Why Should I Go To College?
Should I go to college? This is the question some students ask themselves. 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: Do I need to go to college?
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. While college isn’t the right choice for everyone, AdmissionSight has listed reasons to go to college and why a bachelor’s degree can be a smart move.
1. Increased income
Making more money is among the most persuasive justifications for going to college. A higher wage can result in millions of dollars more in the bank over the course of 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.
What does that extra money look like over a 40+ year career, though? According to a recent Georgetown University study, college graduates made $2.8 million on average over the course of their lives, compared to high school graduates’ $1.6 million on average. This is a 75% boost in wages.
Naturally, a college education does not guarantee a high salary, 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. Even though education is pricey, it’s frequently worthwhile.
2. Enhanced employment security
This reason is the deal breaker in answering the question, “Why should I go to college?” 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.
Similar patterns happened during the Great Recession when unemployment peaked in 2010. In June of that year, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates aged 22 to 27 was 7.1%, whereas it was 16.2% for those without college degrees in the same age range.
3. A higher quality of life
Many tend to forget about a higher quality of life when thinking about college. Later did they know that people with bachelor’s degrees tend to be happier than those without one; you may ask “why should I go to college?” the best answer would be, 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.
Women with a college degree had an almost 80% likelihood of staying married for at least 20 years, while those with only a high school diploma had a 40% chance. Men also exhibit comparable patterns: 65% of men with bachelor’s degrees, as opposed to 50% of men with only a high school certificate or less, may anticipate a marriage lasting 20 years or longer.
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 a high school diploma 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.
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
Plenty of youngsters would ask, “Why should I go to college?” to celebrate life, as we only live once. Well, in fact, a college education can lengthen your life. Persons with at least some college education have a mortality rate that is less than half that 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. So “why should I go to college?” you may ask, please keep in mind that college can be a place for you to discover new passions, broaden your horizons, and a time for you to increase your potential.
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 think beyond the box. 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.
By giving you access to numerous people in your desired field, attending college will inevitably widen your network. Other students can assist you in finding 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. On LinkedIn or through your college’s direct alumni network, you can frequently find other graduates from that institution.
You might be asking yourself the following question: “What college I should I go to?” instead of “Why should I go to college?” now that we have revealed and discussed some reasons.
What college should you go to?
AdmissionSight has listed some actions you can take to locate colleges where you can succeed and what college should you go to:
Think about your priorities, your goals, and the person you want to become. These responses will help you identify the kinds of universities that will help you accomplish your objectives.
Here are some things to think about:
- Distance to your house
- Courses and majors accessible
- The student body’s composition
- Extracurricular activities accessible
- The campus setting
Which of these is a necessity to feel at home at a college?
Which situation allows for more flexibility?
Additionally, consider your goals for college. Do you prefer a broad education or training for a specific career? Ask yourself “What do I want to go to college for?” Are the colleges you’re thinking about strength in the major you have in mind? Or you are worried if you can finance your studies.
How to go to college for free?
We have listed out the different options that you can check if you are worried about the school fees that sometimes would make you ask yourself “Why should I go to college?”.
Think about opportunities to attend college for free or at a reduced cost before you get stressed out over the high expense of attendance. There are ways to cut the cost of college and lessen student loan debt; however, it might not be entirely free.
Here are some tips on how to save on your college expenses, or perhaps how to go to college for free:
Submit as many scholarship applications as you can. Scholarships are gifts with no obligation to repay them.
While scholarships are often tax-free when used for tuition and books, they may be taxable when used for housing and other expenses. Also, be on the lookout for scholarship fraud. You might need to make a case to your school if you get a scholarship so that it doesn’t affect your eligibility for need-based financial aid.
Here are some tips to find scholarships:
- Utilize the free search function provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and other free scholarship search websites;
- The free scholarship search at Sallie Mae;
- Querying your high school guidance counselor;
- Make contact with your college’s financial aid office;
- Professional associations, particularly those connected to your major;
- Your company;
- Your parents’ employer;
- Neighborhood organizations; and
- Local companies.
