Use this search feature to quickly find the information you're looking for.

thinking of starting college at age 47

by trew

The Question

I just turned 47 and regret not going to college. I did attend for a week when I was 19, then never went back. I was making, I thought, good money at the time, working construction. I am finding it more and more difficult to do the same work I have done for years decades in construction.

I am now seriously thinking of going to college to take the construction management course had started so many years ago. I do not know if it's the right thing, or smart thing to do, or if I am just going through a phase. But I have never given up on the idea of going to college, and every passing year it just seems to be more and more ridiculous. So here I am. Any suggestions?

Noel's response

I think it is an excellent idea. When a man hits your age, it is time to move into planning and leadership/mentorship and let the younger men do the hard physical work. We no longer have the desire nor stamina to do the kind of work we did when we were younger.

The fact that your dream of going to college has stayed with you all these years tells me it is something you need to do.

Many people, myself included, have gone back to university in their forties, and are very glad they did. Have fun!

Comments for thinking of starting college at age 47

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 25, 2012
You're not alone
by: Anonymous

I'm also 46 and getting ready to attend college. I attended 1 semester after HS but did horribly because I was more focused on making money and eventually just didn't bother going back. I've had really good jobs but due to lack of education, have not been able to advance.

I was concerned about going back because it's been so many years. Having to take the placement tests was my biggest fear but I've purchased some prep book to prepare myself for the placement test. It's a different generation. There are so few jobs already for people with degrees and even less for people without.

Sep 14, 2012
46 and still no where
by: Anonymous

that's hard to be 46 and be considered as finish by your peers. I'm always hearing around comments that 40+ is old and finish. What are you going to do with this dip. Even my son telling me why are you still studying. That's because inside me i've the feeling of not accomplishing it and feel can do it.
I am in the same situation as you, while young was attracted by big money and working like a horse and with age all my old peers are degree holders and are in a higher position and I still struggling.
It's harder now than they did earlier and today we have responsibilities and lots of commitments and stress in the mind...
Anyway, wish you to succeed. Forget the age and go for it.

Jun 29, 2012
what to do
by: larry graves

im 47 years old ive driven a truck for 28 years im tired and want a change is there any kind of financial aid in place to help with rent and tuition etc.

Noel's response

Others may have useful advice. The only thing I can suggest is you search your state and federal governments for educational help. Governments at all levels often have funding for helping people improve their education, as it is a good investment for the governments (higher education usually means you make more income, pay more taxes, etc.).
You might try a google search using terms such as 'financial support for college education in (your state). You might also search search for scholarships, as there are hundreds. Here is a site to get you started:

May 30, 2011
Not a man but in your situation
by: Anonymous

I am in my forties and also always regretted never having finished college. I think you are brave and ambitious to consider such an undertaking. It will not be easy, but what you gain from the experience will make all the hard work worth it. I know that sounds cliche but it is true.

There are many moments when I do feel ridiculous. I wonder daily if I wasted my time in life or if anything will come of the path I am on now. I look around and see the kids in class with me are half my age with twice the energy. I am closer in age to the professors (sometimes older). I am known as "that older lady". However, everyone I have encountered, almost without exception, has been supportive and encouraging. I agree with the other person who posted that suggested taking advantage of all the resources there are available to you.

It is never to late to follow your dream, to try something new, to start a new path. Good luck. It is hard work. You will feel discouraged at times. Keep your head held up. You are doing this for yourself. In the end I think you will feel amazed at what you can accomplish when you get down to business.

Dec 11, 2010
Back to school
by: Anonymous

I am 52 and went back to college to finish my bachelor's degree. Yes, there were many times I was the oldest student. And there were many times I knew more than the other students because of my experiences.

The "kids" were wonderful! The Professors were too! I graduate in Spring 2011 and although I am most worried about paying back tuition - or finding a good job, I know that my degree will help.

The only bad thing is that my husband is not supportive but he was always like this -it just showed more often when I went back. If anything, I'm better prepared for the future -with or without him.

Jan 04, 2010
Go for your dreams
by: Anonymous

I went back to college at 44 and today I'm 47 still trying to finish my degree going into my 4th year.

The problem with going to college that it is tougher on non-traditional students (those over 30) without the support of your family. If you express your desire to your family and want to do this and they are willing to support you. Go for it.

I've started to have a hard time with my mid life crisis until now. I'm wanting to jog but I'm blind and find it harder to do without a human guide. However, anyone can do it. Just be yourself.

Don't try to be like those younger college students. Do your very best with your classes. Try working with your teachers as much as possible. Take advantage of all the available resources to help with your learning. If you have a desire to learn, don't stop there. Keep learning. Go for it Dude.

Dec 19, 2009
How many older students are there?
by: Trew


Noel, thank you for your quick response.

Just wanted to ask, if you know the percentage of college student's starting college in their thirties, forties and older. I am feeling a little insecure, and foolish, and I want reassurance.

I know that construction is a male dominated field. I have searched the internet and called certain colleges offering the construction management course. It can be a two-year course or a four-year course with a bachelor degree (that would be very cool), but I cannot find out the percentage of older students taking this course.

I was hoping that you might be able to find out. I think knowing whether there were other students such as my self, I would feel more comfortable and be able to get into my course.

Noel's response

I don't know how many older students there are, and as far as I am concerned, it does not matter at all. When I went back to university to do a Master of Agriculture degree in my forties, I did not know how many other 'mature' students there were. It didn't matter to me whether there were hundreds, or none.

As it turned out, there were a few, but it made no difference whatsoever to my success at my studies. Knowing the number of mature students won't make any difference to your success either.

Your dream is to go to college. Do it!

Here is a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that I really like. I believe what he says is true:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans.

That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred.

A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one?s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Noel.