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College Success

8 Reasons Why Having a College Degree Is Important

11.07.2022 • 9 min read

Bob Patterson

Former Stanford Director of Admissions

Learn more about why a college degree is important by understanding the benefits and value of having one.

In This Article

What Does a College Education Provide?

Why is it important to have a college degree, frequently asked questions.

In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 75% of Americans with bachelor’s degrees are happy with their lives. College graduates described their educational experience as having a truly positive impact on their personal and professional development, saying it:

Was essential for their intellectual development

Opened doors to exciting job opportunities

Provided them with indispensable skills and knowledge for their careers

In the world of work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that those with college degrees have lower unemployment rates and higher median earnings overall.

We’ll cover even more benefits of a college degree.

Graphic showing Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment in 2021

Source: https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm

College is about more than just gaining subject knowledge–it’s about finding direction. Consider how these US schools describe their mission:

Northeastern University “encourages its students to grow as innovative problem solvers and entrepreneurs.”

Sarah Lawrence College aims to graduate “world citizens who are diverse in every definition of the word, who take intellectual and creative risks, and who cross disciplinary boundaries, within a framework of humanistic values and concern for community.”

MIT seeks “to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.”

Through a combination of classes, internships, global opportunities, and connections, a college degree can provide you with real skills to navigate your career path and the world.

1. You Can Discover Your Niche

Through classes, lectures, and connections with professors, you can find your academic passions. You’ll develop your knowledge of subjects that truly interest you. Your academic passions are highly valuable to society and can lead to growth in their respective sectors.

For example, computer science and artificial intelligence have real applications for national security . According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, these fields can add 16% ($13 trillion) to global economic output by 2030.

2. You Can Increase Your Career Opportunities

Finding a job is one thing. Finding a job that allows you to support yourself financially, emotionally, and physically in the modern economy is another.

Of the 55 million job openings over the last decade, many of the fastest growing occupations require higher education, including:

Community services

Many US companies still require degrees. An Employability Report released by Cengage Group shows 62% of employers believe a degree is necessary for prospective employees. This may change in the future , but for now, entry into the competitive job market often requires a degree.

A good job, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce , “meets the minimum earnings standard for economic self-sufficiency.” Finding a good job directly correlates with a college education: 80% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher had a good job compared with only 42% of those with only a high school diploma.

Graphic of the share of workers at each education level with a good job

Source: https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/pathway/#resources

3. You Can Develop Essential Skills

A 2020 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported the top requirements for employees:

A 2020 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported the top skills for employees

Source: https://www.naceweb.org/talent-acquisition/candidate-selection/key-attributes-employers-want-to-see-on-students-resumes/

Whatever major you choose , going to college ensures you develop skills for life, careers, and our ever-changing world.

4. You Can Increase Your Earning Potential

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to find that education is the key to unlocking higher earnings. The trend is clear: doctoral and professional degree holders earn the most, and high school graduates earn the least.

Graphic showing 2021 earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment

Source: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2022/data-on-display/education-pays.htm

If you’re looking for the highest paying degree options, read 20 Highest Paying Degrees: Get the Most out of College. For more detail about lifetime salary, check out The College Payoff .

5. You Can Experience a Positive Return on Your Investment

Speaking of finances, although degrees can be expensive, many college graduates find that the return on investment (ROI) of their bachelor’s degree is positive. In fact, 72% believe their degree has paid off —even those who have received federal aid, scholarships , or loans . There are many ways you can pay for your education and avoid debt later in life.

6. You Have Access to Networking Opportunities

It’s no secret that networking is an essential part of job success . Whether you’re looking for a better job or climbing the career ladder, building a supportive network around you is critical. A network not only helps you discover new jobs, but also connects you with people already working at organizations you’re interested in. It enables you to weed out the jobs that don’t provide the best benefits or opportunities and to tailor your resume or interview to the new job.

All colleges have incredible career resources and extensive alumni networks for you to take advantage of, like:

Career fairs

Internship listings

Resume workshops

Interview specialists

Alumni connections

There’s really nothing you can’t achieve if you use all the college resources available to you.

7. You Have Access to Diverse, Global Opportunities

Our world is becoming increasingly global. New technologies make it easier to communicate across continents, transfer information across borders, and discover new ideas. Colleges actively look to make their campuses more diverse , simply because the interaction between college students with different views and opinions shapes the world.

With exciting study abroad options, hundreds of diverse student communities, and ever-expanding curricula, a college degree gives you opportunities to engage in the global community. This sets you up for success after graduation.

8. You Feel a Sense of Accomplishment

If nothing else, dedicating four years of your life to one community, lifestyle, and location can bring you a huge sense of accomplishment. You will have faced challenges, failed a few times, succeeded a few more, made some amazing connections, stepped out of your comfort zone, and discovered who you are and what you want. Yet whether you’ve learned a new language, built a computer, or discovered a cure for a disease, your confidence in your abilities should be sky-high after college. The world is your oyster: go get it!

How does college help me get a better job?

It all comes down to life skills. Regardless of subject or major, college exposes you to an incredibly diverse community with opinions that vary substantially from your own–all with the purpose of learning and advancing your knowledge. Teamwork, leadership, communication, planning, time management, independence… all the skills you need for life and a career, you learn at college. Think of college as a mini working environment, but there’s a safety net to help you when you fail and encounter challenges, which, ultimately, helps you grow.

Is a college degree really right for me?

Despite all the benefits of a college degree and how many times you hear that it’s necessary, a college degree isn’t for everyone. Depending on your skills, finances, and passions, college might not be the right place for you. We are usually ‘Team College,’ but we do understand that it doesn’t apply to every student.

Maybe you want to get a job right out of high school or you can’t see yourself doing the traditional four-year degree–that’s okay! You can enjoy the benefits of starting your work life early. Later on, you could take professional courses, go to community college, or work toward an associate degree. Going back to school at 40 is completely possible, and you can succeed here too! Whatever you decide, it doesn’t have to be forever. You can always change your mind.

How do I apply to college?

Glad you asked! There’s a lot to consider. First, you want to research your options. There are almost 4,000 universities and colleges in the US alone! Once you’ve identified colleges that interest you, you can start thinking about the application. Applications are full of information, documents, and essays, but it’s all totally manageable! Our ultimate guide can help you get started: Applying for College 101: How To Do It & What You’ll Need . College can be a great investment and an exciting start to your future. Not only can you have a wonderful life experience full of friends, learning, and opportunities, but you can also find the career of your dreams, increase your potential salary, and achieve a level of success and happiness you might not otherwise. College may not be the only path, but it’s a popular path for good reason.

About the Author

Bob Patterson is a former Director of Admissions at Stanford University, UNC Chapel Hill, and UC Berkeley; Daisy Hill is the co-author of Uni in the USA…and beyond published by the Good Schools Guide 2019. Together, they have established MyGuidED, a new educational tool for students looking to apply to university (launching 2023).

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Why You Should Go to College

Fred dews fred dews managing editor, new digital products - office of communications @publichistory.

October 16, 2014

More students than ever before are enrolling in degree-granting institutions in the United States. Between 2001 and 2011, enrollment increased 32 percent while more women and more non-whites are entering postsecondary education than ever before (National Center for Educational Statistics). Brookings is home to extensive research on the benefits of and challenges to postsecondary education in America. This post highlights recent Brookings research on key areas related to the value of a college degree: the economic return to a college degree; student loan debt and paying for college; the changing model of postsecondary education; and overcoming barriers to college. All of it points to one conclusion, to quote Richard Reeves: “ go to college .”

Is college worth it? (yes, almost always)


Read: Regardless of the Cost, College Still Matters

The Hamilton Project has also recently studied how earnings vary across college majors. In a new interactive feature, the project found that “lifetime earnings vary tremendously by major” but that “a college degree—in any major—is important for advancing one’s earnings potential.”

Visit the  interactive .

Gary Burtless argues that “ The economic reward from attending and completing college has probably never been higher.” Despite the very real increase in costs to attend college and the tighter labor market college grads face today, the key to understanding why college still has such a big payoff, explains Burtless, “is that the prospects for twenty-somethings who do not complete college are much worse than those of the ones who do. What is more, the economic prospects of the young adults who do not complete college have worsened over time, and much faster than the prospects facing new college grads.”

Read:  College Is Not a Ludicrous Waste of Money .

Richard Reeves and Kerry Searle Grannis identify “five strong starts for social mobility,” one of which involves college. Although earning a high school diploma is “vitally necessary,” it “is not sufficient” to succeed in today’s economy. “Attending college,” they write, “even if not for a full four-year degree, results in labor market rewards: each additional year of school means, on average, an extra 10% return in annual income.”

Learn more about strong starts to boost social mobility .

How big a problem is student loan debt?


And yet, according to Beth Akers and Matt Chingos, “Our analysis of more than two decades of data on the financial well-being of American households suggests that the reality of student loans may not be as dire as many commentators fear.” Akers and Chingos analyzed a variety of factors that mitigate conclusions of a “crisis,” including: higher average debt levels of borrowers with graduate as opposed to bachelor’s degrees; average lifetime incomes of college-educated Americans are keeping pace with debt loads; and the monthly payment burden is about the same or a little less than it has been.

“These data indicate that typical borrowers are no worse off now than they were a generation ago, and also suggest that the borrowers struggling with high debt loads frequently featured in media coverage may not be part of a new or growing phenomenon,” they conclude.

Get more data and analysis on this issue here .

Akers also discusses the student loan issue and solutions in a recent Brookings Cafeteria podcast .

