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Easier Access To Health Insurance And Other Benefits

Should I Really Go to College?

College graduates are more likely to work for companies that offer health insurance benefits than high school grads. According to a College Board study, 64% of college grads had access to employer-sponsored health insurance, while just 52% of those with a high school diploma did. For those who didnt graduate high school, just 33% had access to medical coverage through their job.

College graduates are also more likely to have access to other perks like paid vacation and sick days, stock options, student loan assistance and retirement plans. Nearly 50% of college grads in the private sector had access to an employer-provided retirement plan, compared to about 40% of high school graduates.

How To Choose The Right Course

Your decision should not be dependent upon what other students are studying or how easy the courses are. Such reasons are deceitful, and you might end up quitting in the middle of the course.

Therefore, think carefully and follow the following pointers when selecting any program.

  • Identify your passion
  • Take your time

The Dilemma Of The Curious And Well

In his article on how to get into Harvard and the Ivy League, PrepScholar co-founder Allen Cheng talks about developing a “spike” to make you attractive to highly selective national universities.

The idea of developing a spike makes sense for students who are both dedicated to being the best at one thing in particular and who are interested in applying to the Ivy League and similarly selective universities. If attending somewhere like Stanford or Columbia is your goal, you want to have one area that you really stand out in, rather than being well-rounded.

For students who have grown up being told that being a well-rounded student is important, the fact that you probably won’t get into a top national university by being good at everything can feel like the deepest betrayal.

Now, I didn’t know any of this information about not being well-rounded or having a “spike” when I was applying to schools.

But even if I had known about this strategy, I doubt I would have opted for it, because it just didn’t match who I was as a student. Rather than that picture of one ball with a spike rising out of it, I was more like a morningstarlots of spikes going off into all different directions for all my different interests.

A morningstar, or my different interests? Impossible to tell apart!

The different directions of my interests, but with Ludwigsburg tourist attractions instead of academic subjects.

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Does Your Passion Exceed Your Patience

Sometimes, great ideas can’t wait, and spending four years in college will result in missed opportunities. This was the case for Taso Du Val, founder and CEO of global tech industry network Toptal.

“I wanted to go to MIT, but the thought of waiting for four years before starting my career troubled me,” Du Val said. “So, I started pursuing my passion for entrepreneurship at a young age and, years later, ended up fixing a problem I noticed in the IT outsourcing industry. It’s just something I had to do. I was not going to sit around for years, listening to information I would never need in my life.”

If you wholeheartedly believe that your business idea can’t wait four years to pursue, skipping college may be the right track. Many young entrepreneurs tackle their business ideas as passion projects while they attend college, but it is important to identify at what point your business needs your full attention.

Should You Go To College 5 Reasons You Should

Should You Go to College?

Choosing to attend collegeor more specifically, complete a four-year degree program at a collegeis one of life’s major decisions. It is a big investment of both time and money, while also being a place where you can gain invaluable knowledge to carry throughout your life. For many career paths, it is also a basic requirement for getting started. For others, it is the optimal source for building the skills youll need for success.

But college is not the only gateway to success, nor does a degree guarantee it. Many career paths have no required educational prerequisite at all or at least require far less than a traditional four-year degree. In this article, we set out to help you answer the question Should I go to college? by exploring what might motivate you to continue school, some potential indicators that college may not be for you. We also offer some alternative paths.

Read more: 14 Career Advice Tips for College Students

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Going Back To School: Education Trends For Nontraditional Students

If youre planning to go back to school, you most likely fall into the category of nontraditional student. Nontraditional age students are considered those 25 years of age and older. Many of these students are worried about going back to college and feeling awkward and out of place among younger students.

However, the term nontraditional is becoming less accurate as the number of students 25 and older attending college increases. According to the government-run National Center for Education Statistics, its increasingly common for adult students to complete their degrees.

Lets look at the breakdown of enrollment for adults attending college.

  • 41%: Growth of students 25-34 years old enrolled in college between 2000 to 2017
  • 4.4 million: Number of students 25-34 years old projected to be enrolled in college by 2028
  • 6%: Growth of students 35 years and older enrolled in college between 2000 to 2017
  • 3.3 million: Number of students 35 years and older projected to be enrolled in college by 2028

If youre concerned about going back to school as a working adult, know that you wont be alone in your pursuits. As the population of adults attending college becomes larger, there are more colleges designed to meet the needs of working adults.

Youre never too old to reap the benefits of getting your college degree. Lets look at some of the tangible reasons to go back to college.

