Importance of College Education

Why it is important to go to college


During their high school career, students may begin to question the importance of a college education. They might find themselves asking, “Why is it important to go to college?” The answer is that, more than ever, attending college provides opportunities for graduates which are not as widespread to those who have not received a higher education.

For many high school students, being able to immediately generate an income after graduation is an appealing thought. They may also be repelled by the rising cost of tuition, and while it is true that a higher education may be one of the largest expenses you will ever face, the importance of a college education has become quite evident in terms of earning potential within today’s economy.


Why Should You go to College?

One important answer to this question is more opportunity. As opposed to generations of the past, high school graduates today are unable to obtain the number of high-paying jobs that were once available. The U.S. has been transformed from a manufacturing-based economy to an economy based on knowledge, and the importance of a college education today can be compared to that of a high school education forty years ago. It serves as the gateway to better options and more opportunity.

There are additional reasons as to why it is important to go to college. When students experience a post secondary education, they have the opportunity to read books and listen to the lectures of top experts in their fields. This stimulation encourages students to think, ask questions, and explore new ideas, which allows for additional growth and development and provides college graduates with an edge in the job market over those who have not experienced a higher education.

The importance of a college education is also accentuated because of the opportunity to gain valuable resources during your tenure. The more connections which are collected during your college career, the more options you will have when you begin your job search. Once you have ended your job search and have started your career, however, the importance of a college education has not been exhausted. Having a college degree often provides for greater promotion opportunity.

So, why should you go to college? The reasoning does not begin and end with the job aspect. A good education is beneficial from many different viewpoints, and while the importance of a college education is quite evident for many high school students, what is often not as clear is how they will pay for that education.

Funding Your College Education

Although the colleges and universities of today carry a heavy price tag, it is of great importance not to let that discourage you from obtaining a college education. While the cost of tuition continues to rise, so too does the number of available financial aid options. Below we will explain why it is important to explore these options before you go to college and the large payoff they often provide.

From local and federal options, to categorical and corporate options, college-bound students have a variety opportunities worth exploring when attempting to obtain financial aid. A common misrepresentation of financial aid packages (e.g. scholarships, grants, loans, work study programs) is that they provides funding for an entire college education. The reality is that most of these packages are smaller and it may take several of them to add up. This is why it is important to explore all of your options before you go to college:

  • Local options—The people of your own community fully understand the importance of a college education, which is why organizations such as the American Legion, the Rotary Club, the Jaycees, and Boosters chapters offer scholarships for high school students in the area. These organizations are often overlooked and serve as a great resource due to the fact that they have far less competition than national awards. Start your local search by visiting your high school’s career options to see what’s available.
  • Federal options—The federal government is also well aware of the importance of a college education, which is why they award more financial aid to college-bound students than any other resource. The most important step in obtaining federal aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Follow this link for more information on filing the FAFSA for financial aid.
  • Merit-based options—Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on academic or athletic abilities, as well as categories such as ethnicity, religious affiliation, club membership, interests, talent or career plans. Learn more about merit-based options by following this link: College Scholarship Money
  • Corporate options—Corporations are another resource who understand the vast importance of a college education. Every year, corporations ranging from Target to Coca-Cola offer financial aid to thousands of college-bound students. A great way to start your corporate scholarship search is with you or your spouse’s company. Often times, organizations will award the children of employees with scholarships or grants. Follow this link to learn more about college financial aid and grant searches and determine the eligibility of your student.

Understanding the Importance of College Education

If you are still asking yourself why should you go to college, it is important to remember the significant amount of opportunity available for college graduates. The global economy is becoming increasingly more competitive, and in order to give yourself the best chance for a well-paying job, you must first understand the importance of college education.

Attending college provides students with the knowledge and experience they are unable to receive from a secondary education, and finding a way to fund a higher education now can pay off in a huge way in the years to come.

College-Bound Student Information

CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our articles can help you in your choice for an educational pathway:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This article was written by Jeff McGuire

42 Comments

  1. Patty Sanders

    I think this article has a lot of merit and provides excellent insight to a student who may have questions as to wether to attend college and see the advantages!!

