After high school, some students will immediately join the workforce while others will pave a more defined career path by going to college — a report by Research.com says that 16.9 million students entered college in the last spring.
Nearly 60% of all jobs in the United States require a college degree.
The Association of Public and Land-Grant University (APLU) says that college graduates typically earn $36,000 more than those whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma, making about $1.2 million more over their lifetime.
Also, they are 50% less likely to be unemployed.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why some high school graduates don’t go to college:
- It’s too expensive. Toss this excuse out of the window because just about everyone these days can afford to attend college. Such is made possible by means of going to community colleges as well as applying for scholarships, financial aids, and work-study programs.
- My grades are not good. Worry not if you have bad grades in high school. That’s because you can think of going to college as an opportunity to make up for it. Go for a college where extracurricular activities matter, and show that you can get good grades during your first year there.
- I don’t know what I want to be. Contrary to popular belief, not having a clear picture of what one should do for the rest of his or her life is not exclusive to high school students. Some people who are already in their 30s and 40s have no idea, too! The good news is that you can figure it out while attending college.
- My parents didn’t go to college, but they’re fine. First, you are not your parents. Second, most employers of today hire the most deserving applicants only — people with college degrees! Times have changed, and going to college allows you to have better chances of ending up fine nowadays.
- I won’t fit in. Students at a college come from different family backgrounds, religions, cultures, and cities. You can think of it as a melting pot where each person is a unique individual, just like you. If you felt that you did not fit in back in high school, in college, you will surely fit in!
Still not 100% fully convinced that you should not turn your back on college?
Then keep on reading and let these top 10 reasons to go to college change your mind completely.
1. Increase Job Security by 91%
Imagine that you are the owner of a multimillion-dollar company. Two people are applying to work for you as a purchasing manager — one is a high school graduate, and the other is a college graduate.
Just by their resumes alone, which one of them would you go for?
Well, we all know the answer to that!
As you can see, the resume of someone who attended college looks more impressive than the resume of someone who quit studying after high school.
There are so many positive characteristics that employers associate with applicants who are college graduates. Some of them include smart, persistent, determined, hardworking, and a good communicator.
Needless to say, being a college graduate helps to boost your reputation as a potential employee.
According to Labor Department, 91% of the net increase in jobs held by people with at least a bachelor’s degree.
So if you want to spare yourself from the trouble of failing one job application after the other, which could go on for years, then spend a few years in college to increase your chances of getting hired.
2. Generate $1,200,000 More in Earnings Over Lifetime
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that people who have college degrees earn about $1,198 per week. On the other hand, people who had high school diplomas only made just $730 per week.
Doing the math, you could enjoy more than $1,200,000 in earnings over your lifetime if you finished college.
Are you planning on opening your own business rather than becoming someone’s employee?
Then you should consider finishing college.
Various college degrees allow you to have the skills and knowledge that you will need to launch as well as maintain a lucrative business.
Some common examples include business management, business administration, mass communication, computer science, information technology, accounting, economics, and finance.
Whether you want to see yourself having a high-paying job or a profit-generating business one day, attending college is a great idea. Armed with your college diploma and degree, it is more likely for you to have an impressive bank account.
3. Realize Who You Want to Be
Not knowing who they want to be — as earlier mentioned, this is one of the reasons why some high school graduates feel like it’s not a good idea for them to go to college.
Fortunately, college admission officers do not really require college applicants to have a clear picture of who they want to be in the future.
As a matter of fact, a lot of colleges do not require their students to declare a major until they are through with their sophomore year in college.
So, in other words, you have two long years to figure out what you wish to major in. In the meantime, you may focus on working on general subjects.
And by the way, various clubs and organizations in colleges that you may join in can also help you make up your mind.
Here’s a tip on how you could have an idea which course is right for you: while in high school, consider taking some community college classes.
Other than allowing you to explore various options and possibilities, doing this also helps you to save both time and money.
That’s because this allows you to earn credits even before stepping foot inside the campus that you will choose after graduating from high school.
4. Have a Change of Environment
Were you born and raised in a small town? Are you wondering just how big the world is out there?
Then make sure that you go to college after graduating high school.
The farther away from your hometown the college of your choice is, the better the change of environment that you can get.
If it seems like you are not going to be happy with attending a college that is just a few miles away from where you have been all your life, consider studying abroad.
Currently, there are various education programs and destinations for you to choose from. What’s more, you can choose to study abroad for just a few weeks, an entire year, or until you get your college diploma or degree.
So, in other words, you have the power to decide where you want to go and for how long you would like to stay there.
Studying abroad also gives you the advantage of landing the job of your dreams. These days, a lot of employers prefer applicants with international experience.
That’s because the skills and knowledge gained by individuals who experienced living and studying abroad could be beneficial for the growth of a business or company.
5. Live 10 Years Longer Than College Dropouts
Believe it or not, people who have attended college tend to outlive people who stopped studying after high school.
According to Economist, people with BS degree tend to live a decade longer than people without higher degree.
So if you want to live for a really long time, consider going to college.
There are many reasons why being a college graduate can make you stay on this planet for as long as possible.
First, just like what was mentioned earlier, college helps you to have more employment opportunities. This increases your chances of having a job that you are completely happy with, which means less stress.