Keep in mind that a scholarship could be taken away from you if you don’t meet the requirements, such as keeping a certain GPA.
Because grants are gifts that you don’t have to pay back, they are similar to scholarships. Scholarships are available to anyone, although grants are typically based on need.
The Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted before the deadline since funds are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. This is the best way to find funding.
If you fail to fulfill the requirements of a grant, you can be asked to repay it. For instance, if you don’t meet the standards for teaching, the TEACH Grant will be retrospectively converted into a loan.
Employer Tuition Assistance
There are several businesses that provide employees with some kind of financial aid for their education. Most students who ask the question “Why should I go to college?” are usually working and is currently satisfied with the money they earn at the company without realizing their full potential.
Your company may actually pay for or reimburse you for your college expenses. A firm may have requirements, such as your agreement to work for them for a specified period of time or enroll in a particular college.
A small number of businesses, including Amazon, Best Buy, Comcast, Home Depot, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks, provide some form of tuition reimbursement.
If your parents are employed by a company that provides tuition aid to the family of an employee, you might be eligible for free tuition.
Employees of institutions sometimes receive free or significantly reduced tuition. They might even offer the same perk to the employees’ children.
A work college is a facility that provides students with free tuition or other forms of financial aid in exchange for taking part in a work program.
Colleges with Free Tuition
There are 18 colleges in the US that don’t charge students any tuition. Remember that there are criteria for these colleges. Although tuition may be free, room, board, and materials may not be.
Numerous cities also have free tuition programs.
Some institutions provide need-based students with tuition waivers. Those who are college instructors or staff members may be eligible for a tuition waiver.
The FAFSA is the best way to increase your chances of earning a tuition waiver and to inquire with the financial aid office at your college.
You can look into crowdsourcing to see if it can help with education costs. With crowdfunding, you may create a page on GoFundMe or another fundraising website and essentially beg people to contribute to your college expenses.
An apprenticeship can train you for a particular field if you don’t want to attend a standard four-year institution. The majority pay you while you gain experience on the job.
Think about an in-demand job
For jobs with high demand, several institutions offer tuition aid. For instance, the University of Portland will pay more than 80% of nursing students’ tuition in return for a three-year career commitment to a certain hospital.
How to go to college for less?
Aside from the tips on how to go to college for free, AdmissionSight also prepared a list of how to go to college for less. These tips are for some students who might be feeling lost and come to the point of questioning “Why should I go to college?”.
- AP courses may be taken in high school and count toward college credits.
- Prior to going to a four-year institution, make sure your credits will transfer. In certain places, community college is free.
- If the college that your parents attended offers a legacy benefit, take it into consideration. For instance, Southern Illinois University provides a 20% tuition discount to the offspring of alumni.
- Opt for a reasonably priced institution, such as an in-state public school.
- Remain at home or select a low-cost residence.
- Become a teaching or resident assistant, which frequently entails receiving free or reduced housing.
- Continue to meet your graduation requirements. From enrollment to graduation, create a plan and succeed in your classes!
- During the summer, some institutions offer discounted tuition. Then, think about enrolling in classes.
- Purchase secondhand books or borrow them for free from the library.
Learn how to borrow responsibly if you do need to take out student loans. Keep in mind that you must repay every dollar you borrow plus interest.
First, take out federal student loans. Federal loans frequently have lower interest rates and offer a variety of advantages, such as the opportunity to base payments on your income, the possibility of debt forgiveness, the availability of subsidized loans, and the flexibility to postpone payments in the event that you lose your job.
If you still need a private loan after using all of your government loans, search around to locate the best lender. Reduce spending to borrow as little as feasible.
Going to college could be a crucial decision. At AdmissionSight, we can help you get started along the route you want to go down. Entering the college of your choice is now simpler because of our more than ten years of experience helping students get into the world’s top universities. To find out more about it, you may schedule a consultation with us.