Going to college really does open a new chapter in your life, the beginning of new friendships, opportunities and growth. As a college student you’ll be introduced to new areas of interest, broaden your vision of possibilities, establish and accomplish goals, develop lifelong friendships and define yourself in ways that you can only imagine.
The Financial Benefit of College
Attending and graduating from college with a degree in a relevant subject, with a mastery of real-world skills and knowledge, will position you at the forefront of your field, and help you realize your career aspirations. Research analysts and experts have concluded, based on sound statistical analysis, that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn up to 75% more per year than those with a high school diploma only. Additionally, college degree holders can expect their real wage to increase over time while those with a high school diploma may experience a decline.
The Bigger Picture
It’s hard enough imagining what your life is going to be like in a year or two, let alone 10, 20 or even 30 years down the road, but it’s something you should consider right now. Where do you want to be today, tomorrow and in the future? Attending college will help you answer these questions, develop a realistic plan for accomplishing your goals, and equip you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need see your goals through to the end.
Don’t look at college as a long-term contract that you’re not going to be able to get out of once you start. And don’t feel like you need to decide on a major area of study before starting college. College is a time for you test yourself, explore your interests, see what the possibilities are, and to see what you can achieve. And don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most other students attending college are going to be in the exact same boat you’re in. There are also a variety of resources, provided by most universities, to help you through college, including academic advisors, professors accessible on campus, tutoring academic support, full-time counseling staff and more.
While the prospect of attending college may seem a bit daunting and even suffocating, don’t forget that you still get to live your life. You’ll be able to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, social groups, maintain a job, or even pursue a career while completing your studies. You may even find that college ends up being much more enjoyable and fulfilling than you ever expected.
Deciding Which College is Best
There isn’t necessarily a “best” college. Each college offers a difference experience and unique educational opportunities. Your task shouldn’t be to identify the top ranked colleges but rather to figure out which college is best for you. Your choice of college will depend on your personal and career interests, occupational goals as well as past academic record. If you’re still in high school you should talk with your high school counselor about all your options. Consider attending any open houses provided by local colleges in your area, use the Internet to research colleges that fit your expectations and requirements, and contact individual colleges to speak with their guidance and admission counselors.
Sometimes larger, prestigious or “Ivy League” type universities can seem very attractive. However, you may discover (hopefully sooner rather than later) that you prefer a smaller, less prestigious, community of church affiliate college. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially when it comes to a college education. There are a large variety of smaller colleges and community colleges that can provide you an excellent education without the big school feel. The only way to find out what you really want is to take the time to visit each college campus, meet the people, and experience the atmosphere. You’ll get the most out of your college experience if you take the time now to investigate your options and stay open to any possibilities.
It’s also important to know that earning a degree from an Ivy League school or private college can be very expensive and there is no guarantee that you’ll get a great job once you get your degree. In fact, there is typically only a marginal difference in future earnings for those who earn their degree at an Ivy League school versus those who earn their degree from another reputable college.
Maintain Realistic Expectations
As you make plans for your future, spend some time considering what it is you want to do with your life, what you want to accomplish long-term. As with any major decision, you’ll want to consider all your options, compare costs and benefits of attending one college over another. Think about what’s most important to you and which school can provide it. College doesn’t ensure happiness or success, but its opens up a lot of doors and helps you create opportunities for the future.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. If you’re really interested in attending college but don’t have the funds right now don’t get overly concerned. There are several ways to finance your college education. Financial aid programs include scholarships, grants, students loans and prepaid tuition. At many larger colleges and universities you’ll also find on-campus jobs that offer flexible schedules to accommodate your personal life and studies.
|University of Phoenix At University of Phoenix, we understand that you're juggling the demands of family and work while you earn your degree. That's why we provide working learners like you the tools you need to succeed. Our commitment to you begins even before you enroll with a one-on-one personalized consultation in which we answer your questions and develop the right plan to help you reach your educational goals. Learn More >|
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) Grand Canyon University, in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, is a private, for-profit Christian university that offers a full range of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. Though boasting a traditional college campus with all the spirit and sports to go with it, GCU also offers a wide variety of courses online. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Colorado Technical University (CTU) A degree from Colorado Technical University can connect you to what matters most - a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and accessible, innovative technology. So once you earn your degree, you can hit the ground sprinting. Learn More >|