See also Susan Dynarski’s economic perspective on student debt , including whether there is a debt crisis; the costs and benefits of interest subsidies; and an income-based repayment system.

The Hamilton Project has also explored innovative policy proposals for higher education financing. These include: reforming federal lending and financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant; expanding the use of “net-price calculators” to provide prospective students with a better estimate of the real cost of attending college; and a new system for federal lending that allows repayment schedules to rise and fall with a borrower’s income.

Learn more about  these proposals .

Akers has also called attention to “the plight of recent college grads” who are facing lower earnings, or even unemployment, at the beginnings of their careers but have immediate debt burdens to contend with. “It’s important,” Akers says, “to allow graduates to repay their debts during the times in their careers when they are reaping the economic benefits of their degrees.”

Read:  Assessing the Plight of Recent College Grads .

Isabel Sawhill says there are three ways to make college more affordable : government or philanthropy pick up more of the cost; borrow the money; improve the productivity of the sector “so that students learn as much (or more) but at a lower (or the same) cost.

Read what she proposes as possible solutions to the third way.

Akers explains how Income Share Agreements are another solution to finance higher education . ISAs “allow students to raise funds to pay for their degrees by selling ‘shares’ in their future earnings,” she explains.

Read: How Income Share Agreements Could Play a Role in Higher Ed Financing

Are there alternatives to four-year college?


Stuart Butler argues that college leaders should look at the recent experience of music, book and film industries and “recognize that the higher education industry is encountering a multi-pronged and existential threat composed of successive waves of disruptive innovation. This disruption will force top-to-bottom changes in the very concept of higher education and its relationship with the broader economy.”

Read:  Tottering Ivory Towers .    

In another piece, Butler explores what the future college business model will look like under today’s competitive pressures, which are intensifying, “particularly as the cost of information transfer to students declines to near zero.”

Read:  The Future College as Travel Agent .

Community college “will remain the most appropriate option for postsecondary learning” for many , especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, according to Quentin Karpilow and Richard Reeves. Although community college enrollees exhibit low completion rates, there is, they argue, “huge scope for improving mobility outcomes through the development of the community college system, especially by boosting Associate degree attainment rates and helping students transfer to 4-year institutions.”

Read more here  and find all of Brookings’s research on community colleges here .  

How do we address barriers to college access?


Should everyone go to college? Isabel Sawhill and Stephanie Owen’s research on the question shows that “on average, the benefits of a college degree far outweigh the costs.” The total wage premium over a lifetime for a bachelor’s degree is $570,000, they found. On average. But several “key dimensions significantly affect the return on a college degree,” they write, including: school selectivity, college major, and graduation rate.

See their interactive for more detail and also policy recommendations to help students make smart investments in postsecondary education. 

Sawhill has also pointed to another issue: an uneven playing field when it comes to college completion , high school preparation, and the intersection of these with class. Despite the well-understood link between college and higher income, and taking into account the research on the key dimensions that affect the return on a college degree, Sawhill finds that half of college students, “and much higher proportions of poor and minority students,” drop out before completing a degree. Thus, “despite our dedication to the idea of a higher education system open to all,” she writes, “we are not doing a very good job of leveling the playing field. The result is that opportunity is still linked too strongly to class.”

Learn more about Sawhill’s work on Higher Education and the Opportunity Gap .  

Ron Haskins testified to Congress that a “primary reason that disadvantaged students have trouble both getting into college and completing a degree is that they are not academically prepared to do college work.” He evaluated the major federal college-preparation programs and found that they have little or no impact on enrollment or graduation. He proposed a five-step reform to these programs.

Read his  testimony .

In a Hamilton Project report on policies to address poverty in America , Bridget Terry Long observes that “academic preparation may be an equally formidable barrier to postsecondary education.”

Read her three recommendations for better addressing the academic preparation problem with the hope of improving rates of college success.

Also as part of The Hamilton Project’s report , Harry Holzer argues that the high drop-out rate among low-income youth and adults and, for those who complete degrees, a choice of low-compensation fields “hurt the poor, and weaken the impacts of large national investments in higher education.” He proposes state- and federal-level reforms to improve earnings prospects for graduates and “to encourage two- and four-year colleges to be responsive to labor market demand.”

Read:  Improving Employment Outcomes for Disadvantaged College Students .

Visit the archive of Brookings’s research on U.S. higher education , and also the Brown Center on Education Policy .

Charmaine Crutchfield contributed to this post.

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10 Benefits of Having a College Degree

benefits of a college degree essay

Obtaining your bachelor’s degree used to be a way for students to stand out from others in a highly competitive job market. In the last five years, however, the number of job postings requiring the minimum of a bachelor’s degree has increased significantly. This new standard shows that job applicants having a bachelor’s or an even higher education are becoming more common.

Unique Postings Requiring a Bachelor's Degree

Does this mean that a bachelor’s degree doesn’t have value? Is it even important in today’s world of start-up entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners? Is it a worthwhile investment considering that student loan debt may be involved?

The answer, ultimately, is that it really depends on you. Your unique life goals, including your career aspirations, will determine if the bachelor’s degree is a good fit. 

Is College Necessary for a Successful Future?

A common question people tend to ask themselves when deciding whether or not to pursue a college degree is, “Can I succeed without college?”

This question is based on the various stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other successful business owners who did not acquire their college degrees. However, these experiences are the exception and not the rule, bringing into question if acquiring a degree is worth the investment for the majority of people.

To make this decision, it is important to know what you envision for your future career, the range of skills you would need to succeed, and the life experiences you would need to get there. The combination of all of these elements will inform whether or not time in college would benefit your professional journey.

If your ideal career cannot be pursued without some sort of higher education, there is little doubt that a college degree will provide the necessary resources to succeed in that chosen profession. As mentioned above, the amount of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher has significantly increased, making a bachelor’s more of a necessity. This is why, for many people, earning a college degree is important to their success in today’s job market.

Let’s look at the benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree, and how your personal educational goals and lifestyle choices should be considered in making this major decision.

1. Increased Access to Job Opportunities

Having a bachelor’s degree opens up rewarding opportunities that might have otherwise been inaccessible. For example, college graduates see 57 percent more job opportunities than non-graduates. A degree enables you to qualify for these additional opportunities and offers you more flexibility in where you choose to work.

Not only are there more jobs available to degree holders than high school graduates, but the existing jobs are also more accessible. According to a government report focused on job market analytics, the total number of job postings requiring a bachelor’s degree from 2019 to 2022 reached nearly 98.5 million.

Total Number of Jobs Postings Requiring Bachelor's Degree

For job seekers, these online job postings are a primary tool for finding and applying to available roles. While more than 80 percent of all job openings for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher are advertised online , only 50 percent of jobs requiring a high school diploma are posted online, making it harder for these workers to connect with prospective employers.

Pursuing a college education also expands your access to opportunities by connecting you to a lifelong network of colleagues, advisors, professors, and mentors. Over the course of your career, this network can open doors and connect you to industry leaders with whom you can share ideas and explore new ventures.

2. Preparation for a Specialized Career

As the world changes, the job market changes with it. Technology, education, and health are three of the most rapidly growing fields for a good reason; they evolve so often that only the most accomplished individuals can do the work. Getting a bachelor’s degree will help you learn the specific skills and habits needed to make a living in these areas. 

While not all degrees offer a direct route to a particular job (English, philosophy, or political science, for example), many are created with a specific career path in mind. An educational degree, for example, is designed as a funnel for teaching jobs; some health degrees also have very specialized jobs waiting at the end for those who complete them.

3. Increased Marketability

Having a bachelor’s degree will keep you in demand as the need for skilled, college-educated workers continues to rise. 

Over 80 percent of jobs in four of the fastest-growing occupations—healthcare, STEM, education, and government services—demand postsecondary education.

On your path to earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll gain skills that will give you a competitive advantage in the job market. Today’s employers are most interested in applicants with exceptional communication, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills . 

In college, you’ll have access to rigorous coursework and experiential learning opportunities that will arm you with these skills to make you more attractive to employers.

4. Increased Earning Potential

There is plenty of data that suggests college graduate majors can expect their starting salaries to increase over time, giving them hope for their future earnings. The greater your level of education, the higher you can expect your salary to be.

According to government data, the average salary of a bachelor’s degree recipient is $67,500 per year. With the current national average just below $56,000 per year, individuals with a bachelor’s degree are rewarded with higher earning potential as compared to high school diploma and associate degree recipients.

Average Salary of Bachelor's Degree Graduate

This trajectory of bachelor’s degree graduates has been on an upward trend as well. According to that same government report, from 2020 to 2022 the average median salary of individuals with a bachelor’s degree increased by nearly 20 percent.

Advertised Wage Trend of Job Postings

5. Economic Stability

Of the 11.6 million jobs created since 2010, over 8.4 million jobs—95 percent—have gone to bachelor’s degree holders . Meanwhile, jobs for high school graduates have only grown by 80,000. It makes sense, then, that bachelor’s degree holders have a significantly lower rate of unemployment than high school graduates . As of 2022, the unemployment rate for those older than 25 with bachelor’s degrees is 1.9 percent, while over 3.6 percent of high school graduates in that age range remain unemployed.

Consequently, individuals without a degree are three times more likely to be living in poverty . According to Pew Research Center, only six percent of bachelor’s degree holders live below the poverty line, while an alarming 22 percent of people without a college degree live in poverty. Earning a bachelor’s degree will help afford you economic stability and security for the future.

6. Networking Opportunities

In today’s job market, building and maintaining a professional network is critical to success. Certain aspects of getting a degree, from interning to volunteering, are designed to help you meet people who can help design your future. 

