Exploring the Reasons To Go To College

September 20, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Exploring the Reasons To Go To College

What Are Good Reasons To Go To College?

Some students don’t have to think twice about going to college. Answer this straightforward query, though, before you begin submitting applications and scheduling campus visits: What are good reasons to go to college? If you’ve never thought about why you want to go to college, it can be more difficult than it seems to answer that question.

Here are some reasons earning a bachelor’s degree could be a wise choice, even though not everyone should attend college.

1. Increased Income

Making more money is among the most persuasive reasons to go to college. A higher wage can result in millions of dollars more in the bank for a lifetime.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor’s degree holders made an average weekly salary of $1,305, while high school grads made an average weekly salary of $781. That represents a difference of around $30,000 each year.

Naturally, a college education does not guarantee big pay, and salaries vary greatly depending on your major and career of choice. However, there is a significant link between education and income, and people with more advanced degrees typically make more money than those who didn’t attend college.

2. Enhanced Employment Security

Gaining a college degree often increases your job stability, lowering your risk of being unemployed. The unemployment rate for people with a college degree was 2.1% in December 2021, while it was 4.6% for people with only a high school diploma.

Furthermore, if you have a college degree, you could be better able to survive times of economic turbulence. Those with high school diplomas experienced higher decreases in workforce involvement at the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic than college graduates.

Just 52% of high school grads were employed between February and May 2020, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Those with a bachelor’s degree, in comparison, continued to work 72% of the time. This may be due to the higher likelihood of college graduates working in fields that may easily transition to remote work during the epidemic.

3. A Higher Quality of Life

People with bachelor’s degrees tend to be happier than those without one, therefore more education may result in a happier life. The Pew Research Center reports that while 75% of Americans with college degrees are “very content” with their families, only 64% of those with only a high school diploma or less agree.

Longer marriages are also more common among college graduates than among those with only a high school diploma, and happier marriages can contribute to greater contentment. Men and women follow similar trends; about 65% of men with a bachelor’s degree can expect their marriage will last 20 years or longer, compared with 50% of men with a high school diploma or less. College-educated women have a nearly 80% chance of remaining married for at least 20 years, while women with a high school education or less have a 40% probability.

4. Simpler Access to Benefits and Health Insurance

Higher education graduates are more likely than high school graduates to work for companies that provide health insurance benefits. A College Board study found that only 52% of people with high school graduation had access to employer-sponsored health insurance, compared to 64% of college graduates. Just 33% of those without a high school diploma had access to medical insurance through their job.

Group of people in s meeting smiling for the camera.

Additionally, access to additional benefits like paid time off for vacation and illness, stock options, student loan assistance, and retirement plans is more prevalent among college graduates. Compared to roughly 40% of high school graduates, nearly 50% of college graduates in the private sector had access to an employer-provided retirement plan.

5. Improved Health Results

A college education can lengthen your life. Mortality rates among persons with at least some college education are less than half those of non-college graduates.

According to a Lumina Foundation survey, high school graduates who have not attended college smoke more frequently—about 3.9 times more frequently than college grads. A larger percentage of non-college graduates are obese and heavy drinkers. Higher education and better health are related for a variety of reasons.

College graduates have easier access to health insurance, which may result in more tests for preventative measures. College degrees are frequently accompanied by higher salaries, which can result in safer housing, easier access to wholesome foods, less exposure to pollution, and more access to green spaces.

6. Possibility To Pursue Specialized Interests

Finding a solid job or increasing your income aren’t the only benefits of a college education. College can be a place for you to discover new passions and broaden your horizons.

When you go to college, you might enroll in classes that are unrelated to your degree to learn about new concepts and subjects. You’ll pick up new abilities and discover interests that might be challenging to pursue elsewhere. Being in college gives you access to knowledgeable lecturers and creative classmates who can help you to think beyond the box. One of the best reasons to go to college is that you have the chance to learn from experts in your profession whom you might not otherwise have the chance to work with.

