To go or not to go, that is a big question. Going to college is a big commitment of your time and resources. It is not a decision you should take lightly. If you’ve done some research, I’m sure you have seen and heard a lot of opinions on what you should do.
Some of these opinions have probably been against going to college. Before you buy into them, do your homework and make the right choice for you.
Below I have listed seven reasons commonly given to NOT go to college.
1. College isn’t worth the effort
Let’s be practical. For most of us, the top reason to go to college is to get the skills to get a good job. There needs to be a financial benefit for going to college.
Going to college earns returns for the rest of your working career. This graphic from Visual.ly and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that any education after high school increases your earning potential.
The more education you get, the higher the potential income. This advantage continues year after year. Consider the difference in income between a high school graduate and a college graduate and multiply it over a 40 year career.
College also leads to higher employment rates. Your chances of finding and keeping a job increases with each additional level of education. Job security is a great reason to go to college.
The benefits you will see from a college education are even greater than the benefits your parents’ generation saw. The earning power that comes with education has increased with each generation. Many of the new jobs being created now and into the future will require education beyond high school.
2. I hate school
That was high school. College is a different experience. You have more choices in what you study and how you study. If most of your high school classes did not hold your interest, figure out what does. Make a list of your strengths and interests and find what career fields interest you.
Your college experience will be what you make of it. Find a school that has the programs that you are looking for and offers the resources you need to be successful. Make college work for you.
3. I can’t afford it
College costs money, there’s no way around that. Check out your financing options before you write it off. Find out the true costs and look into your financial aid options. Look for scholarships and credit for prior learning. It’s possible you have already earned some credits for classes you’ve taken or work experience you have had.
Student loans are an option for those who qualify. They must be paid back when you are no longer in school, but they provide an option for financing your education. Work with your financial aid office to make the best plan for you.
Another option if you can’t afford full-time tuition right now is to check out the cost per class. Going to school part time may take you longer to complete, but it gets you on the right path.
4. I don’t have time
Make time. While it can be challenging to balance college, life and working, it can be done and the benefit is worth it. Look at your schedule and see what you can fit in. The sooner you start, the sooner you will have a degree.
Research your options. The time commitment will depend on the type of degree and type of college you choose as well as the number of classes you take each term. An associate degree requires less time than a bachelor’s degree. Choosing an online class eliminates a set schedule and a commute. Check for schools that offer day, evening, online or weekend classes.
Make college fit into your schedule.
5. I don’t know what to go for
Don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life? That’s normal, but not a reason to not do anything. Let’s start with what it is you want out of your life. Whatever your previous school experience, you need to consider the future and what you want it to look like. Most jobs require some education beyond high school. What are your goals for a career and the type of life you want to live?
Put some thought into your interests and strengths. Talk to people with jobs you admire.Think outside the box. New career fields are being created on a regular basis. You can find a career program that fits your interests and will make a great career. Think long term and plan ahead to see the opportunities out there. Do your research. O*Net and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offer great employment information.
6. I won’t get accepted
Applying to college can be stressful. While many college admissions policies are competitive and based on standardized test scores and other academic criteria, other colleges have open enrollment policies that are less stressful and restrictive.
Don’t assume you can’t get into college because you didn’t have a great grade point average in high school or take the ACT.
7. My family thinks college isn’t necessary
Your parents didn’t go to college, and they have had successful careers without degrees. That’s great, but college will give you more options. As the data shows, the benefits of a college education continue to increase with each generation. More and more jobs require education beyond high school. The average wage gap continues to widen between those with and without a degree.
Do you have more reasons not to go to college? Take the time and think them through and talk to an admissions representative. College opens doors to broader career opportunities and is an option you should seriously consider.