ROI: Return on Investment

This is an important thing to consider for adults going to college for the first time or returning to school to finish what they once started. The opportunity to attend a private institution is savory, but you must consider your ROI when choosing a school, course of study and income during school.
State (CC) vs. Private
It is most likely beneficial to do as many courses at a community college and/or a state college as possible. This keeps debt down, and makes your beginning salary go further fresh out of school. A lot of these kids today do not know what they are getting into with the debt they are taking on. Your first 30 to 45 credits are all core anyway, you might as well complete them on the cheap!
Course of Study
I know that the desire to study what you love is overwhelming, but do not lose sight of the financial ramifications of learning something that is not in demand. Lets say you have always wanted to study photography, and you go back to school for this. Generally, photographers start at a very low salary, and it is a risky profession. You would probably be best served doing a BS in Business or Marketing, with a minor in Photography. This hedges your bet on getting a good ROI on your degree. We should be considering quality courses of study because we all know that things come up in life. Minor or double major in what you love... but a manor in business, accounting, economics or finance hedges your bet!
Leaving Work
Obviously, you have to do whats right for you. However, remember that if you leave work to study, your ROI goes down as you incur more debt. Even if it is a couple extra thousand on a credit card here, and a small student loan for 10k there, it adds up! Online and night classes are key to staying employed while going to school. If you can pay as you go, although it may take an extra year or two to complete, it greatly improves your ROI for your degree.
Student Loan Stats
I am going to be generous and use 8% as the vig, but that is a dream for most loans these days. 10 percent of people with student loans are paying over %15 in interest on student loans right now, while only 1 in 5 are paying under 7%!!!

$10,000 = $128/mo. for 10 years, 5k in interest.
$20,000 = $255/mo. for 10 years, 10k in interest.
$30,000 = $375/mo. for 10 years, 14k in interest.

And for the kid who had to go to Dartmouth to study English, did not have loaded parents, and use loans for everything:

$60,000 = $770/mo. for 10 years, 32k in interest

Always consider what you are getting for your money spent!