Many adults come to the decision that they want to pursue higher education, and when you should start can be one of the most important factors in your success. Astrologically, the houses that rule learning are the 3rd and 9th houses, with the 3rd ruling learning in general and your primary education, and the 9th ruling higher education like college and university. The planets in play are Mercury, natural ruler of the 3rd house and your learning ability, and Jupiter, natural ruler of the 9th house and your opportunities to expand your life in new ways.
You’ll want to consider these two planets, the 3rd and 9th house cusps, and the 3rd and 9th house rulers in your chart. Aspects by transit Jupiter show opportunity, so this is helpful to get you in the mood. It doesn’t even matter if they’re hard aspects (square, opposition) since happy Jupiter tries to make things better no matter what, but the hard aspects do make you prone to laziness, so you have to fight harder to have the discipline you need to go to school. Saturn is the planet of discipline, so if he’s conjunct, sextile, or trine (positive aspects), he’ll give you the ability to focus, to be determined and see this through, and to take it seriously. Hard Saturn aspects can cause blocks that prevent you from starting, or that make it much more difficult than you anticipated, so if you begin with hard Saturn, be prepared for a lot more work. Ideally, you want to see a Jupiter aspect and a positive Saturn aspect when you start.
Aspects by Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto can bring other energy into the mix. Positive Uranus aspects can show that you’ll decide to go on a whim, or study something very different from what you may have in the past. It’s a good time to study something innovative, futuristic, or scientific. Uranus can also make you go in a different direction once you get started, especially hard Uranus aspects, but you might not stick with it once the aspect is over, so think that through carefully ahead of time. Neptune aspects, both positive and hard, are excellent if you’re going to study something with the arts, something creative that allows you to explore your imagination and other realms. The hard aspects just might make it hard for you to focus and stick with it unless you have strong Saturn at the same time. Pluto aspects can show that this is something that will transform your way of thinking, your way of living, or your way of being. The hard aspects bring more challenges, but can actually offer the most growth.
When transit Mars is going through the 1st house (the house of the self), 3rd house, or 9th house, this can be a good time to start school. Mars is our drive and where our energetic focus is, so you’re driven to focus on yourself (1st house) and learning (3rd and 9th house).
If you already went to college or pursued higher education in the past (even if you didn’t graduate) and you’re going back to school again, you want to focus on the retrogrades, especially Mercury retrograde. A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth, and the energy of a retrograde is excellent for going back and doing something over again, like school. Since Mercury rules learning, anytime he’s retrograde is a good time to go back to school, but this is especially true if he’s retrograde in your 1st, 3rd, or 9th houses.