Why is going to college worth it?

Is it worth it to go to college? Short answer is, YES!! Of Course it is!!

The long answer, as with anything, is a little more complicated. As anyone who has opened a newspaper or watched the news in recent years has no doubt heard, going to college is a very expensive proposition. Expensive in time, expensive in effort, and expensive in money. Still, going to college IS worth it!

Higher Career Earnings
Most people have heard that a college degree will help you make more money. TRUE! Over the course of a lifetime, individuals who have a two-year or four-year degree make significantly more money. In fact, some studies show that a college degree can mean an increase in career earnings of over $800,000. This is even more true for those folks who go on to get advanced degrees. Of course, what degree you get does matter, as does how much it costs, and how you pay for it!

Researching your planned degree, and contrasting the average income with the cost of the degree can help you make good choices. Finding a college that is a good fit for you is one of the most important parts of making sure your degree will set you up for success! Equally important is a good Financial Aid plan. Applying for your FAFSA each year as early as you can, researching grant opportunities, and only utilizing appropriate loans when necessary will help you keep your college costs under control. In fact, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors just released a report that goes into detail about the economic impact of a college loans on college graduates. Their conclusion? College degrees are a good investment.

Happiness
Still, there’s no avoiding the fact that these days, you are likely to graduate college with a significant amount of debt, and that is likely to be years before it is paid off. Simply making more money in the long run may not seem like enough incentive for that sort of investment.

Reports vary on whether or not a college degree has a direct correlation to job satisfaction. However, your level of employment does have a significant impact on general happiness levels. And in recent years in Maine, there has been a steady shift towards jobs that require college degrees, and this trend is unlikely to change. According to the Maine Development Foundation’s Measures of Growth Report, of the jobs in Maine that are most likely to grow over the next few years, many require college degrees. So in some ways, having a college degree can make you happier!

A recent report put out by the Margaret Chase Smith Center at the University of Maine, in cooperation with the Lumina Foundation, goes into great detail about some of the “other” benefits of a college degree. Individuals  with bachelor degrees are more likely to stay married, stay out of jail, stay employed, and on and on.

Does a college degree guarantee happiness? No, of course not. But it gives you a good start!

Have we convinced you that a college degree is a worthy goal? Great! Your MEOC advisor can help you on your journey to making these goals a reality. Simply find a location and time that works for you using our online scheduler, and take the next step!

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