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.
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.
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.
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.
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