Taking advantage of the various job fairs and career development resources that college students have available is a great way to put that degree to work, as well. 

How to Build a Professional Network

When you get ready to finish your degree and head out into the world, degree earners can expect a level of support from their mentors and professors that isn’t available anywhere else.

7. A Pathway to Advancement 

Have you considered a career as a physical therapist, head librarian, or nurse anesthetist? These popular jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree as the first step before going on to get another, more-advanced degree. 

You’ll also need a bachelor’s before any Master’s or PhD , as well as the ever-popular MBA . Even if you’re not sure you’re up for the entire career path, earning a bachelor’s degree now puts you in the driver’s seat should you decide to pursue it later.

8. Personal Growth and Improved Self-Esteem

If you aren’t looking for the type of career that often comes from a four-year education, you may be questioning the value of a bachelor’s degree. 

There’s more to it than the paper, however; many students have found the experience to be deeply and personally rewarding, as well. In addition to gaining skills like writing, time-management, and working on a team, there are opportunities to polish presentation skills and interact with professors and students who will, later on, become part of your valuable career network . 

Earning a degree is empowering; it boosts confidence and provides a sense of achievement. The pursuit of higher education also equips you to master complex challenges and overcome adversity, contributing to increased happiness and reduced stress. This may be why bachelor’s degree holders report higher levels of self-esteem than high school graduates .

College graduates are also more likely to be involved in their communities. Compared to non-degree holders, they are more likely to vote, volunteer, donate to charities, join community organizations, and participate in educational activities with their children. As more active citizens, bachelor’s degree holders contribute to a stronger, more engaged community to provide opportunities for future generations.

9. Higher Job Satisfaction

Research shows that having a bachelor’s degree leads to greater long-term job satisfaction . The differences between degree and non-degree holders are stark:

  • Eighty-six percent of college graduates consider their job a career or a stepping stone to their career, while only 57 percent of high school graduates say the same.
  • The majority of bachelor’s degree holders—60 percent—say they are highly satisfied and their job is more than just a paycheck. Only 38 percent of degree holders report the same level of satisfaction.
  • Forty-two percent of high school graduates say their job is “just to get them by,” compared to 14 percent of bachelor’s degree holders.

Bachelor’s degree holders also enjoy more on-the-job perks that contribute to a sense of career satisfaction. In fact, 52 percent of full-time workers with a degree were offered retirement benefits, compared to only 43 percent of individuals without a degree .

10. Positive Return on Investment

The cost of a degree may be daunting, especially with many students on the news sharing student loan woes and not feeling like the job market is friendly to their specific degree. While no one can argue that some degrees aren’t that easy to employ, many college grads are finding the ROI of a bachelor’s degree to be positive. 

Young adults express that their degrees are a good value, with 72 percent believing that their degree has paid off, and an additional 17 percent believing that it will very soon. This trend stays steady among those who borrowed for school, as well. Plus, there are many programs available to help pay for higher education; scholarships , grants and tuition reimbursement programs are all designed to help students avoid debt.

Using a Bachelor’s Degree to Your Advantage

Whether you are looking for more upward mobility in your career, a new opportunity to learn and grow professionally, or a better life for your family through a higher annual salary, the reasons for exploring a bachelor’s degree program are many.

In today’s market, the cost of not having a college degree is rising, as non-graduates face a lack of job options and increased economic instability. 

While earning a bachelor’s degree is a big commitment, the rewards are plentiful and within your reach. A brighter economic future, more career possibilities, and a greater sense of personal fulfillment are all possible with the acquisition of a bachelor’s degree.

Take the next step and request information on earning your bachelor’s degree today.

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College admissions

Course: college admissions   >   unit 1.

  • The college experience
  • Student story: College increases confidence
  • Student story: College expands opportunities
  • Student story: College offers exposure to diversity
  • Student story: College brings new friends, learning, and freedom

Financial costs and benefits of college

Introduction, the basic financial equation of college: cost vs. benefit, choice of college, choice of major, starting vs. finishing, want to join the conversation.

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Great Answer

1.1 What Are the Benefits of College?

Questions to Consider:

  • Why is college a good opportunity to become a learner?
  • How can a college education help me develop as a person?

Usually, when we talk about the benefits of college, we make the argument that people who graduate with a degree are more likely to earn higher salaries or amass more lifetime earnings, experience better health and wellness outcomes, and embrace a more positive outlook on life. However, there are more rewards for going to college than just these long-term gains. In fact, you may have already identified a few that are motivating you to consider college: You get to study topics and develop skills that interest you; you get to live on your own (or with a roommate); and you get to have more control over what you do and when you do it. These are all good reasons to go to college, but there are other ways that college can benefit you.

College Allows You to Become a Learner

In his book, Becoming a Learner 1 , Matthew Sanders (2018) makes the argument that the fundamental purpose of college is not to fill you with specific knowledge or give you a set of career skills that you can take with you directly on the job. Its purpose, instead, is to help you “become a learner.” Sanders points out that learning to learn while taking a variety of required courses will help you develop the very skills that will help you reach your long-term goals and adapt to the changing world of work after you graduate.

According to Sanders, your time in college is best spent if you approach the courses that you are taking as opportunities to develop your learning skills and your character. In other words, college will give you the chance to challenge and ultimately strengthen your values and beliefs, develop an awareness of who you are and what you want, embrace and learn from adversity, and demonstrate integrity and work ethic. College is not the only place for you to grow in these ways, but it is specially designed to allow you to do so with minimal repercussions.

In order for you to make the most of the college experience, consider making the shift from student to learner by adopting the behaviors and habits that are presented in Table 1.1 .

Becoming a learner doesn’t happen overnight if you have had the habits of a student for many years. It will be a process of determining what your professors expect of you and making changes to your approaches to learning. In some cases, you may fail a test, an assignment, or a course. But those experiences will be helpful to you if you choose to see them as additional educational opportunities.

College Allows You to Explore and Grow

In addition to helping you become a learner, college is a good place to explore who you are and who you want to be. Experts in student development theory believe that your early adult years (ages 18-23) are the optimal time to determine your values, beliefs, and goals—or at least work through the options and learn more about what you like and don’t like. Two researchers developed a theory about the ways in which students in college develop. Arthur W. Chickering and Linda Reisser (1993) published their theory of identity development 2 for young adults. While it sounds mysterious, plainly stated, it is a theory about how and in what capacity you will grow and change while in college. The following seven components, or “vectors,” of the theory can provide you with a preview of what you will experience:

  • Developing competence . This means that you will improve as you gain knowledge and skills through learning activities and through challenges and setbacks.
  • Managing emotions . You will get many chances to learn how to identify how you are feeling and why and act on those emotions in a mature way.
  • Moving through autonomy to interdependence . This sounds like a complicated process, but it refers to your ability to become an adult in all ways by taking ownership of your choices and their consequences and for recognizing that you have a role in society to ask for help and to help others.
  • Developing mature relationships . In college, you will get many chances to establish relationships with a variety of different people—professors, mentors, classmates, friends—and you will benefit from learning how to communicate clearly and openly.
  • Establishing identity . Each one of us has multiple identities, or lenses through which we view ourselves and the world. College allows you to explore those identities—and maybe even discover new ones—and develop your sense of self and improve your self-esteem.
  • Developing a purpose . Setting goals, seeing yourself as someone who wants to help others, demonstrating a commitment to your future are all parts of developing a sense of purpose. In college, your courses, interactions with professors and classmates, and participation in activities will help you develop a sense of purpose.
  • Developing integrity . This is more than just doing the right thing. Integrity includes living your values and beliefs and respecting the values and beliefs of others.

Now that you have an idea of how college will likely change you and help you grow as a person, let’s look at the opportunities you will have to move through these stages during college.

College Courses

Whether you decide to earn a certificate, associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree, you will take courses not related to your intended major. In some cases, you may have to take 10 or more courses in a variety of areas (or disciplines). These courses are often referred to as “general education courses,” but other names include “core courses,” or “liberal arts courses.” Each higher education institution is different in how many and what courses they require. You may have to take courses in writing, mathematics, sciences, arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences such as psychology or sociology. These courses may seem to stand in your way of learning about topics that directly relate to a major, but they are important to helping you develop yourself as a learner and build competence in your skills. When you register for classes once you are admitted to college, view your first academic terms as an opportunity to explore different topics and push yourself outside your comfort zone. You don’t know why taking a biology class will help you if you are a business major? Recall the section above about becoming a learner: adopting a “learner” mindset can help you frame the experience productively. Instead of feeling disconnected from such a course when your major is something different, think about how scientists, and their ways of thinking, provide us with ways in which to improve our health and environment. Or think of taking these courses that are not aligned with your major as opportunities to develop a broad range of learning and thinking skills that you will rely on for the rest of your life. At the very least, you will be a stronger learner and at the most, you may discover that what you really love to learn is something you had never considered studying before.

