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College or Not? Tips to Help You Decide

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College or Not? Tips to Help You Decide
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Should you go to college? If you went for a year or two and then dropped out, is it worth going back? The answer depends on a number of factors, including your present situation and what you hope to get out of returning to college. The points below may help you decide.

Time

School takes up a lot of time. You need to either spend a good part of most of your days in class or be prepared to take one class at a time for years. On the other hand, even if takes you ten years to get a degree, those ten years are going to pass anyway, so you might as well start chipping away at it. However, you do need to assess whether it is really worthwhile to you. Perhaps there are other ways you would rather spend your free time, whether it is spending time with family, playing a sport or pursuing a hobby.

Career Prospects

What is your reason for going to school? What kind of career prospects will await you when you graduate? A career is not the sole reason to go to college; there is something to be said for the enrichment you will get pursuing certain fields even if they never make you wealthy. However, if your primary reason for going to college is to get a better job, you should make sure that job will be there for you when you graduate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government-run site that gives you good information on the forecast for the future of your field and an expected salary range. You might want to start your research there.

Money

In addition to time, the other important area college comes down to is money. You don't have to be rich to pursue higher education, but you probably will have to borrow, even if you have grants and scholarships as well. Most people do take out some student loans to pay for school. You may want to find out what your repayment plan will be like. A student loan repayment calculator can give you an idea of what your monthly payments will be. If you have done your research, you will know whether you are likely to be able to make this repayment easily after you have landed your first post-college job.

Intangible Benefits

There are other benefits to going to college, including social and intellectual ones, that are not necessarily quantifiable. If you are a high school student or a recent high school graduate, college may broaden horizons for you and introduce you to new ways of thinking. Even if you do not have a particular career path or purpose in mind, you may find that path or purpose. In fact, most young people who decide to head off to college do not know exactly what they want to do. You'll have access to professors as well as your fellow students and perhaps an alumni network. All of this can help you find a direction.

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