Returning to School at 40 (or later?) Yes!

If you’re wondering if you can go back to school at 40 or beyond, the answer is: Yes. You. Can!  Returning to school later in life is definitely doable.

Far too many of us decide against returning to school when we’re older because that awful thought that we’re ‘past it’ persists. Yet, in other places around the world like Europe and Australia, returning to school later in life is a well-trod path for many women.

Let’s get real with each other. It isn’t going to be easy, but the things that are the most worth it very seldom are, and we believe that as women we have a unique set of experiences and talents to offer to the education environment at the tertiary or senior level.

But, with a little smart planning and knowing what you’re in for, it’s very possible!

Let’s discover how.

Image By mohamed_hassan


Going back to school at 40 might be difficult, but difficult in the sense that it’s unfamiliar and could be challenging well-held ideas that you’ve relied on for the past 20 years or so. Also difficult in that you have a set of life issues to navigate, that the vast majority of your fellow students won’t have. But, it is not as uncommon as you might think. The National Center of Education Statistics reports that 17 percent of part-time undergraduates attending public four-year institutions are 35 and older.

So you won’t exactly be the only one. But it is going to take some solid thought and planning, not least of which is financial as well as pathway planning.


For many of us, the dream of heading back to school becomes significantly more challenging when we have to consider all of the moving parts of our lives, and for many of us attending a campus in the traditional sense is just not an option. But this doesn’t have to be the end of it. The United States has started embracing online education in a big way, and if you’re seeking certification in a professional sense, like with an MBA for example, Gatehouse Admissions can help you make sense of it all.


You may be bursting out laughing at this point, but we’re serious. Did you know that many European colleges and schools offer fine mature student programs that you can structure around your life and complete in four or five years, and you’re likely to spend a lot less than you would in the United States? If you have an empty nest in front of you, and a partner that is something of a digital nomad, don’t write this option off. In Germany, you could even study for free, or close to it. A few more thoughts, here.

The purpose of this post is to get you thinking about what may be possible for your life in ways that you might not have ever thought of before.  You can direct and steer your life in any way you choose. All it takes is some hard work, good planning, and the right support.

This post was contributed, and it was made possible by the support of our readers. 

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One Comment

  1. Wow, interesting. I would have never even considered going to school in Europe and it costing a lot less. Thank goodness for all of the virtual offerings we have in this age to make dreams easier to come true!


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