Organizations and Extracurricular Activities

During high school, you may have participated in school activities and organizations for the social aspect, for the opportunity to effect a chance and serve the community, or for the ability to develop important skills. These reasons don’t change much when you go to college. Most institutions offer a wide variety of clubs, organizations, societies, and Greek fraternities and sororities for the same reasons: to help students develop socially, personally, and professionally. Once you determine where you are going and what you will be studying, you will also want to take the time to decide how, what, where, and when you want to get involved. There is a balance, of course, and you don’t want to be so involved socially that you forget to go to class! Instead, look for organizations that fit your interests and find out what the commitment level is. Some will be very casual, meeting only once a semester or only for social interaction. Others will be more involved and may even cost a considerable amount of money each term (e.g., fraternities and sororities). Even before you choose an institution to attend, check out their list of opportunities to get involved. Then, when you make your choice, make a goal of exploring your options further. Here are some things to consider:

  • Making friends . You will most likely find many clubs and organizations that serve as social gatherings, usually organized around an interest or hobby. A film appreciation club, for example, could be a great way to meet people and enjoy something you like to do, like watching movies.
  • Exploring your values and beliefs . Most college campuses have faith-based or politically-affiliated groups that give you the chance to connect with others who share your values. Consider pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, however, and look for groups that also provide a different perspective.
  • Developing leadership skills . One of the benefits of participating in clubs and organizations is that you can have the chance to develop key leadership skills. Most groups need a leader or several to carry out their missions. Student government associations or councils or advisory boards are great ways to get involved in significant ways.
  • Staying physically active . A climbing or hiking club or intramural sports are great ways to incorporate physical activity into your life. If you want to learn a new skill or sport (pickleball, anyone?), these are good ways to try them out.
  • Improving communication and project management skills . Any group you join will most likely have an event they put on or participate in, and your involvement will allow you to grow as a person in meaningful ways and help you develop career skills.

Setbacks and Failure

You will read more about how to deal with adversity throughout the rest of the chapters of this book, but it is worth mentioning here how setbacks and failures can help you to learn and grow. You may have already had some experiences with stumbling academically or personally up to this point. While it seems cruel to suggest that there will be more of these negative experiences in your future, being prepared for disappointments can help you prepare for them. The first setback you may experience with college is not getting into your dream school—or getting in but not being able to afford it, or it is too far away for you to attend, or it does not have the major you want. One way to handle these obstacles successfully is to consider the following:

  • Recognize that everyone slips up, makes mistakes, and fails before, during, and after college. It is normal and not fatal. You can and will recover.
  • How you handle yourself—your attitude, your emotions, and your reaction—is the key to staying focused on bouncing back. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react when it does.
  • Sometimes you may need to ask for help. Some setbacks, such as a failing grade on a test in college, may indicate that you need someone to show you how to study more effectively. Use the experience to assess what kind of help you need and then ask for it.
  • View the failure as a learning experience. If you don’t get what you want, then ask yourself “What can I learn from this?”

Experiencing a failure, setback, obstacle, or disappointment should not derail you from your goal, but it can help you rethink your approach and give you information about what is not working or what you can do differently the next time.

Analysis Question

In what ways do you anticipate you will change and grow during college? What experience or growth opportunity are you looking forward to the most?

  • 1 Sanders, M. (2018). Becoming a learner . Hayden-McNeil Publishing.
  • 2 Chickering, A. W. & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2 ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Top 7 Reasons Why College is Important

A graduate wearing a cap and gown, holding up her diploma at an SNHU Commencement ceremony

Understanding the Numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

With more and more careers requiring advanced education, a college degree can be critical to your success in today's workforce. Research indicates that earning a degree can have a significant and expansive impact on your life. It also has the potential to help you positively impact your family — and the world.

Here are 7 reasons why college could be important for you. 

1. Earn More on Average

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that workers with a postsecondary degree typically earn more than those with only a high school education.* The median weekly earnings — or the middle amount in a set of data — for people with an associate degree  was $1,005 per week in 2022, according to BLS.* That's an increase of $152 per week or over $7,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma.*

Workers with a bachelor's degree  earned a median of $1,432 weekly, BLS reports — $497 more per week than workers without a postsecondary education and an increase of more than $25,000 per year.* A master's degree  helped workers earn even more at a median of $1,661 per week, BLS notes, $808 more weekly than those with only a high school diploma and almost $42,000 more per year.* 

2. Increase Chances of Employment

It's not uncommon to see "bachelor's degree required" on job descriptions or listed as a preferred qualification. A 2020 survey, done by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in collaboration with Hanover Research, found a growing number of employers deem college a good investment. Of those surveyed, 87% cited college as "definitely" or "probably" worth it ( AAC&U PDF source ).

An undergraduate program, which includes associate and bachelor's degrees, offers a combination of general education courses  and specialized learning in a discipline that interests you. With these degrees, you can develop both broad-based and field-specific knowledge.

You may also have a chance to grow important hard and soft skills  by participating in experiential learning opportunities, which are relevant, hands-on experiences you can translate to the professional world. Experiential learning  takes many forms and may exist both in and out of the classroom.

For example, if you're earning a cybersecurity degree , you might join your college's National Cyber League (NCL) team to test your working knowledge of cryptography and other concepts you might encounter while working in a cybersecurity role .

Additional types of experiential learning you might take advantage of in college include project-based assignments that partner with real organizations, internships and student clubs and organizations. You can leverage these valuable experiences on your resume, in your portfolio of work and during job interviews  to show employers that you are a competitive candidate.

Earning a college degree could also lead to greater career stability. According to BLS data, 2.2% of workers with a bachelor’s degree faced unemployment in 2022 compared to 4.0% of workers with only a high school diploma.*

Find Your Program

3. expand your opportunities.

A college degree can be the extra credential you need to land the dream job you've always wanted. Getting your bachelor's degree may also allow you to view your work as a career and not just a job.

A 2016 Pew Research Center report states that 77% of workers with a post-graduate degree and 60% of workers with a bachelor's degree believe their jobs give them a sense of identity, versus just 38% of those with only a high school diploma or less.

This idea still holds today. The Lumina Foundation and Gallup noted in The State of Higher Education 2022 Report that 61% of students enrolled in higher education are getting their degrees to find more fulfilling jobs ( Lumina PDF Source ). 

Victoria Meuse dressed in a graduation cap and gown

Meuse's bachelor's degree in psychology  has been beneficial in her work, and she now wants to earn a master's.

"Right now, I love working at my kids' school. I think that the background in psychology has helped me a lot in understanding the students," said Meuse. "I'm deciding if I want my master's in psychology  or my master's in education , but I'm not done."

4. Prepare for the Future

You can also gain practical life skills as a college student. For example, you will need to meet regular assignment deadlines for each class. The discipline and time management strategies  you learn along the way can be applied to all aspects of your life, whether you're navigating projects at work or your family's busy schedule.

Tara Theis dressed in a graduation cap and gown and to the left of two sons

Since your earning potential is typically greater as a college graduate, your degree may lead toward financial stability for you and your family. Your school's finance counselors can walk you through more than just how to pay for college . With their tips and advice, you may discover helpful budgeting techniques and learn more about financing options and processes that may be relevant to future investments — such as purchasing a car or a home.

Homeowners are increasingly more likely to be college educated. Point2 , an organization that reports on real estate market trends, analyzed U.S. Census data to find that 70% of homeowners in 2020 had some college education and at least 40% had a bachelor's degree. 

Marilynn Hymon-Williams dressed in a graduation cap and gown

5. Build New Relationships

College can be more than just an education;  it can be a place you build all types of new relationships. Initially, you may establish a connection with an academic advisor  — someone who will be there to support you throughout your college experience by scheduling classes, providing direction to university resources, and encouraging and mentoring you for personal success, and more. Faculty — your course instructors — also can provide help with understanding your assignments and what's expected of you as a student. 

Once classes begin, you'll be surrounded by peers. Engaging with your peers through activities like group work or class discussions can be a great way to start a professional network, meet your future partner  and make lasting friendships. 

Patricia Odani Mukuka (left) and Lydia Alonci (right)

The relationships you build in college can go on to become the foundation of your professional network . You may connect with alumni during your time in college. After you graduate, from a you'll also become part of an alumni association. 

An alumni association is full of graduates, known as alumni , who play a major role in a university's community. They give back in a variety of ways including community service, participating and organizing events and mentoring current students, among other ways. Alumni work in a wide range of fields, and establishing a relationship with others in this network could lead to professional opportunities.

6. Achieve Your Personal Goals

John Reck dressed in a graduation cap and gown

Reck is a 1% survivor of a rare infection called septicemia. He's also suffered a heart attack, been in a coma, undergone 18 surgeries and lost the ability to walk and talk.

"Life goes on around you," he said of his time in the hospital during his health scare. "It's lonely." Once Reck was on the road to recovery, he knew his next goal. After 30 years, he would go back to school and this time it was for him.

"School came upon me like a bell," Reck said. "I'm going to go finish my degree, and here I am, alive." He now holds his bachelor's in graphic design . In achieving his personal goal, he has also attained a professional one. He secured his dream job as a graphic designer for a Boston law firm.

Michael Riley (left) and Marlene Riley (right) dressed in graduation caps and gowns

Recent graduates Marlene Riley '22 and Michael Riley '18 '22MBA , wife and husband, walked across the stage together. Marlene is an immigrant from Peru, and Michael is a veteran, and both are first-generation  college students. Finishing their degrees was a personal goal they were able to achieve together, and it was even more special sharing the stage at Commencement. 

"He is my team, and we did it together," said Marlene.

7. Make a Difference

Earning your college degree can improve the lives of those around you, too. The College Board's 2019 report on the benefits of higher education for individuals and society notes that college graduates are more likely to donate money to charity organizations, volunteer and vote ( College Board PDF Source ).

Some colleges encourage students to give back by organizing volunteer opportunities. SNHU holds an annual community service initiative, Global Days of Service . Over 1,200 students served 135 organizations in 2022. A new nonprofit even formed as a result. 

SNHU student Cassi Key reading a children's book about bees aloud.

