37 answers

Is 40 Too Old for College?

Years ago, when I was about 22 I was trying to get enrolled in college when I found out I was pregnant. So I put it on hold thinking that it would be too much to work around 60 hours per week, go to night school and be a first time mother. Now I''m 32 and homeschooling my 2 children and plan on going back to school to get a degree in psychology and to try to time it so that I would get my degree or be close when my youngest graduates high school. However, doing the math, if I go back when my youngest is in 8th grade, I'll be 40! That just almost seems to late to go back. What do you guys think? I've been tempted to go ahead now, but do not want to over extend myself. My days are filled with their school work, house work and all of extra curricular activities. But I also don't want to wait too long. Decisions, Decisions.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My husband is STARTING medical school this year - he is 41 with a 6 year old son. Go for it. You're never too old.

6 moms found this helpful

No, you crazy lady ;)

It's NEVER too late!!!

You could start now and take only a few classes. If it's too much, put it on the shelf until later. Like I said, there is no such thing as too old!

4 moms found this helpful

Forty is definitely not too old to start college. I have a friend in her 60's who graduated and started her own counseling business. She's now in her 70s and still counseling others.

In some ways starting later in life is an advantage because you've had life experiences to guide you.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

My mom went back to school when I was 11 years old. She was 44 years old. First she earned her BA and then she graduated at the top of her class with a masters in counseling. She began a private practice in her mid fifties. She is now about to turn 62 and has a fulfilling career. She's darn good at what she does too.

I am 28 years old and went back to school this past fall. I love it. Being in college as a returning student is such an extraordinary experience. As a younger person I struggled with motivation, direction, passion, and purpose. Not anymore! Now I am a very good student and I love to learn about the world around me.

Admittedly, I have less time with my family which has sometimes brought me sadness. I have a 4 and 5 year old (just about to turn 5 and 6) and am pregnant with another who will be born this summer.

When I first started school I took a full load and continued my volunteer shifts. That was too much. The next quarter I scaled back and just took a full load (by then I was in my second trimester). This quarter I am taking 8 credits only. It is so manageable. I go to school one day a week and I work on my homework when the children are playing, doing their own studies, or sleeping. My eldest has been in part time kindergarten and my youngest is at home with me. Sometimes we all do homework together, or they help me to study. It's a lot of fun!

If you start now, part time, you could be finished by the time your 40 AND you could spend most of your time with you're children. Just a thought. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

My husband is STARTING medical school this year - he is 41 with a 6 year old son. Go for it. You're never too old.

6 moms found this helpful

No - not too old! My parents both went back in their 30's and 40's. You can too!

5 moms found this helpful

No, you crazy lady ;)

It's NEVER too late!!!

You could start now and take only a few classes. If it's too much, put it on the shelf until later. Like I said, there is no such thing as too old!

4 moms found this helpful

Forty is definitely not too old to start college. I have a friend in her 60's who graduated and started her own counseling business. She's now in her 70s and still counseling others.

In some ways starting later in life is an advantage because you've had life experiences to guide you.

4 moms found this helpful

I haven't read the other responses, but some of my thoughts are:

If you will be 40 when the youngest graduates HS and I am assuming you are home with them full-time now, what you are going to do then?

If you don't get a college degree, how old will be in 8 years? Still 40, right?

Point being, after 40, you still have a lot of years left - how do you think is going to be the best way to spend them?

Another thing to consider is that bachelor's degrees in psychology don't really get you very far, so if you really want some kind of career in that field, you are also looking at earning at least a master's degree, be it psychology, social work, etc. If you want some kind of career with only a bachelor's, you could look at teaching (which could work with your homeschooling experience, though many teachers go on to earn master's as well), or nursing.

What does your husband think?

ETA: 2 of my classmates in veterinary school were 40 and 42 respectively, when they STARTED. Both second careers for them, one had been a lab technician, and one had been an orthodontist! 4 years later, they were 44 and 46, but had earned their degrees in something they loved and 16 years later, are still working as veterinarians!

4 moms found this helpful

I am a lecturer in sociology and always have nontraditional, returning students in my courses. Some are in their 20's, some in their 30's, some in their 40's or older!

I will say this about going back, though. I am 39 and just started back to my doctorate program in January to finish out my terminal degree. I have two young kids and a husband that works constantly, it seems any more. Look at me right now, it is 2 am and I am still up. I am TIRED. I just finished taking 9 hours worth of doctoral level courses, lecturing two courses, and assisting in one. I was on a total of three campuses for the spring (thank goodness two courses were online, this time). My oldest is in kinder and my youngest is 3. I did not stop and am about to start the summer back up. Should be finished by December 2014.

Did I mention that I am TIRED? All of this not to reference what a super woman I am (I am not totally sure that I handled the experience very well, honestly). My fatigue is not just the load. It is my age. If I had been smart or listened when I should have this would have been done in my early 30's... Right where you are now. If you think you can swing it now, do it now. Things just get more tiring! Although, you kids would be older than mine at that point in your life, too. But still, for what it is worth, I would advise seriously considering going now.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

No, 40 is not too old for college. I'm 57 and taking classes. I've considered going back for a Master's degree. And a friend of mine, just a few years younger than I am just got her BA and is starting on her masters in Sept. Why would 40 be too late to go back? It may not seem like it to you now, at 32, but from my vantage point, 40 is still young!

3 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.