By Kenzie Hock ✌️  

Nobody wants to make the “wrong” choice. Trying to decide between a chocolate chip cookie and an oatmeal raisin cookie is one thing (everybody knows that chocolate chip is superior to oatmeal raisin), but when you’re making a decision that seems so massive that it could alter the course of your life, that’s when the pressure starts to mount.  

Deciding to go to college is one of those life-altering choices. It can seem overwhelming (to say the least) when attempting to distinguish which choice is “right” or “wrong.” On top of that, the world has been experiencing the colossal effects of a pandemic, making the future super unknown. In other words, this next year is uncertain, but before you start an extensive cons list about why college isn’t an option for you, consider these four reasons to consider college after high school.  

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1. Pursuing education after high school can work around you  

College doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If this past year has shown us anything, it’s that education can be flexible and meet you where you are. Consider taking a few general education classes at your local community college, starting an online course or even enrolling in a certification track. This will give you a taste of what it’s like to pursue education after high school without totally overwhelming you or breaking the bank.  

2. Choosing college now gives you more opportunities for later 

There’s one obvious pro to getting a full-time job after high school and that’s the paycheck. You probably left school eager to get out and start earning, and we don’t blame you. But the reality is that getting education or training after high school (like a free certificate that can be earned in as little as 6 months, or a 2- or 4-year degree) can help you earn more money and beat out your competition. 

Whether or not you know exactly what you want to do for your career (and I mean… some of us still don’t ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), higher education or job training will provide more connections, exposure and opportunities to people and skills that will help you grow. 

College isn’t just about learning the practical skills and critical thinking to get a job that pays well. It gives you independence and perspective to grow your soft skills and discover your passions. This lays the foundation for you to be whatever you want to be someday (and make good money doing it). 

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3. Education is something that no one can take away from you  

Take Drewon, for example. The eldest of six kids, Drewon entered high school determined to not only succeed, but to be the valedictorian. He knew he had the opportunity to receive an exceptional education, but he would have to earn it. To him, education was something no one could take away from him. He was awarded the 21st Century Scholarship and recently graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology & Business Management.  

“21st Century Scholars made going to college a reality for me, and because of that I was able to change the narrative in my family and community. Going to college and graduating debt-free is easily achievable (with help from Indiana’s scholarships).”

Oh, and he did end up getting that valedictorian title.  

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4. Indiana is here to help you cover the cost  

We already mentioned the 21st Century Scholarship above, but there are so many other resources to help you receive the best college experience at a price point that works for you. College can be expensive, yes, but there are a surprising number of ways to make it manageable. Check out these options for help:  

Find Indiana Scholarships Choosing a School  

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship 

What is FAFSA? 

Ultimately, there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” choice, and it’s a decision you have to make for your own. Higher education looks different for everyone, and there is no one size fits all answer. There will always be pros and cons in making these decisions. As you think about your future, take time to really consider your options. And remember, you’re not alone in this. In fact, you can reach out to us right now for advice or guidance. 

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Not sure what the FAFSA is or how to file? Check out our blog titled, “What is FAFSA?” for help.

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