Do You Need the Degree?

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The U.S. Department of Education recently released a study from the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, that shows how important it is to get a college degree. According to the study, individuals that receive a bachelor’s degree make nearly $25,000 more annually than those who do not.

Individuals who only receive a high school diploma earn an average of $24,000 per year. While those who graduated from a 4-year year college earn an average of $49,000 every year. Over the past couple of years, the wages for those with a college degree have continued to rise steadily, while the annual salary for those with only a high school diploma have decreased. These statistics show why it is so important in modern American society to graduate from college. However, some people still continue to argue that going to college is not always the answer. Here are the top reasons why people do not decide to attend college:

1. They want to or need to work right after high school

Instead of attending college some individuals are drawn right into the professional world. Some people want to start making money as soon as possible, instead of focusing on taking classes in college. In addition to wanting to work right away, some individuals need to work right out of high school. These people find themselves in a situation where they need to make money in order to provide for themselves or their family. Those that need to work full-time in order to provide may find it difficult or even impossible to take college courses on top of their large work load. 

2. The cost of college or potential college loans is too great

According to the College Board, the average price of tuition per year at a four-year public university is around $10,000, while the price at a four-year private university is around $30,000. Both of these numbers are excluding room and board. These statistics show that college is an expensive luxury that not every person can afford. However, it is important to note that individuals who receive their bachelor’s degree were found to make an average of $2.7 million over their lifetime. This is about 85 percent higher than the average person makes with only a high school diploma. The high price of college seems to be worth it when comparing the earning value of those with college degrees versus those without degrees.

3. Not prepared academically

If someone is not committed to academics in high school, then pursuing a college diploma might not be the best option. Those who were disinterested in high school or had a difficult time understand the concepts in high school might not be suited for college life. College is a serious time and financial commitment where an individual must be prepared academically.

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