According to health authorities, many serious health issues are linked to having high levels of stress.
Some of those that could potentially lead to serious health issues, especially if they’re not dealt with accordingly, include heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Second, it’s not just any job that you could have if you have a college diploma and degree, but a job that comes with all kinds of benefits. One of those is health insurance.
Because having health insurance helps keep you from steep health care costs, seeking the help of medical doctors, and obtaining medical care won’t intimidate you and your wallet.
Since you’re getting all the health care that you need, staying in the pink of health can be easier.
6. Improve Social Skills
There are many things that you can learn about yourself in high school. If one of those things is the fact that you are someone who is suffering from social anxiety, then it’s a good idea for you to attend college.
Mental health authorities say that the best way for you to beat your social anxiety is to put yourself out there.
So, in other words, consider socializing more if you are terrified of being with people.
In college, you will surely meet all kinds of individuals, which is wonderful for dealing with social anxiety.
Some of the things that you may do in college to overcome your social anxiety include making small talk, winning new friends, having lunch with others, reciting in class more, and joining clubs.
Especially if your goal is to land a job that pays well, it’s of utmost importance for you to be comfortable with meeting, talking, and coordinating with different people.
Having social anxiety can keep you from getting the job of your dreams. College grooms you for a bright future not only mentally, but also psychologically.
This is why if you have social anxiety or you are not that confident with your social skills, you should consider enrolling in college after high school.
7. Build Connections With Successful People
While getting rid of your social anxiety or honing your social skills in college, you also get to establish connections.
Most of the people that you build relationships with in college are the same people that could help you become successful in the future.
Needless to say, it’s not just your college diploma and degree that can make your dreams come true, but also the connections that you come up with throughout your college years.
According to experts, getting hired through connections is one of the best ways to get the job of your dreams.
It is in college when you can make the most connections.
Primarily, such is through joining groups such as fraternities, sororities, and campus organizations. You can also make connections by meeting the friends of your college friends.
Yes, stating on your resume that you are a college graduate can help you get hired. However, your chances of getting hired can increase considerably if you have connections.
Aside from meeting people who can help you join the workforce in the future, making connections may also allow you to meet someone who will play a pivotal role in your future. It’s what we are going to talk about next.
8. Meet Your Future Spouse (28% Success)
Based on the data collected by analysts from Facebook, 15% of respondents attended the same high school as their respective spouses.
If you think the chances of meeting the love of your life is high in high school, think again.
According to the same analysts, 28% of respondents went to the same college as their respective spouses!
They add that you have better chances of coming across that someone you are compatible with the larger the campus.
Earning your diploma and degree should definitely be your top priority for entering college. However, there is no harm in looking for your soul mate, too, while looking forward to the day that you finish your college years.
There are many reasons why it is more likely for you to find someone who is perfect for you in college than in high school.
For one, you are a more mature individual in college, which means that you take more seriously various matters about your future, and that includes dating and settling down.
Finding someone with whom you share a lot of things in common is easier in college. This is especially true inside the classroom, where everyone has pretty much the same interests.
9. Increase Chances of Your Kids Getting a Degree
Some high school graduates believe that going to college to earn a degree is not important. That’s because they claim that their parents were able to raise their children even without attending college.
Parents serve as role models to their kids. It’s for this reason exactly why high school students whose parents have college degrees find it important for them also to work hard and earn their college degrees, too.
As a matter of fact, according to a study by National Center for Education Statistics, about 71% of students with at least one parent who went to college also go to college.
On the other hand, the same study says that only 26% of students whose parents stopped studying after graduating from high school apply to college to earn their degree.
Thus far, it’s quite clear that going to college is important for success.
If you want your children to have a brighter future when they are already adults, then it’s a wonderful idea for you to set as a good example to them by going to college.
It will help a lot if you have a stable job that comes with tons of benefits, and tell your children that it’s all because of a smart decision that you made after finishing high school: attending college.
10. Enjoy Student Discounts
One of the reasons why some high school graduates refuse to get their college degree is that going to college is beyond their means.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that attending college is not exclusive to the rich.
There are different options available that can help make going to college suitable for all.
If you are on a tight budget, some of the things that you may do include attending a community college and applying for a scholarship program.
Did you know that being a college student allows you to enjoy all kinds of discounts?
In many instances, your college ID can serve as a coupon that lets you slash the prices of various products and services.
Movie theaters, museums, public transit, car rental, cellular service providers — in many cities, students can take advantage of these things at discounted rates.
As a college student, various digital goods are available to you at a fraction of the cost, such as word processing software, note-taking apps, cloud storage, and movie and music streaming services.
School and office supplies, electronic devices, clothes, groceries, restaurant meals — many of these products are also being offered at discounted rates to college students.
Why Should I Go To College
While there are various reasons to go straight to getting a job after finishing high school, there are far more reasons to head to college after getting your high school diploma.
The main reasons are having a higher income, creating useful connections, living longer and more fulfilling life, and possibly meeting a future spouse.
Which of the above reasons have convinced you to attend college?
Can you think of other reasons why it is a good idea to go to college and earn a degree?
Related Article: Top 9 Benefits of Not Going to College
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.