Like Key, you might be galvanized to make a difference in the world after graduating from college. Many students learn about topics like social change  or environmental sustainability  throughout their degrees and go on to make an impact in an increasing number of ways.

A TIME magazine article notes that higher education is rapidly working to improve climate education in many fields, including architecture, economics and law. As a result of this new emphasis on ecology and sustainability in higher education, graduates from various areas of study are now applying their knowledge to improve sustainability practices and address climate change in several sectors. You can also get a degree focusing on these issues directly. For instance, SNHU offers a degree in environmental science  and a degree in geosciences  with opportunities to prepare for a career in sustainability and conservation.

Higher education can give you the chance to make a difference in other ways, too. You can get a degree in a field that will help you improve people's lives.

Some programs of study focused on helping others are:

  • Degrees in education
  • Degrees in healthcare
  • Degrees in human services
  • Degrees in nursing
  • Degrees in psychology and counseling

College can also broaden your horizons by introducing you to a diverse range of perspectives. A chance to engage with other viewpoints can lead you to better understand people who are different from you and situations you have never personally encountered. This may lead to heightened empathy , improve your communication skills and help grow your confidence as you strive to make the world a better place.

A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU online degree  that can best help you meet your goals. 

*Cited job growth projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Actual salaries and/or earning potential may be the result of a combination of factors including, but not limited to: years of experience, industry of employment, geographic location, and worker skill.

**Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Kantar on behalf of Southern New Hampshire University in December of 2021. Opinions from 500 general population respondents were obtained using their omnibus survey. For complete survey methodology, please contact Megan Bond at  [email protected] .

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn .

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About southern new hampshire university.

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs . Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU  page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.

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benefits of a college degree essay

Benefits of College: 10 Reasons to Go to College

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What’s Covered:

10 benefits of going to college.

  • Reasons Not to Go to College
  • What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

It’s no secret the price of college is increasing exponentially. In 1980, the average cost of tuition, room and board, and other fees was $9,438. In 2020, that amount jumped to $35,720. This has led many people to question: do I really need to go to college? 

This post will discuss the benefits of going to college, as well as reasons to consider waiting to go to college or pursuing alternative education.

1. Higher Earnings and Income Potential

Several studies have linked a college education with higher earnings over the course of your career, even if college itself is expensive. Jobs that require a degree have higher starting salaries and often lead to promotional opportunities, increasing earning potential even more. On average, a college graduate will earn $38,792 yearly, but an individual with a bachelor’s degree will earn $64,896.

2. Greater Financial Security

Not only does a college degree open doors to higher earnings and income potential, but your degree can also provide financial stability. One study conducted in the U.S. found that a bachelor’s degree increased lifetime income for men by over $900,000 and $630,000 for women. Additionally, jobs that require a college degree often provide employees with other financial benefits, such as pensions, healthcare benefits, and retirement savings accounts.

3. Increased Job Satisfaction

There are many benefits of college that are non-monetary. A study from Pew Research found that people with a bachelor’s degree tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. This is because jobs that require higher education tend to be linked with autonomy, variety, and status, which can lead to increased happiness at work.

4. Building Relationships

The skills you learn in college won’t just be academic in nature. College can also teach you the value of networking and relationship building. The connections you make in college with other students, faculty, and alumni can help you down the line as you apply for a job or graduate school. You’ll often need recommendation letters for applications. Knowing people with established careers in your field can be the gateway to securing a job. In fact, some experts estimate that 70-85% of jobs are found through networking. We recommend always checking out your school’s career center for tips.

5. Developing In-Demand Technical Skills

Some college classes emphasize technical skills which help students be successful in their first jobs. For example, a math class can teach you how to use statistical software or a communications class can teach you the best way to give an effective presentation. Learning how to develop apps, produce videos, and work with AI are other technical skills that can make you marketable during your job search. When you’re picking classes, be sure you consider courses that teach you technical skills for your desired future career.

6. Learning Soft Skills For On the Job 

College coursework will teach you valuable skills that will prepare you for the everyday challenges on the job. Unlike technical skills that are easy to list on a resume, soft skills are picked up through coursework, group projects, and presentations. Skills like problem solving, communication, working in teams, and leadership are applicable and critical to succeed in whatever your future career will be. 

7. Discover Your Interests 

College is a time for personal and professional growth. It is not uncommon for students to pick up new academic interests in college that they would not have had otherwise. College is different from high school because you can choose many of the classes you want to take, and you aren’t required to take classes you’re not interested in. This flexibility allows you to discover your academic passions. Many students end up changing their majors in college as they realize that their interests have changed. In your future career, you are much more likely to succeed if you are working in a field you are passionate about. That makes this time for exploration very valuable.

8. Greater Personal Development

Going to college also impacts confidence and self-esteem. College graduates tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and feelings of achievement after completing college. These traits can have lasting effects on your life as they guide you at work and in life after college. Additionally, juggling various responsibilities in college such as studying, working, and participating in extracurricular activities can help you learn time management skills. You’ll also make life-long connections with your classmates that you’ll be thankful for later in life!

9. Gain Skills for Fast-Growing Occupations

The labor market is rapidly evolving which means that new jobs will soon be in demand. Colleges can prepare you for the specific skills that you will need in these jobs and provide the resources to find opportunities in new fields. Fields like education, health services, government, and financial activities already have more job openings than workers. In 2020, nearly 65% of jobs required a level of education beyond a high school degree . This number will only increase in the next 10 years.

10. Education is Correlated with Future Happiness

Research suggests that the more education you have, the happier you tend to be. A 2016 Pew survey found that adults with a bachelor’s degree or more education are twice as likely to say they are happy with their lives than people with less than a high school education. Having a college degree does not necessarily cause sources of happiness like better health outcomes, more stable marriages, and longer lives, but they certainly are correlated. 

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Reasons NOT to Go to College

So, what if you are still on the fence about going to college? Below are the reasons why you may want to delay going to college, or instead, you may consider pursuing alternative education. 

1. You’re Not Academically Prepared

If you feel like you aren’t ready for the academic rigors of college, you may consider waiting to go to college. You could take summer classes to review material from high school, or you could consider taking community college classes to brush up on your knowledge before applying for a bachelor’s degree.

2. You Need to Work to Support Your Family

If you need to hold a job in order to support yourself and your family, that is a totally valid reason to not go to college, at least for the time being. College is a large financial investment and the time commitment makes it difficult to earn a living while being a full-time student. However, there are opportunities to earn your bachelor’s or associate’s degree part time, which you may consider. 

3. It’s Too Expensive

College isn’t cheap, and unfortunately, the price of college is a barrier for many. If the upfront price of education is too steep, you may consider looking for a job directly out of high school. However, it must be noted that several colleges meet 100% of demonstrated need. Community colleges also provide quality education and give substantial financial aid for eligible students. QuestBridge also partners with top colleges to provide full-ride scholarships to low-income students.

4. You Want to Pursue a Technical Field

Perhaps you want to work in a field where a traditional college degree won’t help you pursue your career goals. If you want to work as an electrician, construction manager, mechanic, or as a landscaper, for example, you may want to consider going to trade school . Trade school is often much less expensive than college and shorter than traditional, four year degrees. As for pay, some technical degrees offer high salaries. For example, the median salary of an electrician is nearly $60,000.

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance? 

No matter your academic situation, you should have a strategy to maximize your chances of getting into college. When you put together a list of schools you want to attend, looking at factors such as location, size, academic opportunities, and cost are all important. Then, finding schools with that criteria that also match your relevant qualifications is key to getting admitted. 

One important aspect of your college search is compiling a balanced school list. When you start researching schools, be sure to look into each school’s application requirements and median test scores and GPA. From there, you can determine if the school might be a target for you, a reach school that may be harder to get into, or a safety school that you could easily be admitted to. 

Are you curious to find out how your GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, and essays will impact your admissions decisions? Check out our free admissions calculator which can help you determine schools that are a great match for you.

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Degree Completion

Why earning a college degree is critical for career success

By Laura Hartford

A primary concern of adults considering a return to college is whether the value of a degree is worth the time and money required to earn one, particularly when balancing the demands of a busy life. Research suggests that the answer is “yes.”

While programs like Bellarmine University’s online B.A. in Integrated Studies can significantly reduce the cost and accelerate the time it takes to earn a degree, there’s growing evidence that finishing a degree under any circumstances is a wise investment.

Brandon Busteed, education writer for Forbes magazine summarizes, “There’s no better investment on a return than college – not even close. Long-standing economic analyses have shown that people who earn a bachelor’s degree – on average - make considerably more money over their lifetime than those with a high school diploma.” Busteed points to the research of Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney when noting, “an investment in a college degree delivers an inflation-adjusted annual return of more than 15 percent, significantly larger than the historical return on stocks (7 percent) and bonds, gold and real estate (all below 3 percent).”

Similarly, Liberty Street Economics , a blog by economists at the New York Federal Reserve, argues that despite much public debate, college is still one of the best investments available. Co-authors Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz calculate that the rate of return on a college degree “easily surpass(es) the threshold for a good investment,” and describe a “substantial” College Wage Premium: Adjusted for inflation and the demographic differences between bachelor degree earners and those with only a high school education, a typical college graduate earns nearly 75 percent more, with economic benefits lasting over an entire career.

For anyone suspecting that this simply suggests a correlation between high achievement in both the classroom and the workplace, research indicates that economic gains outstrip the cost of college even for the most academically marginal student. Additionally, the benefits are multi-generational. Studies by the National Center for Educational Statistics shows that the children of college graduates are significantly more likely to earn college degrees as well.