    Patty

  2. Nichole Lemacks

    I think this article offers great insight to the advantages of college. I love the fact that it gives you the real truth that college is expense, but why a person should still go. Thanks!

  3. David S.

    After at least 45 years of hearing the same old arguement in favor of having a college degree I feel compelled to add my own 2 cents worth. It’s total bull. Go get a trade, or better still, a union job. UAW guys are making $32+ an hour with benefits that would rival a high ranking politician’s. Today everyone has a college degree, and worse you’ll be competing with offshore PHD’s that get paid $7/hr., or less.

  4. Claudia

    I’m a current senior in high school and I understand the point the author is trying to make about why College is important. In some ways my parents will agree, however I do not. You say that through higher education students can read textbooks and listen to professionals talk about their field and experience. I’m sorry but all of those same opportunities are offered in any library, where the topics and expertise in books are boundless. Also, nowadays there are websites like Youtube where you can find videos of famous world renown professionals talking about their field.

  5. Henry Riezinger

    This information was very helpful for my business management class. Thank you so much. :)

  6. Michael

    David S.,
    Look at the facts. College graduates, on average, get paid more than High School graduates. Granted, some people without degrees find good, high paying jobs, but the stats show a STRONG correlation between education and salary.

  7. Jay

    Unless your parents are footing the bill or you are receiving a lot of scholarships I would question the merits of attending college. Being in debt and in many instances not being able to find a job in your career path after college will not improve your quality of life. Not to mention that the quality of education at many colleges these days is highly questionable. College debt in America surpasses all other forms of debt. My main point is keep an open mind and don’t believe everything you hear about how college is the golden ticket to success.

  8. Frank Sellers

    This article is a sales pitch, but it’s not entirely inaccurate. Today’s world requires a college degree for almost every corporate job, even administrative assistants! This is actually a sad affair because most jobs don’t require a college education, even if the job description states so. The leaders of corporate America has been brainwashing by articles like this into thinking that anyone without a degree is an idiot, which is far from the truth. In fact, most recent college grads are still painfully ignorant and naive about the real working world, much more so than their so-called “uneducated” colleagues who went straight from high school into the working world.

    The reason there aren’t as many opportunities for people without degrees is because colleges and universities have pushed the notion that anyone without a degree is completely – not partially – but completely ignorant of nearly everything except pushing a broom, and soon I fear even janitors will have to get some sort of BS certification to proove they’re qualified to tell caca from doodoo, though I see plenty of both in this article.

    Proof of how ridiculous the value of a college degree is come from the fact that corporations routinely pass on qualified and seasoned professionals in favor of kids with a degree. Not only that, they’ll pass on qualified candidates with years of experience in the field their hiring for in favor of an inexperienced “degreed” candidate who didn’t even major in the same field the job requires! I’ve met many database developers with degrees in English. (And then the companies wonder why their databases don’t work…)

  9. Frank Sellers

    Michael said it best with his simple statement that college grads make more than their colleagues who do the exact same job. It’s extremely unfair and prejudiced, but that’s a fact. It also belies the true reason the overwhelming majority of people go to college in the first place – to land a job making more money. The real problem with colleges and universities is that they’re so greedy they require far too many subjects to be studied and time invested in order to get a degree. Forcing students to waste time/money on physical education courses in order so they have a “well rounded education” (“well rounded” is not hyphenated, by the way, because it’s not a compound adjective; “well” modified “rounded”) is just a ploy to rake in more money. College educators and students delude themselve into believing they’re attaining a higher and more noble goal by requiring students to take so many prerequisite courses outside their majors, but the bean counters know the truth – it brings in money. Lots of money. I have made absolutely no use of the judo I studied in college, but I’m hundreds of dollars poorer for it.

  10. vanetta lawson

    this helped me get my project done and i hope i get a a+ mr. cobos please. I made most of it into my own words and this deffinetly makes me want to go to college.=)

  11. Benjamin Shevah

    Statistics may say HS-College graduates salary gap
    BUT your brainwashed.
    They count GED gradutes as Hs graduates, and its also the kind of person that affects how successful he can be.
    A well rounded person with alot of talent and success in his life and school life that graduates HS and decides not to go to college wouldnt be represented as the overwhelming majority or statistics of HS graduates.
    some HS graduates are idiot lazy thugs that barely were able to graduate their shit HS and college is out of the question for them.

