Is College Right for You?

Many students jump directly from high school into college 🏫 without much of a second thought, but you may be wondering, "Is College Right for Me?"

Before deciding to jump into or skip over such a transformative time in your life, give these pros, cons, and considerations for attending college a thought 💭. College is not for everyone–figure out if it is right for you. Check out these 7 Alternatives Paths to College for more options as well.
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3 Reasons you May Want to Go to College

1. ⚠️ It Could Be Required for Your Career ⚠️

Many job opportunities require you to have a college degree to be considered for the position. Therefore, you should research the possible careers you are interested in to see if a degree is required.

Be sure to look into not just the entry-level positions 💼 you want but also the promotional tracks you see yourself going down. There could be a requirement for a degree further down the line that you may not have considered.

Don’t end up missing out or putting off what you actually want to do with your life because you didn't realize the requirements!

2. 💰Higher Earnings in the Long Run 💰

Compared to those with just a high school diploma, those who earn a bachelor’s degree make much more 💸.  According to a study done by the Lumina Foundation in 2012, those with a bachelor’s degree earnings were $32,000 higher than those holding only a high school degree.

As there are more promotion opportunities for those with degrees, the longevity component gives an advantage to those who attend college.

3. ✔️Career Readiness ✔️

College gives you time to explore where you want to go with your career. Taking general education courses allows you the chance to discover new opportunities you may not have known about without college.

Many networking opportunities arise in college between advisors, professors, alumni networks, career fairs, and even your colleagues. Meeting all these new people can open doors that you may never have looked behind if you don’t go to college.

✨Side Note✨: Having a college degree opens doors and opportunities to leadership positions in the workforce that you may not have the opportunity to if you don't have a college degree.

If you're interested in college check out our other college resources, namely how to know what college is right for you.

3 Reasons you May Not Want to Go to College

1. 💸Cost of Tuition 💸

Going to college is not a cheap endeavor. Public colleges cost on average $8,893 a year to attend, and private colleges cost even more. Factor in books, transportation, food, and possible housing and travel–that price climbs even higher.

Of course, there is financial aid to help you pay for your education; however, it typically involves taking out loans. Therefore, you have to be okay with the financial burden 💰of going to school if you choose to pursue it. If college is something you want, it is still worth applying to and then comparing financial packages while speaking with financial aid offices.

To learn more about financial aid check out this article on everything you need to know about financial aid and a guide to financial aid for college. And make sure to calculate your own personal financial aid needs.

2. 💼 Prolonging the Start of Your Career 💼

If you know exactly what you want to do with your career and you do not need a college degree to do it, college may not be the right move for you. Some people want to jump right into pursuing their goals, and college will only deter them from doing so. If you feel like jumping right in is better for you, go for it!

3. ⌛Time Commitment⌛

Getting a degree takes years, and in that time, you are devoting the majority of your time to school. That time is a good portion of your life!

You are not given a chance to make as much money or work as if you were not in school. If you aren't willing to commit all of your time to obtain the degree, then college may not be suitable for you if you want to complete it in four years full-time. If you are okay with being in school longer, you can look into part-time opportunities offered by many schools.

3 Considerations

1. 🏫 Academics 🏫

College has a strong emphasis on out-of-classroom studying and completing work independently. It takes a love for academics and a desire to learn to stay dedicated enough to succeed in your classes. Without it, you may not enjoy your time studying.

If you don't have the passion to learn and apply yourself but would rather be out in the working world 🌎, college may not be for you.

2. ✨Expectations ✨

Many people may have external pressures that make them feel like they have to go to college either from family members, friends, or just societal pressure in general. It is important to make sure that if you are attending college, you are doing it because YOU want to, not for anyone else!

Although challenging, it is imperative to consider your wants in life. It is your life–you are in charge 💪 of your decisions.

3. ⭐ Does it Feel Right? ⭐

This may seem obvious, but if you feel in your gut that college is not for you, don't force yourself to go. It is a big commitment, and completing your degree should be something you should truly want to do.

As mentioned, college isn’t for everyone! If it doesn't feel like the correct choice, then you have plenty of other options available to you.

If you’re in search of a resource to help you inform your career decisions, check out Forage, the go-to platform for career discovery, learning, and recruiting, straight from employers.

Author: Erica Burns, Forage Content Writing Intern

  • Erica Burns is a senior at Temple University studying English and political science and is currently a Content Writer Intern with the Forage. She is passionate about writing, all types of literature and politics, specifically environmental and human rights.

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