7. Widen Your Network of Professionals

In business, there’s a saying that goes, “Your network is your net worth.” In other words, your professional status, including your income, can be influenced by the individuals you know.

Group of people talking in front of a building.

By giving you access to numerous people in your desired field, attending college will inevitably widen your network. Other students can assist you to find out about job openings, your instructors can write reference letters that will help you land a job, and the university may have recruiting events on campus. The alumni network of a college is another effective resource; many institutions provide a list of alumni you may contact if you’re seeking work.

What Is College Life Like?

If you haven’t attended college yet, you might think about “What is college life like?” You’ll undoubtedly discover that it differs greatly from high school, particularly if you’re living away from home for the first time or on campus. College life is considerably different from life in high school. It might be a lot more enjoyable, but it can also be more difficult. With college classes, you’ll have a lot more flexibility, but you’ll also have a lot more responsibility. Some teachers at colleges don’t even insist that you show up to class or take any roles. In actuality, a final test and a few projects might decide your ultimate grade.

Being a brand-new freshman who just graduated from high school makes it simple to put things off until it’s too late. In college, there are also many more opportunities to meet people and participate in social activities, but there is also much more pressure to put your schoolwork last. In order to do well in high school, you had to put in a lot of study time; in college, you need to develop sensible study habits.

What Skills Do You Gain From College?

What skills do you gain from college? Although earning a degree does increase your job possibilities, going to college has other advantages for your career as well. Your degree will give you the required soft skills to succeed at work in addition to giving you the technical know-how for your desired job.

Male student answering an exam in his desk.

How do soft skills work? Soft skills, such as the capacity to function well in a team or adapt to changes in your environment, are adaptable traits that help you excel in any endeavor you undertake. If you can demonstrate them on your job applications, it will be clear that you received more from your education than just a degree.

Here are five soft skills that you will have acquired while attending college and that employers are looking for.

Talent In Communication

You’ve undoubtedly had to write a LOT as a student, especially if you’re an art major. In addition to completing the essays required for your course, you might have become active in student journalism and started producing articles.

Even if your course doesn’t require much writing, you’ve probably used email to communicate with your tutor and supervisor. You should make sure to let your potential employer know how much all of this has improved your written communication.

However, attending college enhances more than just your writing skills; it also enhances your capacity to communicate in person. To add to the good reasons to go to college, you will have interacted with a lot of people, many of whom come from backgrounds extremely dissimilar to your own. When you enter the workforce, having these social and networking skills will come in very handy.

If you had to give presentations as part of your coursework at any point, your ability to communicate with others will also have grown when you were an undergraduate. Being able to give potential employers an instance of when you gave a compelling presentation can significantly boost your chances of success because many firms are scrambling to find workers with good presenting and public speaking skills.

Financial Management and Budgeting

Ideally, you’ve become used to budgeting for food, drink, and nights out as well as managing your finances and paying your rent and utility bills. You might have had to manage even bigger quantities of money if you served on a committee for a society.

All of this demonstrates your superb financial management skills and establishes your reliability. Even if the position you’re seeking doesn’t require you to handle money directly, this is beneficial because it shows strong character attributes that will appeal to employers.

Time Management

This split of your time between various activities demonstrates that you can manage your workload, especially if you have been actively involved in extracurricular activities while in college or holding a part-time job. Employees that can manage several obligations will always be valued by employers. Your ability to fulfill deadline after the deadline is also evidence of your time management abilities, even if you were too preoccupied with your education to participate in society or work part-time.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

You will have encountered numerous issues throughout your academic career that initially looked insurmountable. Whether it was a challenging essay question or a math problem, you had to think creatively, approach the issue from novel angles, and possibly conduct more research. If a project isn’t going according to plan, companies expect just this from their staff. If you’re called in for an interview, be prepared with a few instances where you conquered challenging issues since they want to see that you can take the initiative.