    Its decieving and its like comparing apples to oranges.
    College is heavily advocated by goverment because its a corperate intrest. The reason its so expensive is goverment involvingment in the free market. If the goverment gave everyone the money to buy oranges, markets could sell their oranges more expensively and people would buy it. Top it off with marketing and brainwashed politically correct liberal teachings of the benifits of Oranges (like colleges) and now you have more millions of people rushing out to buy Oranges. Turns out orange prices were inflated, and everyone believed goverment and corperate marketing and took out loans to buy oranges.

    Thats what colleges are.

  12. Gideon Yeboah

    I think this article hammers some importance of college education of which am in agreement most especially in an aspect where he tries to contrast the funding of college education.

  13. Renee

    wow…. its amazing how i learned way more from the comments then from the actual blog, truth is that colleges will only give you a paper that says you are authorized to do a certain job when the truth is that experience speaks more than a piece of paper with a few words worst thing is that there is a possibility that you may not even be hired … me i’m barely a sophomore in college and every time i see my degree plan i question the committee that organizes these reports (they have so many unnecessary courses) it’s very discouraging to keep in college seeing that apparently this is only what matters and not hard work, not skills and not initiative but a stupid piece of paper …

  14. Sam

    It’s sad to consider that such a tremendous number of viable jobs are requiring a college degree. This article is dead on, but if it weren’t for the general ignorance of society, it would have no merit. Four years at a University means that you are more adequately equipped to deal with the challenges of a specific work environment, than a person who spent that time working in that field? Contradictions like that, and we’re calling the state of the world a “more educated society”? College is essentially a racket, but sadly, one that the world legitimizes to the fullest extent. The college path basically demands that you “invest” thousands upon thousands of dollars in a school, in hopes that you’ll qualify for a field. That isin’t even a guarantee! Do we consider this sort of contribution fair? Yes, I realize that millions of others have done this, but it’s not even fair to them. A person in my position can’t afford college. According to this article, I have to get used to the feelings of inadequacy attributed to my $8.25 per hour job, and be satisfied with driving cars that were new around the time of Tupac Shakur’s murder.

  15. A. Williams

    I am writing a paper on the importance of a college degree. I read the blog and all of the comments. I am an experienced facility manager with more than 15 years in my field. While I received several promotions during my tenure at a particular company, I found it difficult over the past three years to find new employment despite my years of experience. I agree the expense is high, but my major will only complement my years of experiece which will ensure my professional success going forward. This is my 1st year and I have just landed a job. So I have to question why I did not get all those jobs I applied for over the past three years. Now that I am a year in, I got offered a vey good postion doing what I enjoy. I would recommend if you coming out of HS and heading to college, try to get internships in your field as you study, this will give you the edge you need. If you are a working adult, I recommend you get the degree in your current field and have your employer pay for it if they offer such a benefit.

    Both the bolg and the feedback will help me formulate an effective paper.
    Good luck to all of you.

  16. James/junior in college

    My point of view about college: you can tell someone’s education level based on grammar and punctuation, also the general knowledge they posses outside of a grocery store or fastfood chain. College is not just the degree, but what you take from the experience–for the person saying he wasted money I bet he was unsocial and held a negative outlook for the prerequisites, thus his education is fairly poor and he is the unemployed degree holder type.

    Go to school: enjoy it; make the most of it– You will not regret it.

    FFS throughout history people dreamed of chances to Learn, so don’t listen to ignorant people bash what they go to bed crying about at night over because they gave up or got someone knocked up– let them envy.

    And most importantly! Majority of the high paying jobs for highschool graduates are business related AKA: legal stealing and trickery–the scum of the earth (almost every kiosk at the mall for example) so if you want to hustle until your old and ugly then get fired and not afford your healthcare or your child’s education, then that’s cool–play the lottery I guess.

    Read “a good man is hard to find” it’s short and will explain a lot.

