Students who attend college as older adults bring greater life and work experience, which they can use in approaching their class work, according to the University of North Carolina Greensboro. They are also more likely than students straight out of high school to have a clear educational goal in mind, as they have had more time to consider their futures and explore different fields to get a sense of their true career interests.
College students with a clearer understanding of their career and personal interests are able to select classes that provide them with the most knowledge in those areas, explains the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Conversely, students straight out of high school may take a less targeted approach to their education because they are still trying to figure out which fields of study they enjoy.
Another benefit of attending college as an older adult is that it is easier to focus when not distracted by the overwhelming freedom that comes with living away from home for the first time, states Back to College. Students who have never lived on their own before often find it hard to resist the temptation to do things they never had the freedom to do when in their parents' homes, such as going out partying the night before an exam. Older students have already gone through that stage in life and better understand the importance of staying focused on one's long-term goals.