Entering the homestretch of high school as a senior is an extremely exciting moment, but it’s also time to start planning for the next chapter of your life. If you are planning to further your education, but are worried about cost and time factors, there are options out there to help you succeed. Many high school students enroll in 2-year institutions once they have graduated, which offers low costs and vocational education in a timely matter with little to no debt. Additionally, 2-year schools are a great starting point if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future. Picking a career fresh out of high school may be mind-boggling to some, but if you consider the benefits that a 2-year degree has to offer, you will be saving yourself time, money, and your sanity!
1. Saving Money
Tuition costs are significantly lower at community colleges and vocational schools. One major cost, besides tuition and books, is paying for gas. Overall, a 2-year degree will save you thousands of dollars every year on tuition, meal plans, and dorms. Colleges who serve commuting students are more forgiving of the growing costs that comes with school. If you live with your parents and get free home cooked meals, who’s the real winner here?
2. More Time to Plan
If you’re not 100% sure what you want to do career wise, community college and a 2-year degree will save you tons of time and stress. Coming out of high school and jumping right into a fast-paced college setting might not be ideal for some. If you are not sure what you want to pursue in the future, 2-year colleges come in handy. You won’t find yourself wasting time or money in the process. Take advantage of this time to explore career and job opportunities you could see yourself pursuing in the future.
3. A Flexible Schedule
Making the most out of any experience is key in many situations. A 2-year school offers you time to plan out a flexible schedule where you can balance schoolwork, a job, or an internship to pay off those student loans or accumulating debt. Students can apply to be full-time or part-time students where they can plan their courses around other commitments. If you strive for hands-on job experiences while getting a degree, but also want to achieve a high GPA look no further.
4. Prepare for a Career
If you decide you want to focus on getting a job after earning an associate’s degree you will have a greater chance of entering the work force in the field you desire. Community college offers degrees and certificates that are career-specific, which gives you have a better chance of landing a job in the area you want to pursue. Starting off small and reaching attainable goals for the future is important. After receiving your degree or certificate the opportunities are endless. You can continue your education onto a 4-year college, apply for another certificate program to improve your resume, or apply to enter the work force.
5. Get to Know Yourself
Sometimes we don’t take advantage of our high school years, the time where we have the least amount of worries. Pursuing a 2-year degree gives you more time to explore your likes and dislikes. Take this time to join a club, take an art class, sign up for the gym, or whatever interests you. Enjoy the times you can find in between classes and on weekends to partake in activities and hobbies. Additionally, if your friends attend college away from home, take a weekend trip! You can still enjoy the college experience and then some while you’re at a vocational or community college. This also includes spending more time with family, friends, and your pets!
Your future is what you make it. With the free time and accessibility you have at school, take advantage of the endless and fun opportunities. Personalize your future so that it fits your needs!