Not only do college graduates receive 57 percent more job opportunities , the jobs they land tend to be more recession-proof and, as we are learning, pandemic-proof . These jobs are also easier to find, as they’re more likely to be posted online . Additionally, a college experience provides opportunities to build and maximize professional networks , which can be enhanced by engaging with university career development opportunities.

However, college degrees offer more than simple economic benefits. Many adults return to college in order to gain the satisfaction of meeting a lifegoal or serving as a role model for loved ones, and a number of studies examine the broader personal impact of a college education. The College Board found that Americans with college degrees tend to make healthier choices and to engage with their communities through volunteering and voting. The Robert Wood Foundation discovered correlations between college degrees and outcomes such as longer life expectancies and healthier children. A report by the Lumina Foundation found that, in addition to higher incomes, good health and longer lifespans, college graduates are more likely to have healthcare and retirement benefits, safe jobs, occupational prestige and even greater happiness.

According to a 2014 study conducted by Gallup in partnership with Purdue University, the level of happiness and personal well-being reported by college graduates depended, more than any other factor, on the mentorship and support they experienced while in college. Students who felt that professors cared about their success, made learning engaging, and encouraged them to thrive – along with students who themselves actively engaged with the campus community and took advantage of career development opportunities and other resources – were the most likely to benefit from the positive long-term outcomes of a college education.

There are many paths to financial success and personal well-being. For most people college is a worthwhile investment in a bright future. Choosing the right college, taking advantage of the opportunities it provides, and spending time getting to know the faculty and staff while there, are ways students can enhance the value of that investment.

Bellarmine values these outcomes and is helping more people achieve them. The university has used leading research and best practices to create a degree completion program specifically for adult students with some prior college credit who desire an accelerated online path to finishing their bachelor’s degree.

Benefits include affordable tuition, flexible scheduling, the possibility of earning credit for prior work and life experience, and faculty who are specially trained in the education of adult students.

Click here to learn more about Bellarmine’s Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies Degree Completion Program and how to connect with the admission team.

Laura Hartford is Associate Dean of the Bellarmine College of Arts and Sciences.

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Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.

The Benefit of a College Degree to My Life Essay

A college education could be essential to one’s achievement in the profession today because growing and increasingly occupations demand advanced knowledge. Employees with a college degree have higher chances of employment and often earn more than those with solely a high school education. College may be an environment where learners develop various kinds of relationships in addition to receiving a degree.

College graduates are more inclined to contribute, donate to charities, and cast ballots in society to improve their livelihoods (Gruzdev et al. 6). My major is a degree in General Studies, which gives me a comprehensive understanding of specific fields of self-interest in addition to a broad range of knowledge operating in multiple fields. College education can diversify graduates’ points of view by exposing them to a multidisciplinary perspective.

Pursuing a college education is a crucial career goal that has taken a prominent role in the “American Dream.” Therefore, attending college, securing a career, purchasing a property, and establishing a new life is among my motivation for pursuing a degree in General Studies. Through earning my college degree, I have broadened my life opportunities through self-mastery and growth, eventually leading to my future success. A thorough program for General Studies has been created to help students become more effective communicators and intellectuals (Gruzdev et al. 4). Therefore, through applying this knowledge, I am motivated to reach out to my co-workers and society and convince them about any area of concern that can improve their livelihoods.

Apart from the brighter side, which motivates me to pursue my college degree, I often encounter a few internal and external distractions towards my career goals. My feelings and opinions cause these internal distractions. These typically manifest as thoughts about important obligations, feelings regarding my present predicament, the activity am operating upon, worries, and tensions. Distractions outside of myself include interruptions from other people or smart gadgets, such as my smartphone, social networking sites, videos, and computer games. Therefore, to avoid these distractions from stopping me from achieving my career goals, I have used my learned knowledge to devise a management plan for my thoughts and feelings, smart gadget usage, and the people around me.

Intrinsic motivation is behind my overall performance, which comes from within myself. The primary intrinsic motivation towards my college degree is the intrinsic reward, which is earning my degree in General Studies, which I believe could lead to a powerful impact. The major that I am undertaking is the area of my interest. Therefore, studying what I choose makes me understand that education is a choice, not a requirement; therefore, I am responsible. As I continually follow my decisions, these improve my self-esteem as a good decision-maker. Ultimately, completing my college degree program will make me confident that achieving personal goals is possible.

My General Studies degree can better my life by making me flexible in the job market apart from my major, as I will be able to switch jobs. I will use my degree to reduce my chances of becoming unemployed and competitive in job seeking, which can see me earning more. Every aspect of my existence can benefit from the discipline and schedule management practices I acquired along the process. A college degree makes me a good role model to the children in the community by emphasizing the importance of education. Completing my studies will improve my self-confidence, demonstrating to society and employers that I have the discipline to take and complete challenging assignments.

In conclusion, a college education is crucial for personal and career development. Both external and internal motivations play a significant role in one’s success in completing a college degree. Identifying one’s distractions and finding a way to control them is healthier for one to achieve their goals. It is simple to understand that a degree can significantly impact one’s life and work when considering a college education’s economic, societal, and cultural advantages. For instance, employees with a college degree are more inclined to be satisfied with their occupations than employees with less education.

Gruzdev, Mikhail V., et al. “University Graduates’ Soft Skills: The Employers’ Opinion.” European Journal of Contemporary Education . 2017. Web.

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With tuition rising every year, more and more students are asking themselves, "Is college worth it?" Many people believe that getting a college education is an important part of becoming a successful adult. Others, however, find it difficult to justify the increasing investment necessary to earn a degree. There’s no one path that’s right for everyone, and it can be difficult to think critically about the decision to go to college when you’re feeling pressured one way or another.

There’s no simple answer to this question, but  there is a rational way to think about whether college is the right path for you . Just as with any investment, you want to think about the relationship between what you put into it (like money, time, and effort) and what you get out of it (like education, networking, and career opportunities). The more you get out of it as compared to how much you put in, the better the investment.

In this post, I'll go through all the potential benefits and drawbacks of pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree so you have all the information to decide for yourself whether college is worth it. 

A Bit of Background on the Value of a College Degree

Before we get started, I want to fill you in on the how the worth of a college degree has changed over time. This way, you'll have a better framework for understanding whether a degree may (or may not) be worth it for you. 

Since the mid-20th century, the US population has become increasingly educated - simply put, more people are getting bachelor's degrees. In this graph from the US Census Bureau, you can see how the percentage of people with BA degrees has increased from 4.6% in 1940 to 32% in 2015 :


There are many reasons why we've seen these educational attainment changes over time, including:

  • The decline of manufacturing jobs , especially for unskilled workers.
  • Employers seeking college graduates for positions that didn't previously require a bachelor's degree.
  • Government subsidies in higher education, making college more affordable (until costs rose to meet demand, thereby making college more expensive ).

Overall, there are a lot of financial and political factors that have influenced this significant and prolonged shift in how people view college degrees: now, it's often considered difficult to get a well-paying job (or any job, really) without a college education . 

That doesn't mean, however, that going to college is always the smart thing to do. It's a big decision, and it's one that warrants some critical thought. To help you think about whether college is worth it for you specifically, let's jump right into the good stuff: the possible investments you have to make to get a college education and the possible benefits you reap as a result. 

What You Put In: The Costs of College

If you're thinking about pursuing a college degree, you'll have to make some sacrifices. The following factors are what I consider to be investments in a post-secondary education. The extent to which these investments affect you depends on your own unique situation , so I'll explain how to think critically about these issues in each section. 

Overall, the major investments you would have to make in a college education are money, time, and effort. Let's see exactly how these might affect whether college is a worthy investment. 

The amount of money that you invest in your education depends on so many factors: your specific school, your financial need, your academic strength, potential scholarship winnings, etc. 

In general, the less money you have to pay for school, the better an investment your education will be . However, even an expensive degree may be well worth it if it pays out in the long run (I'll talk more about that in a bit). 

Tuition is the most obvious cost associated with attending college, but you also have to worry about room, board, books, personal expenses, and transportation. For more information on all the nitty gritty details of educational expenses, check out our college costs guide . 

The financial investment you'll make in pursuing a bachelor's degree is perhaps the most important investment to consider . The average US college grad leaves school with a pretty significant amount of debt - debt that's sometimes very difficult to overcome. There are ways to make your college education more affordable , but sometimes it's tough (or even impossible) to get those expenses down to a comfortable amount. 


Most people take four years to complete a BA degree. Depending on your career goals, this may represent an opportunity cost - basically, you might be losing out on other valuable opportunities (to gain job experience, make money, or both) because you're spending these four years in school and out of the work force.  

A college education is definitely valuable to many employers, and it's correlated with higher earnings later on in life (I'll talk more about this soon). But building work experience in a particular field, in addition to building wealth, is also valuable - giving up on those opportunities is an investment (or a sacrifice) that you make in order to get a degree. 

It’s easy to sleep in and skip classes once you have the freedom and independence of a college student. But you’re already investing time and money into your education, so it’s important to make the most of it while you’re there.

Building a strong educational background and making professional and personal connections (important benefits of getting a degree) doesn’t just happen - it takes work, and it can sometimes be stressful . It also may involve doing things you don't necessarily want to do, like taking required courses or completing uninteresting assignments. It's important to honestly consider these challenges (and whether you're up to them) before committing yourself to school, especially if it comes with a hefty price tag. 

What You Get in Return: The Benefits of College

You might be feeling a bit iffy about pursuing a degree at this point, but don't stop reading just yet. There are so many potential benefits that come with a college education.

