Knowledge, Skills, and More Opportunities
If you go to college, you'll gain information and skills that you'll use for the rest of your life, no matter what career you chose. College will enable you to:
- Expand your knowledge and skills
- Express your thoughts clearly in speech and in writing
- Grasp abstract concepts and theories
- Increase your understanding of the world and your community
What This Means for You
The benefits above may sound great on their own, but college also has some very practical benefits:
More Job Opportunities
The world is changing rapidly. More and more jobs require education beyond high school. College graduates have more jobs to choose from than those who don't pursue education beyond high school.
Earn More Money
A person who goes to college usually earns more than a person who doesn't. According to the US Census Bureau, on average, someone with a Bachelor's Degree earns $51,206—almost double the $27,915 earned annually by someone with only a high school diploma.
Why Not Go to College?
Many students are unsure about going to college, for many reasons. Below are five of the most popular we've heard from students and why they shouldn't be barriers for you.
- "I Can't Afford It."
Most students get financial aid to help pay for college, and most aid is based on need. This means that the less money you have, the more aid you might get.
- "Nobody in My Family Has Ever Gone."
Being first can be hard. For instance, you may have to explain to the family why college is important to you. On the other hand, being first is likely to be a source of pride, for you and for your family.
- "I Don't Know What I Want to Do with My Life."
Join the crowd. Thousands of college freshmen haven't decided on a major or on a career. College gives you the opportunity to learn more about what's out there. You'll be exposed to a variety of academic subjects, people, and new perspectives.
- "College Is Too Hard for Me."
Most students think college will be too hard for them. Keep in mind, all colleges offer tutoring and student support. As confident as some students seem, no one goes to college knowing everything—if they did, why would they go?
- "I Just Won't Fit In."
Most colleges have students from many backgrounds. To get an idea of what to expect, explore colleges with College Search, (http://apps.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp) or better yet, visit in person. Be sure to ask about the make-up of the student body, and if they have clubs and activities that you're interested in joining.
It Doesn't Have to Be a Four-Year College
If you're not sure about college, or which college, consider attending a community college. Community colleges are public, two-year schools that provide an excellent education, whether you're considering an associate degree, a certificate program, technical training, or plan to continue your studies at a four-year college.
Adapted from www.collegeboard.com.