The transition to a new year is an excellent time to contemplate how you’ve spent 2019 and consider what resolutions could make 2020 everything you want it to be. New Year’s Day marked a transition not just to a different date on the calendar, but an entirely new decade. So consider making a big change that can propel you into greater success and joy in the next 10 years. Going back to school is a powerful investment in your long-term happiness. Don’t do what 80 percent% of Americans do and make another resolution that you'll break within a few months. Now’s the time to commit to big change and to the rewards that change will bring.
Going back to school can change your life more than other resolutions
The top resolutions people make include losing weight, getting out of debt, and quitting bad habits like smoking. Although these are laudable goals, they center around giving up things that people find enjoyable. That makes them incredibly difficult to achieve. Going back to school adds something new and exciting to your life, without the sense of deprivation you’ll get from a diet. And unlike many resolutions, it’s a temporary change that offers permanent benefits.
The chaos and stress of juggling school and other obligations, like family and a full-time job, may seem too much to handle, but it will be worth it in the end. Once you graduate, you can expect:
- More job opportunities. College graduates have lower unemployment because employers increasingly want to hire people with degrees. In 2018, nine out of 10 new jobs went to college graduates. Graduates aren’t just snapping up new positions though. Georgetown University estimates that 35 percent of all jobs in 2020 will require at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Greater upward mobility. Many employers require a degree for higher positions, which means that even if you’re great at your job and highly qualified, your lack of a degree could be holding you back.
- More money. Ultimately, most people work so they can pay their bills. Doing so is easier with a college degree because graduates, on average, earn more. In 2018, college graduates earned median wages of $1,198 per week, compared to $730 per week for people with a high school diploma. That’s $24,336 more per year.
Going back to school is a sound investment
Most diets fail. So if you pick this highly popular resolution, you may spend a lot of time depriving yourself, only to see the number on the scale inch back up. This cycle of deprivation and guilt feels awful, and yo-yo dieting is bad for your health. Pick a resolution that helps you feel good about yourself and offers a big payoff instead.
You won’t lose the time and energy you invest into your education. Moreover, a degree is a sound investment in all the things you probably already care about. You’ll open doors to new careers and gain the chance to pursue graduate or professional degrees down the road. Think about college as an investment in your long-term future, similar to opening a retirement savings account. You may need to spend some money or take out loans to go to school, but the increase in earnings can quickly offset this expense.
The specific return on investment of a college degree depends on numerous factors: the school you choose, how early in your career you return to college, the courses you take, and the jobs you eventually compete for. One study found that the average increase in earnings among college graduates was $107,000 after 10 years. At the 40-year mark, graduates had earned $723,000 more.
Going back to school is easier than ever
Many adults already have some college under their belt. Perhaps you left college because of financial constraints, lack of support, or burnout. Or maybe you opted not to go to college at all because the investment didn’t seem worth it, you had a good initial job offer, your grades weren’t great, or you didn’t have enough money. The factors that guided your earlier decisions can color your view of college now. You might worry that returning to school is going to be exhausting and costly.
The truth is that returning to school is easier than ever, and the college experience you had (or anticipated) 5, 10, or 20 years ago is vastly different from the academic life you can expect today.
SNU offers online learning that’s academically rigorous and highly engaging, without the need to fight traffic or even live anywhere near school. For introverts, students with demanding schedules, learners with disabilities, and people who prefer to attend school on their own schedule, this option makes the impossible feel achievable. Our one-class-at-a-time model allows you to immerse yourself in a world of knowledge, tackling complex material at a pace that feels manageable.
Financial aid is also more accessible than ever. The overwhelming majority of SNU students receive some form of financial aid. Grants, loans, and scholarships can cover all of your school expenses, as well as secondary costs of attendance, such as transportation and housing. You don’t have to come up with a large sum of money to get a degree. And at SNU, we help you decide how much debt you can safely take on. We’ll even help you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Going back to school can be enjoyable
One of the great benefits of resolutions is that they can inject joy and purpose back into your life. If you feel burned out or unsure of your life’s direction, going back to school is a great way to reinvigorate your zest for life while stimulating your mind and cultivating skills for a brighter tomorrow.
Your classes will challenge you to learn and grow. You may find that the techniques you master in your coursework immediately improve your job performance. New academic knowledge is highly versatile and may also make you more effective at home or in volunteer roles.
SNU’s cohort model means that students learn together with the same group. This allows you to nurture new friendships with like-minded peers. You’ll support each other through the rigors of returning to school, and you’ll graduate with an abundant network of people as committed to success as you are.
2020: Time to take the leap
If you’re looking for meaningful change in the new decade, a college degree offers it all: new ways of thinking, a solid investment in your future, a chance to make new friends, and a resolution that won’t leave you feeling deprived, guilty, or like you wasted time on a project that was doomed to fail.
Make the decision to invest in yourself this year. SNU can help you go back to school no matter what challenges you face. We’ll work with you to manage financial aid issues, such as loan default. We can help you get old transcripts, gain credit for life experience and prior coursework, making the path to higher earnings and career success manageable. Reach out today to chart a course to an incredible future!