Should You Pursue Higher Education?

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether you want to continue being a student. While getting more education at a university, college, community college, or technical school is a great option, it may not be the best option for everybody. Some people prefer to get a job; others like volunteer work or would do well in an apprenticeship.

Some people simply need to take a break from school, especially if they feel like they’ve spent their whole lives in the classroom. Remember, if you choose not to continue with your education now, you can always go back to school later. Don’t feel pressured to go to school. There are many good options that you can try out.

What are higher education and postsecondary education?

Any type of school after high school is called “higher education” or “postsecondary education.” This includes community colleges, technical schools, 4-year colleges and universities, and even graduate schools.

Some of the main factors to consider when deciding whether to pursue a higher education are:

  • The independence and empowerment it can give you
  • How much it costs
  • How it will impact your career options
  • How it will impact your health

Independence and Empowerment

Once you’ve finished high school, education goes from being something that is required of you to something that you must desire and work for. You’ll have new responsibilities, like choosing your own classes, remembering to do your homework, requesting reasonable accommodations, and managing your money. Learning how to handle these responsibilities is one of the most important skills you can gain from your college experience.

This may sound intimidating but a lot of people will be there to support you. Colleges and universities have offices to support students with disabilities, and many have student organizations run by students with disabilities. You will also make many new friends who are going through the same adjustment to independent life as you are. And of course, your family will still be able to give you support.

Differences between high school and college

Finances

Higher education is expensive. You and your family will need to explore options for paying for it. There are ways you can reduce the expense. Living with your parents or roommates may help lower your costs, and some types of school, such as community colleges and public universities, are more affordable than others.

Make sure you understand how much your educational options will cost and try to get financial aid when you can. Sometimes private schools that seem very expensive actually offer large amounts of financial aid that make them more affordable. So don’t just assume you can’t afford school. To learn more, read this article’s page on Funding Your Education.

College pays off

The average person who graduates from college earns way more than the average person who graduates from high school. If you can’t afford college now, but want to go later, you should start thinking about ways to save up money for when you want to go.

Long-Term Career Development

Many jobs require you to get a higher education. That’s why most people with a higher education are able to get better jobs and earn more money in the long term. It opens up doors to employment and financial independence. It also lets you meet new people, learn new ideas, and discover new possibilities.

But you don’t have to go to college. There are other ways to find a good job. Jobs.mo.gov and Vocational Rehabilitation are good places to start.

Health

Your health conditions may impact your decision about pursuing postsecondary education and when and where to pursue it. Maybe your impairment physically prevents you from studying certain subjects. For example, if you are blind, it is unlikely you will study graphic design. Maybe your health needs mean that you cannot live in rural areas that lack certain specialized medical providers, and so you must go to school in a city. Maybe you are recovering from an accident and need to wait before you enter school. There are many different health-related issues that can impact your decision about postsecondary education. Consider your own situation and be honest with yourself, so you can make a good long-term choice.