Saturday, December 13, 2014

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Go to College

The Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Go (Or Go Back) to College

by Robert Leavitt

Greetings and Salutations!  My name is Robert Leavitt and I am a freshman at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL.  I am 35 years old and I finally decided to go back to school after years of struggling to make ends meet.  I hit a lot of dead end jobs because of my lack of education.  I came to the realization that the goals that I had in life, could not be met without a formal education.

This blog post is targeted at both high school seniors and people like me that have never been to college and are debating whether or not they should return.  The short answer is “yes”, and I compiled this list of seven things to help you get motivated:

#1 Earning Power

This is not necessarily the most important reason for returning to college, but it is usually the primary motivation for most people.  It’s a definite consideration because according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics there is a great deal of money to be made as your level of education increases.

Top 7 Reasons to Go To College - Earning More Money
Top 7 Reasons to Go To College - Earning More Money!

#2 Self-Fulfillment

The sense of accomplishment that you will achieve when you complete your degree is very important to developing personal integrity.   It will help to build your sense of self-worth and give you the necessary state of mind to excel towards your goals. 

#3 Networking (Making Connections)

In college you will meet all kinds of people.  You can join clubs and meet with people that share similar interests to your own.  This will not only help you professionally but it will help your personal life as well. 

#4 Happy and Healthy Life

There are several studies that show that people who obtain college degrees are not only healthier, but are happier in life.  There is a range of theories on why this is the case, but I would like to point out a very basic one that my research has shown me people often overlook.  If you have a higher paying job, and you can afford health care, you are going to be healthier.   If you are healthier, you will be happier.  Pretty simple huh?
Top 7 Reasons to go to College - More Jobs
Top 7 Reasons to Go to College - More Jobs

#5 Increase your Qualifications

This goes hand in hand with earning power, but it also means more opportunities.  The higher your qualifications, the better you chances are at landing a high paying job.  The more qualifications you have the more job postings you will be able to choose from. It also means you can demand a higher salary based on your credentials.

#6 Secure your Future

Obtaining a college degree is important to securing your future.  Studies show that people with college degrees have a much higher rate of being able to not only retire, but retire at an earlier age!

Top 7 Reasons to go Back To College - Secure Your Future
Top 7 Reasons to go Back To College - Secure Your Future

#7 Gain Direction

College offers a broad range of topics to be studied.  As you go through your first year or two of college you will have available many different fields of study.  This will help you (if you haven’t selected a degree yet) to find out where your interests lie.

#8 Bonus Reason - It Can Be a SOURCE of Income

With Careful Research and Consideration, It is Possible that the Government will PAY You To Go To School.***

If you have never attended college, the chances are the federal government will provide you with grants and loans. The worse your situation is financially, the more likely they will cover the cost. Look for community colleges and state schools to find the lowest tuition prices.  If you find a school that is affordable, chances are you have money left over to help with rent, books and the cost of living.  The first year of my schooling, I was able to pay for my tuition, my books, my bills and food completely.  I did have to borrow some of the money, but it was actually possible to go to school and pay everything else with money left over!  I was able to go to school full time without working a job.  Be sure to talk to your adviser and get a budget set up, with some discipline and some guidance, you can really make some amazing things happen.

Be careful of high priced "online" schools and private Universities.  They are very expensive and they will eat up ALL of your financial aid.  You really don't want that to happen unless you have a steady job, or other source of income.  Remember that the financial aid doesn't have to all go towards tuition and books.  Shop around a little and see what options are available to you.  

Check the community colleges in your area so you can get an idea of ALL the options available to you.  Take it slow and make a well informed decision about your schooling.  It is possible to get a worthless degree and graduate with a mountain of debt, take advantage of the resources at school so this doesn't happen to you.  Only borrow what you need, and make sure you explore ALL the grant possibilities. 

Students have a tendency to rush the financial aid process and don't take the time to find out all the options that are available.  The adviser is very helpful, but remember that ultimately YOU are the one responsible for your financial well being.  There are options that exist that the adviser will not tell you about (not because they don't want to, but because they simply may not know).  Get involved and really work hard at this, and you can be rewarded 10 fold.

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