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Is Going Back to School Worth It?

In keeping with the Tulane School of Professional Advancement's mission to provide working adults with quality education, our "Going Back to College" virtual sessions offer valuable information for people who are considering taking classes to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree. This session assessed the real costs and benefits of attending college, including taking out loans, opportunity benefits and costs, timing, and work-life-school-balance.

The speakers featured in this webinar were Kenlie Fite, Admissions Representative at SoPA and a SoPA alumna, and Derick Houston, Vice President of Investments at JPMorgan Chase and a current SoPA student.

Working adults face a few critical questions when thinking about going back to school:

  • Is it worth the investment?
  • What are the real costs and benefits of returning to school?
  • How do you balance working and other responsibilities while taking classes?

Both of our speakers worked while they attended school. Mr. Houston looked at the resources at Tulane SoPA before applying, and that gave him the confidence to step back into the classroom. "When it came to financing [my education], I knew that for me to further my career I had to make an investment," said Houston. Companies often offer benefits to help employees that they are considering for management roles go back to school, including an education reimbursement program or a prepayment program. If that doesn't cover all of the costs, there are many other options available. SoPA offers numerous financial aid options and scholarships to help students with tuition, which Mr. Houston took advantage of. "My employer sponsored part of my education. I did seek financial aid through other means, and I came out of pocket at times because, of course, sometimes it didn't cover the entire tuition. But is it worth it? For me, [going back to school] has paid off in dividends." Houston discussed how taking classes has helped him develop the skills he needs to climb the corporate ladder, including writing professionally and being more comfortable networking.

Ms. Fite moved to New Orleans and always wanted to go back to school, but she thought it would be daunting to return to college at her age. "If I wanted to do it, I was going to have to take advantage of financial aid, and… I was really uncertain until I got to SoPA. I knew almost immediately upon walking in that it would be worth my investment." Fite also spoke about how SoPA prepared her to achieve her goals. Because SoPA has flexible programs, Ms. Fite adjusted her schedule based on how much time she could commit to classes. Some semesters, she would only take one or two courses; during others, she would take three or four. In the spring of 2021, Ms. Fite will earn a master's degree that will allow her to pursue a career path that makes her feel fulfilled.

At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we empower adults to go back to school and achieve their professional goals. We have a full slate of flexible online classes that let you complete your degree on your schedule. To help students manage their expenses, our financial aid office offers a variety of options, including scholarships and class credit for prior experience. If you would like to make a career change or improve your qualifications for a role with more responsibility, apply to one of the degree programs at SoPA today.

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