The Reasons to Attend College

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2023
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I think in today's society when people are asked what the value. Of a college education is, they may tend to think in terms of dollars and cents. But I believe there is much more to it than just the financial aspect. I believe college is an opportunity for students to grow and learn in more ways that just by studying books. Students gain values from a college education as they learn to think outside the box and really test their mental limits. Students learn about respect, leadership, and communication from a college education.

However the true value of a college education is indefinite. All of the values previously mentioned are just doors leading to greater opportunities. These doors provide opportunities that one can only dream about and create situations that are impossible to anticipate. The true value of an education is unique to each individual; the benefits reaped will only match the student's investment or desire to succeed. This alone makes the value of education distinctive from student to student, because every student invests their time in a variety of ways.

So why do students go to college? Is it because they view college as a path to a better job and greater economic security or do students view it as an opportunity for self-exploration and an opportunity to develop a philosophy on life? I believe that both have a lot to do with it. I believe that the values and expectations that students hold regarding their education will greatly influence how they are going to further their education. Simply put, if students value their education, they will work hard to succeed and make the most of their situations.

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Benjamin Franklin once said "If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." History has shown that a college education is one of the most valuable assets anyone can secure. There are financial benefits as well as advantages that are measured by other standards. As President Lyndon Johnson once said, "Education is not an expense. We believe it is an investment." Education is an investment that comes at a high financial cost to some, but one whose return has proven to be reliable and significant. It can be argued that higher education is the best possible investment you can make.

It's true that college graduates earn more than none graduates. A number of studies have shown that college graduates have much higher earnings than those without a degree. In fact, the typical college graduate often earns six hundred thousand dollars or more during the course of his or her career than those who have not attended college. Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released information showing that people who held Bachelor degrees in 2000 had average salaries of over $46,000 while those who had not attended college made an average of just under $29,000.

On the other hand though, I would also like to point out those comparing earnings of college graduates to persons with high-school diplomas can be misleading because of the difficulty in accounting for individual differences in energy, creativity and intelligence that affect earning potential. There are several people that have become successful in the world today without a college education or a high school degree, but they are few.

Besides obtaining a career with a better salary, college gives students access to different types of jobs. Then they can acquire various skills that can be applied to different work situations, thereby making themselves more marketable for diverse job settings and locations. College graduates therefore have more flexibility compared to others who haven't graduated from college. Graduates with a college education can choose to accept a position that requires less schooling, while those with only a high school diploma cannot choose a job that requires a college degree. College graduates experience a less unemployment rate because graduates are able to accept more positions because of a degree, even if a degree is not required.

A college education also provides a better quality of life. Graduates usually have better health as well; perhaps because they are more likely to hold jobs that provide good health insurance coverage, better working conditions, and more money to spend on the things they enjoy in life.

These are a lot of physical things that a college education does, but there is something else as well. Many people do not understand that a college education does not prepare someone for a career or a profession, but it prepares them for more. A college education will add to a student's personal development by bringing them in contact with people, ideas, and experiences they might otherwise never have encountered.

What colleges do best is bring people, smart people, together in an environment where they have time to learn from each other, read, reflect, explore, listen, argue, and especially, stretch their known boundaries. College is where visionary minds go to be challenged, grow, and mature. It is also where people go who aspire to have visionary minds. A college education is not so much a pile of notebooks piled on top of your desk or in the bottom drawer, but learning to talk in front of a group, to read and to summarize, to think and reason on demand, to push yourself late at night, to live and work with people you might never speak to in ordinary life. A college education gives a student a chance to think against the norm, to manage time, to not be afraid or rejecting. Education gives students a new insight on life.

The goal of a college education ought to be to prepare people for the wise exercise of the personal freedoms we so richly enjoy. Knowing how to live up to our highest aspirations - how to choose well what we want to be and do, this is the opportunity that college offers us as individuals. As for society, no society that values freedom can afford to underestimate, even for an instant, the value of higher education."

One of the opportunities that we have in life is the chance to attend college. Like many other things in life, privileges have to be earned, sometimes on an ongoing basis. In order to make the most of these privileges, students should take into account certain things that will help them to make the most of their college experience.

  • The student must realize that attitude is everything. It's the student's attitude that will motivate their personal values. To realize their full potential, students should have a good attitude.
  • Make independent decisions. Everyone is different; each student will be the only one deciding their own actions.
  • Take risks! I don't think students realize that college is a time for experimenting and learning. Many of us learn by experiences, but if they are afraid to try, they won't be able to achieve their fullest.
  • Take responsibility! Everyone is responsible for their own actions and their own education. You will have no one else to blame but yourself if you fail.
  • This is life! The values established and the interests acquired during college will last you a lifetime. Students never forget a good learning experience, so make the most of all of them.
  • Learn from others. Seek out advice and knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.
  • Take advantage of the opportunities you have! Don't wait to get involved with other activities. Chances are, the more involved you are in college, the more involved you will be in life.

These are just some suggestions that students can use to live by. They apply to life as much as they do to a college education. The real value of a college education results from the efforts invested by each individual and their resources available. What you accomplish in your lifetime, and what you fail to accomplish, is all your doing. You are given the opportunity to choose your direction in life. If you want something bad enough you can have it, all you have to do is dream; dare to dream; and then act. Everyone has problems that they have to overcome through their lifetime. If you are one of the beings that take responsibility for your actions, then you are one of the real winners in life.

Lastly, a huge value in obtaining a college education is all the ways it will benefit your children. First of all, I need to lead my children by example. By attending college myself, my children will be more likely to attend college later on. By becoming college graduates themselves, I think they will be more responsible, more focused and more successful individuals. By receiving a college education, I will be able to offer them a better quality of life. My education will build a foundation for my children, which will build a foundation for their children. This in turn leads to generations of people being major contributors to our society. The value of a college education gives us the ability to make a difference in life.

"Our children represent only 20 percent of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future." - Unknown. They are our greatest investment, and by helping ourselves with a college education, we are in turn helping them. This will help them to understand the importance of investing in themselves later on.

I believe a college education is something to be treasured. In both earning potential and learning potential, a college education is worth every penny. As it does with most any investment, a college education requires foresight, planning and saving -- and perhaps some sacrifice. But it is an investment that will continue to pay you back for a lifetime. Individuals with a college education have better job opportunities, earn more money and develop skills and knowledge that can never be taken away.

Higher education unlocks doors to economic and educational opportunities and provides a lifetime of rewards. A college education, unlike most other consumer purchases such as a car, will appreciate in value, not depreciate. President Lyndon Johnson once said, "Education is not an expense. We believe it is an investment." It's an investment that comes at a high financial cost, but one whose return has proven to be reliable and significant. It can be argued reasonably that higher education is the best possible investment you can make.

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The Reasons to Attend College. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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