College or Non-college Options After High School

Last updated on November 27, 2017

Only a certain percentage of teenagers actual persevere through high school, and an even smaller percentage go on to lead the next generation of innovators and college graduates. So, it seems it’s fairly difficult to get a head start on life when you only just graduated from high school.

Quite a few students feel pressured to go to college, and though it is a fairly secure choice, college is not for everyone, despite what parents might pressure their children into. It’s usually a good idea to try college out, unless you know for sure you wouldn’t fit into higher education.

There are suggestions we have to offer for both sets of students though that will make the road to success all the easier.

College

(for those on a higher education path)

Start college out at a community college or a junior college close to home, or within the area, you would like to live. As a teenager, or someone in your early twenties, it’s easier to merge into college life through a smaller venue like a community college, and it is much easier on your finances. At a local college, you will not be required to pay nearly as many fees as a university students, you won’t be required to live in the dorms at any point, and the dollars/credit ratio is much more affordable.

On average an education at a university, most commonly a state university will cost between $200 and $600 a credit for in-state/in-country students (take into consideration that a degree usually consists of 100-140 credit hours). If the student comes from out of state or out of country, the credit charges will always be much higher, usually averaging at three times the in-state tuition.

A community college may only set a student back $30-$50 dollars/credit, and most students will finish an AA (associate’s degree of arts) within two years. Once a student finishes their first two years at community college, they can usually be admitted to a university at junior standing, at which point they will be eligible for more financial aid, and they will only pay university tuition for two years. Given, the move to university usually means the student will have to move from home, the extra time at home without as many bills will allow them to slide into financial freedom more readily, and with a head start.

Always remember it isn’t essential to go straight into college, these days the ratio of non-traditional to traditional students is growing to equality. The year or two a teenager may talk off from school may be wise to stabilize their life and financial situation.

Non College

(the route a majority of us take- right into the working world)

Right out of high school, one of the most valuable resources a student has is their patience and the resources they built throughout high school. If a student has already established an occupation they enjoy, they have an advantage over their peers- they only have the chance to go up the ladder to their ideal career. Other students may choose a vocational program to learn a specialized trade in one of many awesome fields. You don’t have to go to college or medical school to work in the sciences; instead, it is possible to work as a research or doctors assistant and still have contact with your favorite scientific field.

Going straight into the workforce has the advantage of a clean slate debt-wise. Skipping out on that four-eight years may save a teenager tens of thousands of dollars. Though the money isn’t immediately drained, a high school graduate still needs to be careful in their career, since there are students from college competing for some of the same positions.

This is where the development of valuable life skills definitely has an advantage. Students in college usually focus more on their studies than the development of their working resume and relevant skills. The time those students are out of commission gives the high school non-college graduate time to gain the advantage (even further since many college grads have trouble finding jobs in their relatively competitive fields).

Learning good work ethics, as well as building sturdy rapport in your desired field will create a stepping-stool up in the work world that not everyone else has. We would advise working the hardest on the development of these skills and making yourself the most valued employee you can be.

College – eventually/maybe?

(taking routes that might eventually lead to college/career- an educational compromise)

Also remember that money should never determine whether you go to college or not- there are always options. The military is always an option for students who hope to eventually go on in school, or simply learn a trade.

In the U.S the military (all branches) will often fund students through their entire college career, and they will even provide a living stipend to students. Statistically, students in military organizations will get better grades (over what they may have gotten otherwise) because there is a higher availability of free tutoring, as well as required study time when students have trouble in subjects.

If the military is a bit harsh, organizations like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps offer programs that will promote skills and trades in languages and diplomacy. These organizations also help their members in college funding as well as their careers once their finish their tour (Peace Corps for instance gives members great opportunities with the government- first pick of qualified jobs after a finished tour).

Whichever way a high school graduate decides to go, it is already an accomplishment that they have graduated high school, which is not always the easiest thing they’ll face during their teen years.

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