  17. student age 14

    i always said that a colledge with a good rep, is the goal. and colledges help prepare independence, self care, and prepares and increases independence it helps you increase your chances my mom has a masters\bachelors yet she was unemployed fora while yet she brags about it, her degree i think thats just a bragging tool to impress idiots on your resume but if your smart enough to do it, make your own buisness. you dont need colledge to do it, and u can make more money then you would working for someone else, if you become succsesful that is, coledge is like a ticket for saying your smart nough to work for cheap people that probally haven’t gotten to colledge yet make millions…

  18. Brandy K.

    I agree and disagree with this article. I believe that obtaining a higher education is ideal, but getting one doesn’t always lie beneath the roof a university. Like Claudia said, now days you can get all the knowledge you need on Youtube, the internet, or the library. Why go and fork-out so much money into college when you can easily learn your major on your own, or for very little cost. There are so many cheaper ways to get a higher education! For instance, you can study on your own and take the CLEP exam to earn college credits for you general education subjects. I have heard of many people That have studied three subjects, at once, for a month, gone to a college campus to take the test, and then tada! They have earned credits that would have originally cost them over a thousand dollars; plus way longer than a month.

    When you attend college, you have so many subjects that you will have to study that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are majoring in. I find it ridiculous that you will have to study science in order to major in writing, or study history in order to major in accounting. I feel that it is a waist of money, especially since a lot of college students graduate in debt and aren’t even guaranteed a job. If I were paying thousands of dollars for a college education I would simple ask, “and does a job come with that?”

  19. Brandy K.

    I agree and disagree with this article. I believe that obtaining a higher education is ideal, but getting one doesn’t always lie beneath the roof a university. Like Claudia said, now days you can get all the knowledge you need on Youtube, the internet, or the library. Why go and fork-out so much money into college when you can easily learn your major on your own, or for very little cost. There are so many cheaper ways to get a higher education! For instance, you can study on your own and take the CLEP exam to earn college credits for you general education subjects. I have heard of many people That have studied three subjects, at once, for a month, gone to a college campus to take the test, and then tada! They have earned credits that would have originally cost them over a thousand dollars; plus way longer than a month.

    When you attend college, you have so many subjects that you will have to study that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are majoring in. I find it ridiculous that you will have to study science in order to major in writing, or study history in order to major in accounting. I feel that it is a waist of money, especially since a lot of college students graduate in debt and aren’t even guaranteed a job. If I were paying thousands of dollars for a college education I would simply ask, “and does a job come with that?”

  20. Ginger

    As a 53 year old woman who did not attend college but began teaching music at age 20, adopted 2 girls and now teaching music and art at a private school, I must say that finding what you enjoy doing and making money doing it seems to be the way to go. It has been for me, anyway. However, my youngest daughter is a senior in high school and trying to make the decision about attending college. Part of me wants to encourage her to go for it, if for no other reason than the sheer learning experiences. But, I also know that like many other organizations in our society, with the government involved… the whole “college thing” can be a racket… and a huge expense… and there are no guarantees in regards to what she can expect from professors and teachers, much less whether or not she will land a job, if and when she completes the course. One thing for certain though.. it is incredibly and ridiculously expensive!!! It’s a crap shoot… at best! I believe that finding your God given gifts and honing them with experience, and ultimately discovering how to make a living from them, is the way to go… regardless of whether or not college is in the equation. Being happy in your work means more than making alot of money.

  21. Leidy Benavides

    Going to college, having a career as a doctor, and being someone in life rather than being “the majority” which we see everyday is definitely one of the most important goals in my life. It hurts me to see how many ignorant people there is, that think that going to college is a waste of time….blah blah blah!!! this is my second year in college and I have learned from experience the importance of it…it has helped me be more independent and feel more confident about myself. I come from a country(Cuba) in which education is completely free from the beginning to the end but guess what? people study for no reason because after you’re done you will find that you earn less than the people working as waitresses or tour guides so it is basically worthless to go and make such an effort but In a country like the US, full of opportunities and chances college shouldn’t even be a question…. come on!! & it isn’t unfair that people that study and strive for an education and a career get better pay than the rest because some of us work hard, really hard to get up there, and become useful..not like so many others!

