Did you start your degree, but had to leave? You aren’t alone. Many college students end up putting their education on hold when life throws them a curveball. But it’s never, ever too late to go back to college and finish your degree. We address the questions floating around in your head.
Am I too old?
No! The landscape of college is changing. No longer are the majority of college students “traditional” 18-year-olds who just graduated high school. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 40 percent of college students are older than 25, and at South College, 58 percent of our students are between the ages of 25 and 40. All of our students are “on-the-go” students who commute from the surrounding areas. Our student body also consists of 70 percent working women, many of which also support families.
What good would it do?
Finishing your degree can benefit both your personal and professional life.
According to U.S. News and World Report, on average, people with bachelor’s degrees, no matter the field, earn vastly more than their counterparts with some college education or just a high school diploma. The average salaries for those with a high school diploma is $32,552, it is $39,572 with an associate degree and $53,300 with a bachelor’s degree.
Earning a college degree can also can positively affect your job retention. Many employees who already have jobs are more likely to keep their jobs if they have a degree. There is a strong correlation between achieving higher education and the rate of unemployment. For each higher level of education completed, the unemployment rate drops significantly. In 2011, the average unemployment rate for those with just a high school diploma was 12.4 percent. For those with an associate degree, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent. Students with a bachelor’s degree had a 6.2 percent unemployment rate, and students with a master’s degree had a 4.5 percent unemployment rate.
First of all, many college graduates have a better outlook on life. One study reports that, on average, students with a college degree live longer and report a better sense of well-being.
If you have kids, do you want them to pursue higher education? Research suggests that children with parents who earned bachelor’s degrees were more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees themselves. So you have the power to impact not only your own educational success, but to impact your child’s educational success. Even if you don’t have kids, you can impact those closest to you and encourage them to set goals and show how to achieve them.
How do I get started?
Contact the South College Admissions office. We offer more than 30 different degree programs across education, business, healthcare and more! You can earn your certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or Ph.D at South College.
Since 58 percent of our students are older than 25, you won’t be alone as you come back to school to finish your degree. We offer a variety of resources to help you navigate your academic career while supporting your family at home.
Contact our admissions office at 865-251-1800, and one of our friendly admissions counselors will be able to help you get started. Also check out previous blogs for tips about going back to school and balancing school, work and family.