Going to College when you have Family Responsibilities

College is a huge responsibility and a lot of work. For some students, college is an additional responsibility as they may have family to tend to at home. It is hard to attend classes, study and be active on campus when you have children and/or a spouse that requires your attention as well. There are ways to add college into your daily juggles. No longer do you have to put college off because of family.

Online Classes

The most common type of classes for many with families are online classes. These are classes that are taught primarily on the web. Students can log on and complete coursework, forum discussions and other class tasks at their leisure. These classes do require more discipline though as in some cases you are teaching yourself the coursework. You really can't let the work pile up as it's easy to fall behind.

Weekend School

Some students work full time jobs in addition to having a family. Some colleges will offer weekend school, where you attend classes on Saturdays and/or Sundays for a few hours. This is perfect for students who can't make the commitment to come to campus during the week.

On-Campus Daycare

Some colleges have on-campus daycare facilities available for students with young children. This way students can attend classes during the traditional times and bring their children with them to campus. The rates for childcare are usually reduced so that they are affordable to students.

Other Tips


  • Organize your Time. With so many responsibilities, it is best to be organized so that nothing slips through the cracks. Develop a routine and keep track of all appointments, classes, and homework assignments.

  • Don't Overwhelm Yourself. It can be tempting to try to rush and complete your degree faster, however, it can be stressful if you take on too many classes in addition to your responsibilities at home. Your grades can suffer or even worse your family. Make sure to balance your attention among all your responsibilities.

  • Family First. Family always comes first so if you see that your family life is suffering because of your schooling, then maybe you should cut back on a class or two or try and study when everyone is in bed rather than when you could be spending time with family. Your classes should be a part of your life but they should not take away time from your family.

It is extremely hard trying to complete a degree and still handle family responsibilities. Sometimes it comes down to taking a final or going to your child’s soccer game. Try to avoid situations like these in advance by planning your college classes around your family duties. This way your family will not feel like they are being neglected and your grades will not suffer. Completing your degree is a very rewarding experience, but not at the expense of your family responsibilities.

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