  22. Abraham A. Outland

    I think that college education is very much important for us in West Africa, especially Liberia reason is that we Liberians went through 14 years of civil conflict the war situation set our education sector back form the our African countries and the global world at large. and before you get a better paid job in our country not a day you must be a degree holder. this situation in our country Liberia have brought many problem to us, especially we the youth our country in this direction college education is very much important to us Liberia youth.

  23. Katie

    Thanks this is going to help so much(:

  24. gary

    I live in a state where not having an education means breaking your back for a company that does not care. I have been in college for two years and I know it is high but it is worth it. It could not hurt any one to try at least one semester it may change the way we look at our future.

  25. Kenya

    I agree with this article, it is so very important to go to college and especially right out of high school. It will make life so much easier. Post secondary schools play a very large part in getting jobs. If you have a degree or are going to school many employers will pay more for your knowledge and you wont be stuck at a job that you have zero interest in. Just go to school. Don’t question it.

  26. James

    A university education is a community college education with a lot of unnecessary courses added to it. If you go to a community college and get an Associates Degree in some field, you would have the equivalent of Bachelors Degree without all those stupid, unnecessary courses like basket weaving, Renaissance Literature, Women’s Studies, Etc. You would come out of a Community College knowing how to do a job, and with a few years of experience, be just as valuable as a 4 year graduate.

  27. kutlwano

    we must all encourage other children to go to collage and have good and better educatin.Education is the key to better things in life.Many people who are succesful in life,have better education.without good and better education our future will be dark.
    Education is the mother of success.we must all have good education ,so that we must boost the economy of our coutry.Our country needs educated people,so we must go to college and studie our career so that we will be able to boost our coutry.

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  32. Joy

    I think this was a great article. Of course you can go to the library or get on your laptop and see/hear great speakers but the point is, college is affording you an opportunity to be in the presence of like minded people to share, comment, get feedback, etc. Socialization is key. The old saying, ‘It isn’t what you know but WHO you know’ still rings true. The people you meet and possibly befriend in a college setting have the potential to be your allies as you all move up the ladder of success. Why not go to college? Can’t afford it? Start at a community college and transfer. Of course there are some who this JUST isn’t for, I get that. But for you young people, you need to think about the world that you will be shaping. Get out there and learn from one another, create with one another, teach one another, help one another. A college setting is a magical and inspiring place IF you make it that way. This isn’t just about earning a degree, it’s about shaping a future and eventually a world. Get on campus and open your minds.

  33. Freeman/China

    Whether you get a college education or not is really a complicated matter. In short, if you think it is worthwhile entering college, just do it and do not waste your time. And then you can really make a good of it. Otherwise, go out and fight for yourself in the work world. That would also be an unforgetable experience to speak of…..

  34. Aguaros

    “Of course you can go to the library or get on your laptop and see/hear great speakers but the point is, college is affording you an opportunity to be in the presence of like minded people to share, comment, get feedback, etc. Socialization is key. The old saying, ‘It isn’t what you know but WHO you know’ still rings true. The people you meet and possibly befriend in a college setting have the potential to be your allies as you all move up the ladder of success.”

    Yea right. Most college “friends” are just drinking/party buddies who don’t really care about you and will sell you out in a heartbeat. Plus, I didn’t know that in college you had the freedom to actually communicate your true feelings and ideas unless they were unabashedly pro-liberal. If you happen to have beliefs that contradict that ideology, prepare to be treated like the lowest form of dirt. As has been said before, get a good paying union job or trade instead, you get more freedom and you’ll always be in demand.