The major benefits I see that come with a BA degree (although there can be many more) are increased employment opportunities, higher income, networking opportunities, personal development, and learning experiences. 

Employment Opportunities

Colleges and universities are recruiting hubs for many industries. When you study at a college or university, especially one that's well ranked, there are often opportunities to  meet with corporate employers who come directly to your school to hire students. There are also  internship opportunities during summers for that could lead directly to full-time employment post-graduation. 

Employment opportunities offered through colleges and universities extend beyond the corporate world and into academia and professional fields.  Any profession that requires a graduate degree ( e.g. law, medicine, sometimes business) or is centered around research (basically any job in academia) requires a BA degree first and foremost . 

Higher Income

On average, people with college degrees make more than people without college degrees . E ven though you may sacrifice income opportunities in the short term by seeking a degree, you’ll likely end up making more in the long run. T his is especially true for people who go into STEM fields . 

Employers may also assume you’re better qualified for higher-paying jobs if you have a degree. Some jobs may require a BA even if your degree isn’t related to what you’d be doing on the job.

Networking Opportunities

In a college or university setting, you’ll build a network of friends, but you’ll also develop a network of acquaintances, instructors, staff, and alumni. With these networks, it’s a lot easier to get personal and professional help.

These connections can serve you in many different ways, especially after you graduate. Here are some ways that a college or university network may come in handy: 

  • You move to a new city and need to find a roommate.
  • You’re exploring a career change and want to chat with someone in a particular field.
  • You need some professional guidance or a letter of reference. 
  • You’re looking for a new job.

Harvard Business School estimates that 65-85% of jobs are obtained through networking  - if nothing else, it's a huge help when it comes to getting your foot in the door. 


You don't even have to know very many people personally to benefit from a college or university network - alumni networks are a great example of this. 

Personal Development

This benefit is a bit more subjective than some of the other ones I've mentioned so far, but I think it's just as important. People's experiences will definitely vary based on where they go to school and the extent to which they participate in student life - in general, though, here are the ways you can expect to grow and develop on a personal level with a college education: 

  • Get exposure to diverse people and ideas . Meeting people with different backgrounds and perspectives results in greater open-mindedness and a more flexible worldview. One study showed that when people have BA degrees, they're more likely to believe that it's  “very important to try to understand the reasoning behind others’ opinions."
  • Meet long-term friends . You, of course, don’t have to be at college to make good friends. What’s special about a college environment, though, is that you’re living and working with hundreds or even thousands of people who are around your age, probably for the first and only time in your life. It’s sometimes more difficult to make friends as you get older - a college is a pretty golden opportunity to meet people.
  • Develop personal and professional interests. Many  students head off to school with no idea what they want to do with their lives. College gives you a chance to try out different fields, especially if you attend a school with a flexible curriculum.

Many schools (especially liberal arts colleges and universities) work to produce global citizens: well-rounded students who can be thoughtful and active participants in an increasingly globalized society. You can, of course, learn about things on your own, but college is really an ideal environment to do this - you have a structured learning environment, you're surrounded by intellectually curious peers, and you have access to experts in many fields. 

There’s a lot to learn out there besides what you’ve studied in high school, and  colleges offer courses on topics that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to . For example, you might want to explore world languages, niche humanities subjects, or specific and advanced STEM fields - all things that are difficult to study outside of a college campus. 

The thing I see as the biggest educational benefit to attending college is the access to professors, people who have dedicated their lives to research and teaching in a very specific field.  Access to these faculty members is especially helpful for students who are considering an advanced degree. 

When College May Not Be Worth It

If you have any desire to go to college, I strongly encourage you to consider it. Overall, I believe that a college degree comes with more benefits than drawbacks. Of course, there will be many exceptions and individual differences - here, I'll go over some situations where getting a college degree may not be worth it. 


I t's OK (important, even) to consider whether college makes sense for you, even if you've always assumed that you would go to college no matter what.

If a Degree Won't Lead to Professional Success

College offers a lot of professional, personal, and intellectual benefits. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do after college, a degree will afford you some flexibility. But you don’t have to go to college in order to be successful - depending, of course, on what career options you’re considering ( budding entrepreneurs , for example, may benefit more from real-world experience than from a college education). Some people argue that you can be just as successful with self-directed learning as you can be with a college degree. 

If you know you can graduate from high school and immediately start working towards your chosen career path, college might not be the best choice for you. Alternatively,  if you’re interested in a career that requires trade or vocational school, it might be smarter to apply to those programs instead of applying to a four-year program . This way, you can work toward building professional experience earlier rather than later.

If You Can't Afford It

The total Cost of Attendance at private colleges can come to over $200,000. If you’re responsible for that entire cost and you’re not sure if you can recoup the investment post-graduation, a degree may not be worth it.

If the expense is preventing you from looking into a college education, however, there are some options you should consider before making a decision:

  • Not all schools charge $200,00 for a four-year degree. Many institutions are much less expensive (for example, public schools tend to offer subsidized tuition to state residents).
  • There are many federal financial aid programs available for students attending almost any college or university in the US, and you only need to submit one (free) application . Learn more about the Pell Grant program and Perkins loans .
  • If you're a high-achieving student, you might qualify for generous merit aid if you apply to particular schools. Learn more about colleges and universities that give great merit aid .
  • If you think you might qualify for need-based financial aid , you can seek out schools that provide generous funding for lower-income students. Read more about schools with top need-based financial aid  programs. 
  • You can apply for scholarship awards , which are great sources of education funding for many students. Learn more about finding and winning local awards , and check out the top scholarship programs for high school juniors and seniors . 

If money is the only thing holding you back from getting a degree, I urge you to check out these other funding options. You don’t have to be rich to go to college, and a degree doesn’t have to mean crippling expenses. To read more about paying for college, check out these guides: 

  • The four different kinds of financial aid 
  • How to pay for college: complete guide  
  • How to pay for college without your parents' help
  • How to pay for college without loans

If There Are Other Things You Want to Do First (or If You're Unsure)

College is a big commitment - if you want to pursue a degree full-time, you’ll be hitting the books for nine months out of the year. Y ou may want to do other things with your time after you graduate from high school before heading off to college,  like get professional experience, travel, or volunteer. 

The bottom line is that you can always postpone the college application process if you have other priorities or even if you want to take time to decide whether college is right for you. You don’t have to go to college right out of high school . 

Keep in mind that many schools allow you to defer acceptance . It might be easier to work through college applications when you have the support of a guidance counselor and when it's easy to ask teachers for letters of reference. Even if you decide to apply while you're in high school, it's possible to postpone attending the school of your choice for a year or two (or even forever, if you decide it's not right for you). 

Conclusion: Is College Worth It?

Overall, college is a pretty good investment - many students who pursue a bachelor's degree end up reaping the benefits, whether they're financial, professional, or personal. But many others pursue a degree without spending some serious time thinking about whether it's a smart choice. 

You may feel that you should go to college if you want to be successful. As I mentioned earlier in this post, there are many circumstances where a college degree doesn't exactly make professional, financial, or personal sense (at least not at this very moment). It's important that you know it's okay to postpone such a big decision if you remain unsure.

If you do decide to take time to pursue an alternative path, remember that it's important to use your time wisely (else you're subject to the same types of opportunity costs that I mentioned earlier in the post). Building professional experience or engaging in self-directed learning are definitely not easy alternatives to a college education - they're just different. 

Whatever you decide to do - good luck! 

What's Next?

One big part of the college application process is standardized testing. If you're researching whether college is a good choice for you, it may be helpful to learn more about whether these tests in any way predict future income . Some people even think that the ACT and the SAT have the power to predict success more broadly. 

If you're worried more about what the whole college application process will look like and you hope to plan around that, we've got you covered - check out our complete timeline for applying to college .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Francesca graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and scored in the 99th percentile on the SATs. She's worked with many students on SAT prep and college counseling, and loves helping students capitalize on their strengths.

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4 Biggest Benefits of Choosing a Four-year College

Are you trying to decide which college is right for you? Many high school students debate the advantages and disadvantages of a two-year versus a four-year school. While both experiences bring unique value to the table, there's a compelling case for what a four-year college can provide. If you or your family have questions about the return on investment of a four-year commitment, keep reading. While college might not be the right path for everyone, here are the top reasons why many students commit to a four-year college.

1. Higher Earning Potential

A common thought when choosing a college is whether it’s worth the cost. Research continues to show that it is! Graduates with a four-year degree make more money than those with a two-year degree or a high school diploma. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics suggests that, on average, people with a bachelor's degree make about 37% more than those with an associate degree.

That's a big difference, and it’s not just some groups that benefit. If you complete a four-year degree, regardless of gender or ethnicity, the pattern of earning more money holds true. Over a lifetime, with inflation and raises, this difference could easily amount to over a million-dollar difference in earnings.

Of course, what you choose to study and the debt you take on will play a role in the equation. But if you finish a four-year degree, you'll set yourself up for better pay and more job security, especially when the economy is unstable. Historically, those with a bachelor’s degree experienced a lower unemployment rate than those with only an associate degree. Most recently, this was true in 2020 when the unemployment rate tripled in the U.S.

2. Personal and Professional Development

Arguably, one of the best parts of college is the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your interests and to find the right career path. In fact, when many people get to college, they discover there are jobs and specialties they never even knew existed. College also provides exposure to diverse perspectives, cultures and concepts. You meet students from different backgrounds and engage in new ideas, broadening your horizons. When pursuing an associate degree, students are frequently on a stricter timetable to pursue a specific career trajectory such as criminal justice or nursing. Because of this, there is often less room for trying new things or taking courses focused on discovery.

