Starting College At 30 - Careers
Starting College at 30 years old? Anxious about the experience you could have on a course as a mature student? Rest assured, it is not as difficult as it may seem. There are so many things to consider when starting your College course and when applying, especially when like many mature students, you may have more responsibilities in your home life compared to students who are younger.
Here at MidKent College, we want to ensure that you start College feeling ready to learn; so we’ve put together a list of things that we think are important to consider when applying for your course and some tips for starting College at 30.
Which Course Is Right For You?
Starting College at 30 likely means you’ve had time to consider what you want to study. Most people have an exact idea of what they want to study, but even if you don’t, MidKent College can help you. When choosing a course, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Do you want to study full-time, or do you want something more flexible?
- What qualifications do you already have? Are you equipped to apply?
These factors should be considered before you decide on any course, whether you want to study a Motor Mechanic programme or a Health and Childcare programme. Regardless of the level at which you apply, there are always opportunities and courses available to you.
There a number of different course types you can enrol on:
- Full-time college courses - Study alongside students of varying ages for three days a week, with access to all of the resources you require. This helps you to gain a full subject qualification for your future career
- English and maths GCSE courses - Having good GCSE English or maths is a great stepping stone into your chosen career or if you are planning to go onto study at university. Here at MidKent College we offer English and maths qualifications as part of a study programme and also provide stand-alone courses to prepare you for exams in both subjects.
- Distance learning courses - Sometimes, there are situations where you cannot regularly travel to College. This is where distance learning College courses can be extremely beneficial, where you can complete College courses from home
- Part-time and evening courses - If you do not want to leave your existing career, a part-time or evening course may be more suitable for you. These courses allow you to fit study around your work, with a structured curriculum that gets you exactly where you need to be
- Access to Higher Education courses - GCSEs and A-Levels may be required in order to reach your chosen career field or to study at university. Due to this, you may decide to look at an Access to Higher Education course. These courses provide you with all the formal qualifications you require in order to study for a degree at university
- University-level qualifications - We also offer university-level courses that allow you to achieve a degree level qualification at a fraction of the price. With lower tuition fees, smaller size classes and varying grade requirements, we are accredited by our partner universities, so you can rest assured that we have the perfect course for you
- Professional courses - We offer a number of professional courses which are often linked with a specific industry such as accountancy and HR and are designed to help you improve and develop relevant skills for a particular career path. Our professional qualifications are predominantly available to study part-time so you can keep working and earn while you learn.
What Do I Need To Consider Before I Apply?
Before you apply it’s important to consider whether a College course actually suits your current lifestyle. Consider the course you want to apply for, and whether you have the correct entry requirements. You’ll also need to consider your funding options and the type of course that will be most suitable for you (see above!)
Finance Options For Starting College At 30
- Student finance & tuition fees
The most conventional route is to apply for student finance to fund your course. Depending on your income and the course you’re doing, the amount you are loaned can significantly vary. If you are returning to College as a parent to study a full-time higher education course or Teacher Training, consider the Parents’ Learning Allowance, where student finance may give you extra support to help you balance your costs.
- Concessions & bursaries
Depending on your course and where you study, you may be eligible to obtain a concession or bursary to support you in your studies. You may need to have certain qualifications or additional requirements in order to be accepted. To find out if you are entitled to a concession click here.
MidKent College offers both the Discretionary Learner Support Fund and the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary for those aged 19+ looking to study courses at the College. Find out more here.
- A part-time job/work
If you are looking to study part-time, or attend evening classes, then a part-time job might help to support your studies. Make sure you discuss the options available to you with the College if you are planning to work alongside your studies and certainly discuss with your current employer should you have any concerns.
What Kind Of Equipment Do I Need?
Each course will have different equipment requirements. For example, on some courses, there could be certain tools you need before you arrive. Most of these will be mentioned to you before you start your course, but it is always important to contact your College and do prior research into your individual subject to learn what may be required so you are totally prepared on your arrival.
What Are The Benefits Of Starting College At 30?
The benefits of studying at College aged 30 or over are endless, especially if you have a busy family or work life and need to study flexibly, or if you’re looking for a promotion at work or want to retrain for a brand-new career. The majority of our adult students say to us that we offer a first-class learning environment and provide excellent support every step of the way through their journey.
Studying at College at this time in your life can also help to improve your mental wellbeing, develop your self-confidence and increase your earning potential. It can also assist you to develop a support network; enabling you to meet like-minded people, who you can network and collaborate with.
How to Apply
If you’re looking to start College at 30 (or any other age!), we’d love to hear from you. Check out our courses page and visit our FAQ page to find out more about applications, or see our Adult Students page for dedicated information for mature students.
If you’re in any doubt about starting College at 30, or any other age, talk to us today either through our live chat, one of our contact forms, on the phone, or visit one of our open days - and find out how we can help you.