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Top Reasons to Go To College

As the U.S. economy dips in and out of recession, some critics question the value of higher education. In assessing whether or not attending college is right for you, consider that college degree earners statistically do earn more than those who do not have a degree, and many educational experts agree that a college education is certainly worth more than a good paycheck or just finding a good job after graduation. So let's take a look at some of the top reasons you may consider when deciding whether higher education is right for you.


Yes, you'll (most likely) earn more by going to college

While we've noted above that a college education is certainly worth more than a paycheck, it's worth stating the simple truth that you will, in most cases, earn more with a college degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college graduates earn, on average, nearly $20,000 more per year than non-grads. While money certainly isn't everything, in today's economy and in a cycle of recession, job seekers need all the advantages they can get to find stable employment that will allow them to save for the future. A 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 86 percent of college graduates felt that their education had been a good investment for them personally.


The job market for college graduates is looking better

According to recent news reports from the Associated Press, the U.S. jobs outlook for new college graduates seems to be looking more positive than it has since the beginning of the recession. While hiring has not returned to pre-recession levels, the article notes that, "Between September 2008 and August 2010, 6.9 million American jobs were eliminated. In the last year and a half, 3.1 million jobs have been created. The strengthening job market has made a big difference to seniors who are job-hunting in their final semester."


You'll have the opportunity to learn what you love in college

College is an excellent opportunity to focus concentrated time and dedicated energy on learning more about what you love and what you are passionate about. Cultivating a love of learning and developing the skills you need to share your work with the world certainly will prepare you well for a satisfying career, but will also enrich you tremendously as a person.


You'll learn self-discipline in college

While attending college you'll learn more than just the subjects you study and the skills related to your major. For many students it will be their first time away from home in which they need to actively manage their own time and keep themselves on track with classes, activities, and social responsibilities. Learning this type of independence and self-discipline while in college can prepare you well for life beyond the university, in which taking your own initiative to complete projects and keep up with personal responsibilities becomes extremely important.


You'll become a critical and creative thinker in college

More than just helping you prepare for a job, college helps students cultivate creativity, ingenuity, and critical thinking -- all vital qualities to advancing in a career you truly appreciate and even contributing to new innovation within your chosen field.


You'll become a well-rounded learner and citizen in college

Attending college also helps students appreciate a love of learning, which can take hold as a lifelong joy. Cultivating curiosity about the world around you will help you become a more well-rounded citizen with a broad base of knowledge, leading to a highly active and involved citizen base capable of contributing to their communities and learning new skills as the world (and your interests) change.


You'll gain more self awareness, confidence, and self-knowledge in college

Attending college is an experience in total learning and social immersion, one in which students are asked to identify their interests and passions and cultivate new relationships and skills. It's an ideal time to develop self awareness and personal confidence, which are important skills to take with you beyond campus and into the workplace and your life beyond school.


There are financial resources available to help you pay for college

College tuition rates vary widely among schools, and affordable options are available from community colleges and online schools. Consider all your options and know that there are many financial aid resources available to help anyone who wants to go to college find a way to do it.

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