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Top Reasons Why You Should Finish College

Quenosha Payton

Life happens, plans change, and sometimes we are forced to put our goals on the back burner. It could be a change in finances, unexpected family obligations, or a number of other commitments that keep you from obtaining a bachelor’s degree. We understand that once you’ve taken a leave of absence, finishing college might not seem feasible. You might even be wondering whether it’s necessary or worth it to go back to school. Our hope is that, after reading this post, you will not only see the value in completing your undergraduate degree requirements, but you will also feel equipped to start the process to finish college!

It’s Not Too Late… Yet!

When you think about your goals for your career, family, and finances, it’s helpful to consider whether they would be more attainable with a bachelor’s degree. If lacking the necessary qualifications is limiting your opportunities in earning potential and career development, why wait any longer to start making your dreams a reality?

There will always be competition with people who are pursuing the same things you are, whether that be to own a business, manage people, develop a new product, or any professional achievement you want. Finishing your bachelor’s degree is the best way to meet and surpass those vying for your spot. Your plans of living comfortably within your means, owning a home, or having a competitive edge in the workplace are possible, but it’s important to take action!

Did you know…

  • According to Glassdoor, job openings attract an average of 250 résumés, yet only 2% of applicants will be called in for an interview.
  • The Census Bureau found that 33.4% of American 25 or older have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher—a state that is only rising with time!
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of people 25 and older who have attended college is expected to grow 18 percent by 2025.
  • Average earnings for employees with bachelor’s degrees work out to $59,124 per year.
  • Homeownership rates for bachelor’s degree holders were 67.3% in 2017.

You Might Be Thinking…

“I already have a career. Is it really worth it to finish college?”

YES! The job market is changing. Employers are actively seeking the most qualified candidates. Having your bachelor’s degree may provide you with job security down the road. Not to mention the increase in earning potential!

“I can’t afford it!”

College is expensive—it’s an undeniable fact—but the reward for earning your degree can, in many cases, outweigh the cost. We understand finances can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Adults are eligible for financial aid and Pell Grants, and many employers are even willing to cover the majority of your tuition! We at Abound have many great tips and resources for how to persuade your employer to provide you tuition assistance. Also keep in mind that many Abound: Finish College are quite affordable in comparison to other colleges.

Many states have their own grants specifically tailored to adult learners who are choosing to finish their degrees. For example, Indiana started the You Can.Go Back campaign to help the 750,000+ Hoosiers who started college but didn’t finish. Because of this state-wide effort, $7.5 million in state grants is now available to help them go back to school.

“I have a family to care for.”

The wellbeing of your dependents is a priority. Life can be fast paced and schedules fill up quickly. We understand that going back to school requires sacrifice from the entire family. But remember: there are resources available to you and a variety of unconventional options for support. Childcare may even be covered by financial aid or your employer!

“I don’t have enough time.”

Technology and added campus resources are making it more and more possible for adults to finish their degrees without neglecting their current work schedules or family responsibilities. Colleges are working hard to make college degrees more accessible for nontraditional students.

  • Many four-year universities operate centers at community college campuses so that students don’t have to commute, move, or interrupt their lives in order to complete their degrees.
  • Across the country, many states now offer bachelor’s degrees through community colleges. Florida’s 28 community colleges (now “state colleges”) offer bachelor’s degrees for 2-12 majors.
  • Courses and degrees are offered in many formats—including traditional “face to face” classes, blended classes, and completely online courses.  Convenience and accessibility are at an all-time high.
  • Many colleges accept prior learning credit, which provides a way for learners to earn credit for their past and current work experience through testing, submitting a portfolio or Competency-Based Education programs.
  • Some schools offer scholarships or child care subsidies to adult students
Competency Based Education (CBE) programs allow students to earn credits at a more accelerated pace, rather than taking a certain number of courses per term. University of Mary Hardin Baylor and the University of Maine at Presque Isle are Abound: Finish Colleges that offer CBE. The Competency Based Education allows students to take assessments for a particular skillset at their own pace. Students pay a flat rate for tuition for the semester and are able to complete as much as they can within three or four months. UMGB and Maine Presque Isle have coaches who will follow up with you as often as you need to hold you accountable and connect you to specific resources. You will never be without support!

My full-time job is very demanding.”

Finding balance is tricky, but it’s also important in order for you to thrive in all areas of your life. We’ve compiled some tips for you to consider while working toward that stability.

We know you have doubts, and we want you to know they are completely valid! But there are viable, attainable answers to your questions and concerns. Colleges—and even some employers—recognize the needs of nontraditional students and are providing the necessary support for them to obtain a bachelor’s degree without neglecting responsibilities at home or work. There are even resources available to you on campuses to help put that degree within reach!

Ignore the Naysayers

Not everyone will agree that it is necessary for you to get your bachelor’s degree. People are entitled to their opinions, but don’t let anyone convince you that you are too old, it’s too late, or a degree is unnecessary. With support from your family and the commitment to utilize available resources, you can stay focused on your goals and work toward this accomplishment. Although your degree does not guarantee success, it gives you a better chance of reaching your highest earning potential in a field you are excited to be a part of.

So… What Next? Here’s How to Return to College:

If you’re ready to finish college but are wondering where exactly to start, we are here to help! There are a few practical steps you can take so that you can jump back in.

  1. Choose a college based on your needs.
  • If online school fills your commitment capacity, make sure you’re looking at colleges with a variety of programs available online.
  • Be sure the degree program you are looking to pursue is legitimate, and the schools are fully accredited.
  1. Talk to an admissions counselor.
  • Most colleges with transfer or degree completion programs will have someone who can show you your options. Email or visit an advisor in the “adult” or “degree completion” department and inquire about transferring credits. Be sure to include a copy of your transcripts if you have one!
  1. Write an admissions essay.
  • Familiarize yourself with essay prompts at the colleges you are interested in. It’s never too early to start brainstorming ideas and creating an outline to have on hand.
  1. Apply for FAFSA and other grants/scholarships.
  • There is no age limit to financial aid.
  • Applying is FREE.
  • Your credit score does not keep you from qualifying.
  1. Reach out to your employer.
  • Many companies are willing to contribute heavily to the completion of your degree. Be confident in your worth and abilities and make it a priority to approach your boss. Remember: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no!
  • Remember to explore options for receiving credit from relevant work experience.

Going back to school to finish your bachelor’s degree is not a commitment to be taken lightly. But it also doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or frustrating process. There are resources available to you to lessen the financial burden and the strain on your time and family. And remember that outside of the support you will receive from your college or employer, Abound: Finish advisors are here to answer any of your questions and point you in the right direction. The time to complete your degree is now!

Have questions, ask them below.

More Helpful Resources:

I Have Years of Experience, but No Degree. Is That Enough to Get Hired? – Answers from HR Professionals

6 Reason to Pursue a Bachelor’s After Earning Your Associate’s Degree

The Nightmare of Fake Degrees

7 Tips to Help You Balance School and Work

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