The Alternative: Take A Gap Year

For many students, a gap year is about crystallising their decision-making developing self-directed and self-regulation skills, broadening their competencies and self-organisation and perhaps their confidence.

Andrew J. Martin, published in the Journal of Higher Education

If youre not sure what you want to do or what you want to study, it might be good to take a gap year. It never hurts to wait a little. You can use your time to do all kinds of exciting things like:

  • Travel to another country.
  • Work a few interesting jobs.
  • Take up a new hobby.
  • Start your own business.

You dont need a college degree to be an extra in a short film, start a YouTube channel, or do seasonal work at a local farm. These are experiences you wont regret. They might even help you figure out what you like to do so you can be more informed about your future major.

Data taken from students who took a gap year found the following encouraging information:

  • 90% of students returned to college after their break.
  • 96% said that the experiences they had during their gap year increased their self-confidence and maturity.
  • 84% said that they gained skills that would be useful in their future career.
  • 77% said that their gap year influenced their career decision in a major way.

Another study revealed that students who took a gap year are more successful than mature students who went back to school, or their peers who went into university straight from high school.

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The Steps For Choosing Colleges:

1. Do a self-assessment2. Consider broad factors that might affect your choice3. Consider more specific factors that might affect your choice4. Research schools5. Make a list of schools based on your top priorities6. Narrow down the list so that you have a balance that includes at least one solid, one probable or possible, and one reach school

If youre honest with yourself and do some serious research, youll end up with a list of amazing schools that offer all the opportunities you’re looking for in your next academic journey.

How To Choose A College: A Complete Guide

What Should I Do If I Don’t Go To College?

Choosing a college is part science: making sure they have the academic major or extracurricular activities of your choice in the location you like and with the opportunities you seek.

But, choosing the right school for you is also very much an art. I often see students who search the Internet and find a place that, by all counts, seems to be the perfect fit only to find that they just arent really jazzed by it once they get to campus. Similarly, a student will visit a place about which they were lukewarm in their initial research only to fall in love with it once they visit. You will spend a great deal of time at this place and with these people, so make sure you like it!

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Expand Your Potential Earnings

Learning to be financially independent isnt the only opportunity you will have as a college student studies show that college graduates are more likely to become financially stable upon graduation. A College Board report states that individuals with higher education levels earn more and are more likely than others to be employed.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that in 2020, people with a bachelors degree had a weekly salary 67 percent higher than those with just a high school diploma.

You Want To Go Into Career That Doesnt Require A Degree Or Start A Business That Doesnt Require A Degree

If you have a business idea and can get started without a degree, you may want to just jump in. While its definitely possible to make it without a degree, and many people have done just that, you need to weigh your plan Bs in case the business doesnt work out. Try to list out your back-up plans and make sure they also dont require a degree before you decide to skip college. Or, try out the business now, and know that you can always go back to college after.

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Does It Prepare You For Your Career

To help narrow down your options, clearly define your long-term career goals as well as your short-term objectives. Browse through the majors that fall within your field of interest and determine which of these options align themselves with your goals. This will help you decide on a college major that will assist you in achieving your goals.

For example, if you have a long-term goal of developing a mobile app, then pursuing computer science as a major at the University of the People will allow you to learn all of the skills required for doing so. We even offer a Mobile Applications class as an elective!

Photo by Buro Millennial from Pexels

The Financial Benefits Of College Might Be Overstated

Should I Really Go to College?

The claim that college graduates earn $1 million more in their lifetimes might actually be skewed by graduates from top universities.

A 2019 study by found that there are only six schools at which earning a college degree can get you a $1 million return on investment. Basically, the reported number that college graduates make $1 million more over the course of their professional lives is not that accurate.

Moreover, it’s important to note that while attending college, most people arent working or are only working part-time. So in addition to the financial costs and debts you’re incurring while in college, you probably won’t be able to get the salary you could be making from working a full-time job during the four to six years you’re in school.

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Read Expert Advice On Whether You Should Continue College Or Drop Out To Start A Business

  • Although a college degree is not mandatory for entrepreneurship, attending college can be very helpful, as it teaches you soft skills like ownership, accountability, time management, prioritizing and emotional maturity.
  • Consider gaining experience before starting your business, whether that be through volunteer work, apprenticeship, internship or general work experience.
  • There are several questions you need to ask yourself before choosing entrepreneurship over college you should evaluate your industry, skills, passion, experience, financial stability and support system.

