, and they may also be supporting dependents. So their ability to get time free from working to focus on their scholarship is often strictly limited to those time periods when there is adequate funding available to pay for it. (In the case of younger students, even those who are not being given any financial support by their family, often have the option to move back to their parent’s house and live for free any time they need to. This gives them a huge advantage, since they can “volunteer” large amounts of their time working on developing their scholarship, and they can take big risks to gain opportunities knowing that they have a safety net and that the consequences of going broke would be non-catastrophic.) On the other hand, some older grad students are married to a spouse with a “real job” or have acquired savings from a previous career, putting them in an advantaged position to weather the financial challenges of grad school. Although, even those with savings may not feel that they can take the risk of depleting their retirement account to pay for a graduate degree, depending on their age and how much they have.

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