Why College?

Why is college important for a student like me? The information below will help you better understand if college is right for you.

1

What IS College?

College is a place to go to continue your education after high school. There are lots of different kinds of colleges so you’ve got a lot of options. The point of college is to gain a degree or certificate that will enable you to obtain the kind of job or career you want.

Family:

College information can be confusing for parents too!

Check out our Know the Lingo page for quick definitions and explanations.

2

Who Can Go?

So the easy answer to this question is: Nearly anyone who WANTS to go to college CAN go to college.

College is not like middle school or high school—it is a choice. To become a student at ANY college, you must apply, be accepted and determine how to pay for it. Thankfully, a good plan and strong support system makes going to college an attainable goal. So if you think you might want to go, it is never too early to start planning for college.

Family:

When should I start talking with my child about college?

It is never too early to start talking about college! As a parent, relative, mentor or friend, you can play an essential role in shaping the way a child thinks about college. This can begin with you talking about college and setting college as a goal to achieve in the future.

3

Why Is College Important?

Going to college dramatically increases your chances of getting a job.
On average, the unemployment rate is three times higher for high school graduates than college graduates who earned a Bachelor's degree. Think of the job market as a race - high school graduates begin at the starting line while college graduates begin 30 yards ahead, quite an advantage.

Earning a college degree increases the potential to earn more money per year.
On average, the difference in earnings for a person with a Bachelor's degree and a person who never graduates from high school is approximately $30,000 per year. In other words, if you graduate from high school when you're 18 and live to be 90, the 4 years you spend in college will amount to $2.1 million more dollars you will earn in your lifetime.

A good career provides you with financial freedom.
Poverty is a serious issue across the US and here in Rochester. In the U.S., 21% percent of people living in poverty have high school diplomas compared to 4.5% who earned a Bachelor's degree. Here in Rochester, 48.8% of individuals who live below the poverty line never graduated from high school.

Financial statistics provided by The United States Census Bureau: American Fact Finder 2013 Census and The College Board: 2013 Trends in Higher Education — The Benefits of Higher Education

4

I Want to Go—What Do I Do Now?

Get Connected
Few students succeed in going to college without help from advisors, mentors, teachers, counselors, family and friends. These people form your support system. Your support system can keep you motivated along the way. We provide a great place to start with our Admissions Counselors section that gives you direct access to local college admissions counselors and their contact information.

Build Your Skills
You cannot become an ideal college applicant overnight. It requires hard work throughout high school — inside and outside the classroom. This means doing homework, asking questions and learning the skills you need to graduate from high school and use for the rest of your life.

Make RCAN a Part of Your Support System
We are here to help — from understanding the differences between types of college, reminding you about test dates and helping you file for financial aid, RCAN exists to help students like YOU. You CAN go to college and we are here to help you every step of the way.

Make Your Plan
Everyone's goals for college are different — take some time to think about what you want from college, what you need to make it happen and what other questions you have. Going to college requires some big decisions and it is important to make sure that you are ready to make them.