But even those who have a clear career goal starting college can benefit from the interpersonal skill development and intensive mastery that a four-year college offers. For example, at Berry College, nursing students must complete two years of liberal arts curriculum before they apply to the nursing program.

Carolyn Rielly, director of the division of nursing at Berry explains, “The most appropriate course of undergraduate nursing education is a liberal arts education. Nurses need to be well-rounded, and a four-year liberal arts education provides this background. In these first years, nursing students receive the prerequisites they need like anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology and microbiology.”

Others in the field note that communication and writing courses give nursing students confidence in their bedside manner and ability to clearly advise patients and families about their care. Classes like economics, psychology, sociology and political science grow critical thinkers and strong problem-solvers before students focus solely on nursing content. In other words, the opportunity for more personal development sets students up to be curious, lifelong learners .


3. More Course Options, Degrees, Networks and Resources

In general, there are also more major and minor options at four-year colleges, meaning more career avenues to choose from. Four-year colleges also hire more professors or clinical experts with higher levels of knowledge and broad networks within their field. Beyond professors, four-year colleges have more alumni and a wider reach for internships. They also offer access to significant resources on campus including libraries, research facilities, technology and more. The support systems for students in areas like academic success and career development also tend to be more robust.

Beyond the traditional classroom, four-year institutions have more connections, funding and programming available for both research and study abroad . So, if these are high-priority activities as you consider a college, make sure to look at the options at the schools you are considering.

4. Emphasis on Student Life

A two-year college offers benefits for students who need flexibility, but a four-year college is often a good fit for those who want to build community and strong friendships in college. Four-year colleges have stronger school traditions with more focus on helping students find a sense of belonging. They also offer more organized student life opportunities such as more campus housing, campus sports, service organizations, clubs and social engagements.


Know Your Priorities

In the end, consider your main priorities for college. In addition to strong academics, are you looking for a place that will connect you to professional development opportunities and a strong alumni network? What about campus work opportunities that give you transferable skills? Where will you live? How will you get around? What are the dining options? As you list out your expectations, your decision-making process will become much clearer. Your preferences and goals will ultimately drive which college experience is right for you. And if you are looking for a place that will help you discover and cultivate your interests in a connected community of learners, a four-year institution will likely be your best bet.

Want to learn more about the college application process? Check out our blog, College Admissions 101: A Survival Guide to the Application Process .

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    benefits of a college degree essay


  1. Why College Is Imporant

  2. The Most COMMON College Essay Question

  3. Filler Paper College Ruled 10.5in x 8in 125 Sheets

  4. How I Write an Essay


  6. How to Choose the BEST College Essay Topic (pt. 1)


  1. 27 Outstanding College Essay Examples From Top Universities 2024

    This college essay tip is by Abigail McFee, Admissions Counselor for Tufts University and Tufts '17 graduate. 2. Write like a journalist. "Don't bury the lede!" The first few sentences must capture the reader's attention, provide a gist of the story, and give a sense of where the essay is heading.

  2. 8 Reasons Why Having a College Degree Is Important

    For more detail about lifetime salary, check out The College Payoff. 5. You Can Experience a Positive Return on Your Investment. Speaking of finances, although degrees can be expensive, many college graduates find that the return on investment (ROI) of their bachelor's degree is positive.

  3. Benefits of a College Degree Essay

    The benefits of a college degree are not just for money, but also a college degree will also give a person more career options. A person with a college degree will have more career options than someone without a college degree because employers will see that one has a college degree and think that person knows what to do and can do the job well ...

  4. The Benefits Of Having A College Degree

    In addition, completing a college education "increases the chances that adults will move up the socioeconomic ladder.". And there are even more benefits of having a college degree — the following are just a few: More awareness of what's possible (see below). Improved and 'organic' networking. Career and continuing education ...

  5. Why You Should Go to College

    In a new interactive feature, the project found that "lifetime earnings vary tremendously by major" but that "a college degree—in any major—is important for advancing one's earnings ...

  6. Is College Worth It: The Benefits of College Education

    Get original essay. On average college graduates have a more stable life than high school graduates. Studies show that the income is greater and that college graduates live a healthier life, and their children are more productive at school. College is worth it because of the opportunities in place when you go to college.

  7. 10 Benefits of Having a College Degree

    3. Increased Marketability. Having a bachelor's degree will keep you in demand as the need for skilled, college-educated workers continues to rise. Over 80 percent of jobs in four of the fastest-growing occupations—healthcare, STEM, education, and government services—demand postsecondary education. On your path to earning a bachelor's ...

  8. Financial costs and benefits of college (article)

    At first glance, going to college can seem like a financial impossibility for many Americans. Over the past 40 years, the average price of college has more than doubled when taking inflation into account. The average public 4-year school now lists their total cost of attendance (which means tuition, room, and board) at nearly $20,000 year.

  9. 1.1 What Are the Benefits of College?

    College allows you to explore those identities—and maybe even discover new ones—and develop your sense of self and improve your self-esteem. Developing a purpose. Setting goals, seeing yourself as someone who wants to help others, demonstrating a commitment to your future are all parts of developing a sense of purpose.

  10. Top 7 Reasons Why College is Important

    Finishing their degrees was a personal goal they were able to achieve together, and it was even more special sharing the stage at Commencement. "He is my team, and we did it together," said Marlene. 7. Make a Difference. Earning your college degree can improve the lives of those around you, too.

  11. Benefits of College: 10 Reasons to Go to College

    10 Benefits of Going to College. 1. Higher Earnings and Income Potential. Several studies have linked a college education with higher earnings over the course of your career, even if college itself is expensive. Jobs that require a degree have higher starting salaries and often lead to promotional opportunities, increasing earning potential ...

  12. The Value of a College Degree: [Essay Example], 702 words

    The value of a college degree is a topic of significant debate and discussion in today's rapidly changing world. As higher education costs rise and alternative paths to success emerge, it's crucial to understand the multifaceted benefits that a college degree can offer. This essay explores the various dimensions of the value that a college degree brings to individuals and society as a whole.

  13. Why earning a college degree is critical for career success

    A report by the Lumina Foundation found that, in addition to higher incomes, good health and longer lifespans, college graduates are more likely to have healthcare and retirement benefits, safe jobs, occupational prestige and even greater happiness. According to a 2014 study conducted by Gallup in partnership with Purdue University, the level ...

  14. The Benefits of a College Education: [Essay Example], 522 words

    A college education is more valuable than ever. While some may argue that the rising cost of tuition makes higher education less accessible, the benefits of earning a degree far outweigh the initial investment. This essay will explore the numerous advantages of pursuing a college education, including increased earning potential, expanded career opportunities, and personal growth and development.

  15. The Benefit of a College Degree to My Life Essay

    My General Studies degree can better my life by making me flexible in the job market apart from my major, as I will be able to switch jobs. I will use my degree to reduce my chances of becoming unemployed and competitive in job seeking, which can see me earning more. Every aspect of my existence can benefit from the discipline and schedule ...

  16. Is College Worth It? Consider These Factors Before Enrolling

    Attending a private, for-profit school cost $32,900, or $55,800 for a private, nonprofit college. So for a four-year bachelor's degree, the average total cost of attendance for students residing ...

  17. 177 College Essay Examples for 11 Schools + Expert Analysis

    Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other). My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

  18. Benefits of Having College Education: [Essay Example], 811 words

    Background: While going to college is a huge commitment to your assets, time, and energy, many studies have concluded that show the benefits of seeking higher education far outweigh the costs. For a successful career, every student needs knowledge, confidence, academic and technicals skills, and social skills. To get these skills, often times a college education is important, as it provides ...

  19. Is College Really Worth It? Expert Cost-Benefit Analysis

    There are so many potential benefits that come with a college education. The major benefits I see that come with a BA degree (although there can be many more) are increased employment opportunities, higher income, networking opportunities, personal development, and learning experiences.

  20. 10 Reasons to Get Your College Degree

    The number of Americans pursuing a college education has been on the rise compared to just a few decades ago. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, the number of people 25 years and older with a bachelor's degree or higher went up roughly five percentage points between 2005 and 2019.From 2005 to 2009, around 27.5 percent had a bachelor's degree.

  21. Master's vs PhD: Key differences explained

    Many master's degree programs are career-oriented— such as an MBA —preparing students to apply their specialized knowledge in professional settings. Master's degree programs typically take 1-3 years to complete. Most programs require students to complete in-depth coursework on specific topics within their field of study.

  22. Undergraduate Essays

    Benefits of a College Degree Essay After high school, a choice that many students have to make is whether to go to college or not. There are many factors that go into one's decision. There are pros and cons to going to college and also there are pros and cons for not going to college. But the decision that will give someone the

  23. Why a College Degree is Important

    Nowadays, having a college degree is quite important for personal growth and development and everyone should strive to get one. Many high school graduates, however, decide not go to college because the four or more years required for studying need a lot of commitment in terms of time, effort, and money. Many people did not know that attending ...

  24. 4 Biggest Benefits of Choosing a Four-year College

    A two-year college offers benefits for students who need flexibility, but a four-year college is often a good fit for those who want to build community and strong friendships in college. Four-year colleges have stronger school traditions with more focus on helping students find a sense of belonging.

  25. An Importance Of Having A Degree: [Essay Example], 822 words

    An Importance of Having a Degree. Imagine being offered you dream job, now imagine it taken from your grasp just as quickly as it was presented to you. You may have all the experience in the world, but none of it matters if you don't have a degree. This is why I decided to return to school. There are several reasons why; the humiliating ...