For many students and working adults, the decision to pursue a college degree can be a difficult one. The time and financial commitments involved may seem overwhelming at time, especially to someone at the beginning of their academic journey. Thankfully, there are many option available for students who wish to pursue their education but are limited by free time and resources. Online learning has revolutionized education by allowing students to attend classes whenever their schedule permits from wherever internet access is available. Federal and private loans are available for students needing to finance a portion or all of their tuition. Still, the time and effort required to make the arrangements to get into college, much less attend and graduate from an educational institution, may lead some to question the necessity of earning a degree.
In today’s society, earning a college degree is essential for success in the employment market. Few positions in the workforce with upward mobility or ample advancement opportunities are available for those without an education beyond the high school level. Of course, the type of career path one chooses can greatly affect factors such as these, but overall, those who earn a college degree simply have more and better job opportunities.
Financially, earning a college degree is a wise choice. The rate of return in future earnings for every dollar a student spends on education more than makes up for the cost of earning a degree. Bachelor’s degree holders gain an estimated one million dollars in lifetime earnings over those who only hold a high school diploma, according to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau. But getting a college degree is about more than just higher earnings, and many of the benefits can have a profound impact on graduate’s lives.
College graduates enjoy better health, participate in more leisure activities, save a greater amount (by percentage) of their earnings, offer an improved quality of life for their children and report higher levels of personal happiness than adults with a high school diploma, according to the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Furthermore, a recent study by the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education revealed that college graduates are less prejudiced, exhibit greater rationality and are more aware of world affairs than their non-degree holding counterparts.