5 totally lame excuses for NOT going to college

January 3, 2009

Ladies and Gents, drum roll please!

Higher education is too expensive for me. I can’t afford it.
Truth be known, you can’t afford not to go. Few students pay the "sticker price" for college or Cost of Attendance (COA). You pay the difference between the financial aid available and the COA, which is usually much lower, and can be zero. All jobs now require some kind of education after high school, whether it’s on-the-job training or a certificate, degree, or professional designation. Only 25% of the jobs require a 4-year degree, but all require you to further your education, and the rewards for doing so are substantial.

I don’t need formal education. I may have to struggle for a while, but I’ll work hard and earn what I want.
Yeah right! Without a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED) AND additional training or education, it’s unlikely you will ever stop struggling to earn what you want. Education is the key to success! You have to obtain it and use it to satisfy the demands in today’s technological workplace, and there is a place for everyone. Employers will tell you that workers today need knowledge and skills on a level that is equivalent to a 4-yr degree, even if that knowledge is gained through on-the-job training, formal classes, experience, or any combination thereof. There simply is no substitute for education, even if you are the boss! Ask Mr. Gates.

Higher education isn’t for me. No one in my family has ever gone.
That is a great reason to actually go. Now’s the time for you to be the first, to stretch yourself and your confidence just a bit, and make the commitment to a better future. Do it for yourself, your parents, and if you are a parent, your own children. Just do it! The important thing is take action and make a firm decision and move forward.

I’m not smart enough to go to college.
We can't all go to Harvard or Yale however you don’t have to be a math whiz or major in physics. Take classes in something you really enjoy. There is a wide variety of programs available at different kinds of schools and colleges where you can take these classes. Maybe a formal educational setting isn’t for you. You'd rather go straight to work. If so, be ready to take advantage of all the on-the-job training you can get. College isn’t for everyone, but education is. With all the options in higher education and job training available today, there is certainly a place for you to develop your interests and skills. Have you considered an online school or maybe a trade school? Keep learning, lifelong! There is a college/school for you.

Nothing interests me...I don’t know what I want to do.
Some students are not ready to go on to higher education right out of high school. Some need time to mature, to find out what interests them, and to devise a plan. That’s OK. In cases like this it’s better to take a year or two after high school to learn about your own interests, skills, and strengths. Or consider the military. Far too many high school graduates go to college without declaring a major because they don’t know what they want to do. They are told to go to college and take different classes to experience new things so they can "find" themselves. While this may work for few, it is seldom a good plan. Higher education is too expensive to dabble in for the purpose of "discovering" yourself. That should be done before you get there. Get in and get out in 4 years. You don’t need to know exactly what job you expect to obtain once you graduate high school, but you should know what career path fits you before you commit to a program of higher education. See the Gap Year article.

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