Why wait? What’s stopping you from going back to school?
You’ve thrown around the idea of going back to school for years. You’ve heard about the benefits and opportunities college graduates enjoy, but you’re still not sure going back to school is right for you.
If you’re unsure, ask yourself this question: would you like to earn more money? This is important because your average earning potential increases dramatically as you advance your education.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau report ‒ “The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings” ‒ individuals with a high school education can expect to earn an average of $1.2 million throughout the course of their working life. That’s a lot of money, sure, but if you have a bachelor’s degree, your predicted lifetime earnings climb to $2.1 million. Individuals who advance their education even further and attain their master’s have a lifetime earning average of $2.5 million. That’s more than double the amount earned by a high school graduate, and it’s accomplished merely by heading back to school.
So now you’ve seen the facts, but there may be other factors obstructing your path back to school and greater financial success. You may already know what these factors are. The good news, however, is that today’s college options are perfectly equipped to help individuals navigate many of the obstacles that previously limited one’s educational opportunities.
Let’s take a look at five common reasons people choose not to go back to school and see how enrolling in an online college can help you move past these concerns and achieve your dreams.
1. You can’t afford college.
Talk of additional earnings over your lifetime sounds great, but what if you can’t afford to attend school in the first place? Many people think if they can’t pay for their education up front, then they can’t afford it. A college education is an investment, much like buying a home or new car. Unlike that new car, however, your education will appreciate in value. Any large expenditure requires that you take out loans and pay off your bills in monthly installments. Many online schools offer valuable student loan information and initial loan counseling for first time borrowers. You’ll see that paying for your college education is possible and learn how the choices you make can affect the payment process.
If you’re looking for additional, supplemental funds, you can also review the financial assistance available through federal, state, local, and institutional programs.
2. You don’t have time.
This reason is perhaps the most common roadblock that prevents individuals from furthering their education. If this thought is the first thing that came to your mind, that’s not surprising. These days, many of us work more than 40 hours each week and yet we still must find time to keep up our homes, raise our children, and maintain our social and family responsibilities. Something has to give, right?
For many would-be students confined to a traditional brick-and-mortar university setting, this challenge would perhaps be insurmountable. Yet now with the increased presence of online universities, busy adults like you are finally finding the options they deserve and the flexibility they need. Online degree programs allow you to take your classes and finish your degree on your schedule. If you can’t sit down for class until the kids are in bed, that’s no problem with online courses.
3. You don’t need a degree to be successful.
We showed you the difference in the average lifetime earnings for high school graduates, college graduates, and advanced degree graduates, but you know that those numbers are, again, just averages. Maybe you have a pretty solid job where you are now and you don’t think obtaining your college degree will help you. Why should you go back?
Unless you plan to retire this year, you need to prepare for the future, even if things are going well in the present. Each year the American workforce is becoming more educated. President Barack Obama, speaking on the matter of higher education, said he feels the country should work toward 60 percent of the population to have a college degree by 2020. Currently more than 30 percent of the country has a college degree.
Research from the Georgetown Center on Education estimates that, by 2018, two-thirds of the jobs in the US economy will require some level of college education. If you do not have a college degree, finding a new position or achieving future promotions may prove to be more difficult. Online degree programs can give you the skills and qualifications you need to continue advancing in a changing workforce.
4. You’re not sure which degree to pursue.
Many people realize they need to go back to school to further their education and advance their career, but they just don’t know which degree is right for them. Are you one of them?
If you find yourself in this group, online universities like Ashford University offer a wealth of information online regarding their degree programs. You’ll be able to see the degrees available to you as well as the skills you will learn and even potential careers you could enjoy upon graduation. If you decide one of these programs looks like a great fit for you, you can feel free to chat with an advisor to learn more.
5. You just don’t think college is right for you.
Maybe you decided against going to college after you graduated from high school because you struggled to achieve that milestone. Maybe you’re not comfortable with entering the world of higher education because you think you’re too old or you won’t be able to keep up. Maybe you just think you’re not college material.
Enrolling in a program from an online university allows you to throw away the stereotypes. You think attending college at your age is non-traditional? So is working on a project in your pajamas, so why not do both? You think you won’t be able to keep up? Many online degree programs are set up so you know exactly what is due and when so you can work it into your schedule. You think college isn’t right for you because you struggled with high school? Think about how much you’ve learned since those teenage days and apply that experience to your degree program.
You’ll be amazed at the returns you receive, and your online instructors will be there to help you every step of the way.
Written by Lizzie Wann
Lizzie is the Content Director for Bridgepoint Education. She oversees all website content and works closely with New Media, Career Services, and Student Services for Ashford University.