  35. Angie

    The article makes a good point in the beginning and repeats the same point in the same manner (no more detail) throughout. I do understand why college is important in terms of learning how to question things and think deeply and analytically. However, you will find many college graduates who started with 17 graduated with 21 and do not necessarily think anymore critically or analytically (it also depends on the personality).
    Further, this article does not provide reasons why exactly one should go to college. If one wants to open one’s own hair salon, beauty salon or some business, then I don’t think college education is that important. Sometimes you will meet people who obtained their BA/Bs 10 or 15 years ago and you will notice that they don’t remember much (about their major or things they have learned. What you usually hear: “Oh goodness, that’s a long time ago.”) I would say that they genuine will and motivation determines how much you will get out of college. Because many people go to college because they ‘have to’ (externally motivated), they are less likely to benefit from it genuinely.
    I also think that being in huge dept/loans are not always worth it (if someone majored in history) unless the major will increase the chances for higher income.
    I also think that an associates degree is cheaper to obtain, will make the the student better trained and prepared for one specific job and can lead to a stable income (making no difference in the quality of life between the holder of an two-year, cheaper associates degree and a four-year, expensive college degree). I just graduated from college 9Psychology) because I was internally motivated to finish a higher education. While being in college, I began to question the importance of a college education as I noticed that it cannot be something for everyone (reading book chapters constantly, writing 40-page research papers, studying for tests for hours). Finally, a college education will not ensure you a high paying job; you will usually have to start off making few bucks an hour for years before you can start a life (making more than 35 k, and that is not that much either compared to college dept). Right now, having graduated and being unemployed, it is not as rewarding as I thought it would be.

  36. Johnathon Reynolds

    Having an education is more than just receiving the degree. Many students believe that their undergraduate experience is centralized around partying, doing too many activities, joining sororities or fraternities and gaining friends. This is all fine and dandy, but is one of the main reasons why there are many students without jobs, and why many of you express the idea that going to college does not mean you are any more intelligent or capable than a person who did not.
    Going to a college or university is not for everyone as there are many opportunities to learn a trade, tech skill, or art of any form else where, but college is a great opportunity to learn the liberal arts (although this is not at every college).
    Let me explain… You traditionally have 3 types of universities: Public, Private, For-profit (University of Phoenix, Devry). Depending on what you are looking for, your experience will be different. If you are looking to just get by and not be noticed but still learn something and have your degree recognized then chances are that going to an Alabama University, Ohio State University, University of South Carolina/ California will get the job done. If you are looking to be recognized and have personal interactions with professors and develop mentorships, then private universities like Butler University, University of Dayton or William and Marry can be the right fit. Lastly, if you are looking to something that is more flexible, and you are paying for what you want (a degree), then going to a For-Profit will be the best choice, but these types are heavily debated because of their accreditation.

    Regardless of what you decide to do, you must be cognizant of what you are learning and reflect on the skills that you are currently developing.

    Big Finale:
    If you are being a janitor who has a GED, you must start to reflect upon how this job is developing you personally and professionally. Questions to ask: what skills have I developed from this job? Have I contributed to the organization I have been a part of? What are my short and long term goals?
    If you are a student in college or trade school from this point on, you need to reflect upon the class you are taking and put them into real world experience: Critical thinking, project management, leadership, group conflict. Question to ask: How can this class add to my skill set? What are the objectives of the class? How can these skills transition to the real world and be marketable?
    If you are someone who currently works for 30+ years and have been laid off, look at your job responsibilities and focus on the projects you impact, the people you assisted in becoming leaders. Do not be complacent with what you have accomplished, look for more responsibility and show you are adaptable. Questions to ask: How did I effectively grow from my first day until now? Am I marketable with those who are up and coming? How can I market myself in this competitive and now globalized economy? Am I willing to take a pay decrease?

  37. Timothy B. Grandoe

    Thanks a lot for the article. A highly consumable and competitive society as today surely requires an appreciative degree of knowledge to cope with whatever is desired for full self realization or human development. College education prepares one for meeting the demands of this age because that puts you at an advantage.

  38. Kathy

    I went to community college when I was 18. I’m just taking electives and business classes for transfer to CSU. While going to school I just work part time in a fast food. But my friend earn more than me because she is a Nursing assistant. I stop going to community college, so I pursue a nursing assistant job. Then I realized I like it, so I went to pursue Licensed Vocational Nurse. Now I am earning $41,000 a year and it could be more if I work overtime. My point is you dont need a college degree to have a decent pay. I have just a diploma not a degree. It depends on what major in college, if you are sure that your degree could get you a job for sure. So your degree is worthed. Trade tech diploma or degree, just need to think if it is worthed to get a loan for it.

  39. Rajat

    College education is as important as school education. College or university education give us an experience about the world or companies.

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  42. CAMERON DALLAS

    Awesome! this is great!

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