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Returning to School

Perhaps you want to finally finish up the degree that you started years ago, or perhaps you've realized the career boost that a second degree will give you. Or maybe you're going back because you genuinely enjoy learning. Regardless, you won't be alone since many adults are making the same decision to return to school. Most colleges and universities have structured programs and services specifically for mature students.

Look through this section to get an idea of your options and financial alternatives if you plan to return to college while still managing the challenges of family and career.

Educational Options

While it certainly isn't easy to manage the competing demands of family, work, and school, many adult students do just that. Increasingly, colleges are organizing themselves to help students manage their many obligations. Classes are offered in the evening, student services are available at night or over the Internet, and low-cost childcare is provided on many campuses.

And that's just the beginning. For years, colleges have offered courses via extension campuses, correspondences, and television. Recently, the Internet has opened up new horizons in distance learning. Hundreds of colleges and other organizations offer courses via the Internet, satellite, video teleconferencing, and other media that bring higher education right into students' homes and workplaces.

Institutions are also accommodating mature students by devising alternate schedules that allow students to complete more classes in the same amount of time. For example, a class may meet four times on Saturday for the entire day, allowing working students to take four classes over the course of sixteen-week semester. Adult students also can earn credit for training and learning acquired through the workplace.

Footing the Bill

Almost all of the financial aid programs available to traditional students are also available to mature students. In fact, the major student aid programs sponsored by the federal government make no distinctions based on age. In addition, there are a number of special programs for adult learners. And don't forget, you may have the best financial resource of all - your home.

You may also consider employer-provided assistance since many companies will pay for their employees to take courses. Check with the human resources department where you work to see whether they offer such assistance and what, if any, restrictions they place on the aid. In some cases, the employer must review each course to determine whether it is work-related. In other cases, the employer will only reimburse students if they achieve a specified grade level in a course. This is a valuable benefit offered by a growing number of employers.

Talk to a Credit Specialist

Your RBC Royal Bank® representative would be happy to discuss your unique needs. Simply visit any RBC Financial Group Branch or call 1-800-ROYAL® 1-1
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10/15/2007 13:22:28