According to the National Center of Education Statistics, nearly 70% of high school grads transition straight to college. Should your kid go? Due to the rising costs of college, it's not an uncommon question as of late...
College is still worth it.
From a numbers perspective, higher education pays off. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report that median weekly earnings increase with each level of education until declining slightly for a doctoral degree. You’ve also probably heard the statistic that college grads make $1 million dollars more than their non-college counterparts.
Let’s also consider the unemployment rate, which is lower among college grads. While they lose 4 years of working experience to secure their degree, it pays off in the long run. Additionally, scholarships tend to be most abundant for traditional students.
It’s required for many occupations.
A student’s interests are the best indicator of whether they should attend college. For those pursuing STEM fields or positions that absolutely require a degree, there’s really no way around it. College is the logical next step, whether it’s a technical school, Associate program or 4-year degree.
Even if not required, going to college helps workers advance in most industries. While it may be possible to get an entry level job without a degree, moving beyond that position is another story. Even if a student dreams of starting their own company, a Business Econ or Entrepreneurial Studies program is a good stepping stone, equipping them with the tools they need to be successful.
Lastly, a college degree may help your student secure a more satisfying position. For instance, Human Resource Mangers, Tax Consultants, Market Researchers, Primary and Secondary Educators are among those who report having the highest job satisfaction. The trend? They all require at least a Bachelor’s degree.
They’ll receive more than just the diploma.
Attending college does more than just help your student land a great job. It helps helps them build independence and financial responsibility, while testing the waters of adulthood.
Additionally, college gives students a chance to get involved. From Student Government to the school newspaper, there’s something for everyone. These organizations lay the foundation for a student’s professional network with opportunities to interact and connect with other students, professors and professionals in the community. Plus, those experiences look great on a resume.
The college experience is one of the top reasons students pursue higher education. Students can can learn and grow, while developing soft skills like oral and written communication, time management and problem-solving abilities.
It might not be for everyone.
All benefits aside, not everyone is prepared for college. For students who are already burned out on school, or are more interested in partying than studying, it may not be the right fit. After all, getting a degree is hard work even with the right motivation.
If your student is considering another option, be sure to talk with them about their backup plan such as finding an apprenticeship, starting a business or joining the military. Remind them that the easiest time to go is now, after their senior year of high school when they don’t have other responsibilities like a mortgage or family.
The average borrower graduates with $37,000 in debt, which is roughly the price of a new car. On the flip side, they’ll also make about $1 MILLION dollars more. As long as your student has the right mindset, there’s no doubt that this life-altering milestone is worth it. Whether they opt for a community college, vocational school, 4-year degree or something more specialized, for most students, higher education remains a good choice.