Entrepreneurship can be a great way to financial freedom, but building a successful business takes a lot of time, hard work and perseverance. Many young workers are left wondering when they should start a business and what education is required to do so.

A college degree is not required to start a business, but it certainly helps. College not only teaches students educational topics that can be helpful in starting a business, but also soft skills, like how to be lifelong learners.

Lauren Grech, CEO and co-founder of international event management firm LLG Events,said your industry will guide what type of education you need, but she recommended that every entrepreneur be at least familiar with some basic business topics.

Those facing this decision should take the time to answer these questions honestly and evaluate if the pros of starting a business will outweigh the cons of quitting school.

The Benefits Of College

The benefits of getting a college degree are still numerous. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that the average college graduate earns $78,000 per year, against an average of $45,000 per year for individuals with only a high school diploma. Other benefits include the following:

College graduates have greater access to employer-offered benefits, paid time off, and employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, such as 401 contribution matching. The Association of Public Land-Grant Universities reports that bachelors degree holders are 47% more likely to have health insurance through their jobs than individuals who hold only a high school diploma.

  • College graduates have more career options. For example, someone who majors in psychology can go on to become a clinical psychologist. Or, if they dont want to practice psychology, they can pursue jobs in sales, marketing, education, and countless other fields. Although most employers require that candidates have a college degree, unless the job is degree-specific , their majors are often irrelevant.

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Do I Enjoy Formal Education

Think about it: youre signing up to spend the next four years in the classroom. If that sounds like hell, dont do it.

Not only would you be torturing yourself, but its likely your sheer dislike for what youre doing would cause your performance to struggle. Your personal life would suffer, and youd likely end up dropping out anywaywhich means throwing away a ton of time and money.

If you hate school, but youre willing to make the sacrifice to get the job you want, then more power to you! But in most cases, if formal education isnt for you, the jobs that follow arent either. If you dislike formal education, we recommend you reconsider your career choicemaybe do some job shadowing, volunteer, or talk to professionals in the fieldto ensure that choice is really for you before jumping into college.

Your Desired Job Requires A Degree

Should I Go To College?

Many career choices require a degree. If you already know what you want to pursue and a degree is necessary, then you have your answer. And, even if your desired career doesnt require a degree, you may want to change your job down the line into something that does. So, by getting a degree, youre opening up the door to more possibilities .

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The Story Told By The Campus Newspaper

When you visit colleges, you hear messages carefully crafted by college admissions offices intended to appeal to visitors. Tour guides, often the cream of the schools crop, are instructed to be honest. But, theyre often the students who are genuinely happy with their school and adept at expressing their enthusiasm.

So, how do you get the real view of what goes on at a school? No college is perfect. In a visit that often only lasts a few hours, it can be hard to get the whole picture. Youre going to spend a lot of time and money at whatever school you choose. Its important to get all of the information you can.

The campus newspaper can provide a great window into the real-life on campusthe good, the bad and the ugly. Campus newspapers are uncensored by the administration. Some examples of how the campus newspaper can give you the real scoop:

One college, trying hard to shake its image as a party school, sported a large article in the student newspaper entitled, Best Places to Buy Booze Part 2. Did it take two parts? What might that say about life on campus?

Another newspaper gave front-page space to the debate on gay marriage, calling The National Organization for Marriage one of the only organizations in existence that is still fighting for discrimination in the 21st century. This points to a politically active campus open to the idea of gay marriage.

Judging Schools: Look Beneath The Surface

Society often prizes delivering life in bite-size morsels. Social media updates are all fractions of thoughts that give us a sense of a greater thought. High school students often try to categorize prospective colleges into these same info-bits: nerdy, preppy, middle of nowhere, small, etc. While it has been said that stereotypes are often rooted in the truth, they can be short-sighted. It can leave us seeing only half of a story.

Lets take the University of Maryland, a large state school with over 25,000 undergraduates on their flagship campus. Sound like a daunting number, so you cross it off your list? Well, U of Md certainly isnt right for everyone. But, before you toss it by the wayside, consider this: beyond the introductory level, class size is very manageable. The schools various honors programs subdivide the larger student population into smaller, cohesive communities. Dorms and clubs further dissect the originally amorphous sounding number into manageable groups. Many big schools will tout the fact that they have the resources of a big school with the feel of a small school. U of Maryland has gone to great lengths to ensure that you feel like much more than just a number.

Similarly, schools that have a student body barely larger than your high school will have some of the same advantages and opportunities as a larger university. Dont judge the proverbial book by its cover instead, read the pages within.

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