Obtaining a Higher Education
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.
Why is obtaining a higher education important?
Obtaining a higher education after high school is a pathway that leads to greater success. Success can come in the form of fulfilling career requirements, better income, job stability, a wider knowledge base, and better opportunities for advancement. This "higher education" can take on various forms: community colleges, public or private universities, vocational training, technology institutes, art and design schools, as well as distance learning at online schools.
Regardless of an individual's career path, commitment and hard work can and will pay off! Making strides to become successful in a professional area of need guarantees a brighter future and provides options such as competitive salaries, access to 401(k), health insurance, choice of career locations, working from home, and other on the job benefits that improve the quality of life.
If one's goal is to obtain a higher education that yields a lucrative, stable, and satisfying life, it is important to note one major factor that is not necessarily favorable. The expense that evolves from obtaining a higher education can be devastating and a major financial setback. Studies show that student loan debt has become the second-highest consumer debt category, second to mortgage debt. It has surpassed even the amount of credit card and auto loan debt in the United States. Many students graduate college and struggle to secure gainful employment to repay student loans.
It would be wise to seek all alternatives before accepting student loans. There are many scholarships and grants available to prospective students. Many local businesses, churches, and colleges just to name a few offer both large and small scholarships. In addition, joining the military which pays college tuition in exchange for enlisting is a viable option to obtaining a higher education as opposed to getting a student loan. Furthermore, researching and securing employment at companies that have a tuition reimbursement program can deter the need for student loans and place higher education within reach without the bill.
Finally, if a student loan is absolutely necessary to obtain a higher education, students should research various loan forgiveness options and solicit guidance from people who have experienced the world of navigating student loans and successfully paid them back. All in all, despite the financial investment, obtaining a higher education positively transforms lives!