Five Reasons Starting School in January Is a Smart Idea

For many students, September is synonymous with starting classes, but research shows that starting school in January is not unusual. For prospective students who have missed an application deadline or have only recently decided to pursue a post-secondary education, a January start date can be the most logical choice. The following are five reasons starting school in January is a smart idea:

1. The Timing Makes Sense

For many adult students looking to train for a new career, a January start date makes a lot of sense. In the months approaching a new year, many people begin to reflect on their current situation and set goals for improvement. According to a 2014 study published in the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45 percent of Americans "usually" make New Year's resolutions, and the most common type of resolutions revolve around self-improvement or education (47 percent). For anyone whose goal is to return to school to retrain for a new career or reinforce an existing skill set, a January start date is perfect timing.

2. You Won't Be the Only One

According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, nearly one-third of first-time post-secondary students begin their education between January and May. At for-profit schools, where terms are likely to begin on a rolling basis, 38 percent of new students started in January (or later months).

3. You Don't Have to Wait

Facing down months of waiting until the next "traditional" application period can be difficult for prospective students, who may experience difficulties staying motivated. Instead of feeling defeated and like they missed their chance to attend college, starting school in January allows these prospective students to remain positive and feel like they are in control of their future.

4. Housing Is Easier to Find

Demand for student housing peaks as new and returning students search for someone where to live, typically starting in August through September. In January, there will be less competition for apartments and shared rooms within walking or commuting distance. It is also common during this period to find new vacancies as housing spaces open up when students move out.

5. You'll Have a Few More Months to Make and Save Money

Students who start school in January can rack up extra hours at a temporary, seasonal job. A recent report by global consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicts there will be significantly more seasonal jobs in 2014 than last year, possibly reaching 800,000 temporary positions. These jobs include work at retail stores, restaurants, shipping facilities and entertainment venues and are a great fit for prospective students who are looking to save money before they start school in January.

January is a great time to start anything new, whether it's something small, like a hobby, or something life-changing, like training for a new career.

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