Accepting Constructive Criticism

Nobody’s university work is faultless, and throughout your degree, you will have received plenty of helpful criticism from professors and classmates. Employers seek candidates that can accept constructive criticism and use the feedback to enhance their work. This could seem like an unusual soft skill because it’s difficult to exhibit, but it’s important to have examples of times you’ve used constructive criticism to advance your work so you can share them in job interviews.

How Should I Prepare For College?

Now that we have discussed the reasons to go to college, it might be challenging to know where to begin while preparing for your higher education path. Whether it’s a 2- or 4-year college, career training, or something else, knowing how your friends are getting ready for life after high school can be useful.

Make use of this as a checklist to answer “How should I prepare for college?”

1. Examine Prospective Universities

About 48% of high school seniors have looked into suitable institutions, according to “Higher Ambitions: How America Plans for Post-secondary Education.” Researching your alternatives can be quite helpful because there are more than 5,000 schools and institutions in the US.

Having stated that, what do students seek? What else is useful when picking a school? Is it the number of students in a class, the football team’s record, or the employment rate for recent graduates?

Even though each of these factors—as well as many others—might be significant, most families place a higher priority on a select handful.

The top three criteria that students cited when looking into and selecting a school are as follows:

  • Whether the institution offers a program that corresponds to their intended major or career
  • The location of the school
  • Type of financial aid offered

You can start with the school’s website, but keep in mind that there are other online communities run by students.

2. Submitting a FAFSA®

Six out of ten high school seniors had submitted their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the incoming freshman year as of April, according to research. The FAFSA is a free form that is made accessible year on October 1 and can open the door to thousands of dollars in financial aid for graduate and undergraduate study.

The earlier you submit your application, the better, as some of this federal money is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Even if you don’t intend to use federal loans, you should still fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities.

3. Pay A Visit To Colleges, Even If Only Virtually

Do you belong to the 42% of high school seniors who have been on a campus tour of a college or university? Then congratulations! You’re close to selecting a higher education program after doing thorough research.

All around the country, campuses are dramatically different. Some schools may have large campuses with shuttle services, while others may be so small you can walk across in 10 minutes or even built into city blocks.

Young man studying in front of his laptop.

Some students’ reasons to go to college include getting the chance to experience dorm rooms, smaller classes, the dining hall, and other important campus landmarks. By taking an on-campus or virtual tour, you’ll be able to determine whether it seems like a home away from home.

4. Consult A High School Guidance Counselor

The fact that 39% of seniors report having spoken to a school counselor at their high school is probably due to the fact that they are an excellent resource. A counselor’s role is to provide you with advice and direction so that the process of applying to college, which involves a big step and many moving pieces, is less confusing.

They can assist you in looking at majors that fit your interests and strengths if you’re having problems choosing your academic path. Additionally, school counselors can recommend pupils for scholarships, so establishing a strong rapport with your counselor as early as your freshman year of high school may result in award nominations for you.

5. Prepare For the SAT or ACT

Nationally, the requirement for standardized examinations like the SAT or ACT is declining, and many colleges and institutions now provide test exemptions. Despite this, 36% of seniors in high school have studied for or taken these tests. There are various test preparation workshops and practice exams available online, from paid tutoring to free SAT practice tests on the College Board website, if you’re thinking about taking the SAT or ACT and you’re anxious about a particular test.

Using a pencil while writing in a desk.

6. Apply For A Scholarship

Searching for scholarships is the one thing you must do to get ready for college. Since just 33% of high school seniors reported applying for scholarships, not many students take advantage of this stage. Having said that, there is a ton of unclaimed free money available to assist make college more reasonable.

The reasons to go to college vary depending on your choice between long and short-term benefits. Early career entry allows you to avoid the stress and bad eating habits of college life while earning a paycheck for four years that you wouldn’t otherwise have, getting established, getting a better job, and getting on track sooner. All of them, however, pale in comparison to the long-term health, prosperity, and wisdom that a college education offers.

AdmissionSight can help you decide if college is really for you. Furthermore, we can assist you in the admissions process if ever you choose to attend a university. Simply book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts to learn more.

 

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