Streamlined college programs help busy parents

March 22, 2013

One of the tips for college that many students overlook is finding a way to balance work and school. Though financial aid for moms helps save money, parents often need to hold their jobs while attending school. Finding condensed and flexible courses helps create enough time to do this.

Community colleges condense courses 
Many community colleges offer this sort of streamlined approach to education. Short-term classes with more condensed material free up time for parents to focus on work. 

The American Association of Community Colleges recently highlighted a return-to-school trend among baby boomers, noting that streamlined programs can help this demographic realize their educational goals while handling home and work responsibilities.

Online and summer courses also contribute to streamlining in-class time. Additionally, many of these colleges offer seminars that are in other places in the community, not merely on-campus. This potentially helps reduce the amount of time taken up by transportation to and from school. 

Number of employed students is high
Students holding jobs while going to school make up a striking majority of the community college demographic.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2007 and 2008, 84 percent of community college students worked, and 60 percent of those did so for over 20 hours a week. Time is really of essence for these employed students. 

Community colleges are the most cost-efficient educational path, but students nonetheless need to work while attending them, according to the AACC.

For-profit schools make the effort
For-profit schools are also making strides to accommodate the working student. In a study of for-profit colleges and universities, the National Conference of State Legislatures took note of these measures. By offering year-round enrollment, online classes, as well as classes in convenient locations, these privately-run education establishments give students more time for extracurricular endeavors. 

For-profit schools are run privately, by people and businesses aiming to make money. On the other hand, non-profit schools get a decent amount of funding from the government. These institutions, which include community colleges, state universities, as well as some private universities, thereby are not so much run as businesses. All of these schools offer a variety of options, however, from 2-year to 4-year programs, so students can choose the path best for them.

Because working does take up a substantial amount of time, it can definitely hinder students from doing well in and completing school. Cutting back on work hours isn't always an option for parents who need money for college. In these cases, participating in well-constructed, condensed programs can help in the struggle to balance busy schedules.

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