Is Cutting College an Option in a Tanking Economy? – College University

It used to be that going to college was a choice, but now—not so much. The U.S. Census bureau reports that the average worker without a high school diploma will make $21,332 a year, while those with a high school diploma will average $27,351 a year. That’s just not going to be enough to make it, especially since salaries have been falling at twice the rate that rents have been rising. But people don’t need statistics to tell them what they already know—many adult learners (over the age of 25) have decided to return to school and are doing it at a much faster rate than those choosing college after high school graduation!The good news is that the college experience is changing almost as fast as the needs of prospective students. In fact, in a survey conducted this year by Inside Higher Ed, nearly 70% of all college/university presidents and CEO’s think that launching or expanding online education courses and programs provides a way for their institution to increase tuition revenue. What that means for students is they will be able to stay home for college, thereby surpassing the significant additional cost of living on campus. Along that same line, many students, future and current, are choosing to bypass the room and board portion of their education by selecting Community Colleges close to home.So what does this mean for consumers of higher education? It means that colleges and universities are moving majors online at a breakneck speed. It also means that historically online programs are beginning to gain the respect of potential employers and are even being used by colleges and universities (usually housed within their Continuing Studies Departments) to supplement their own online offerings. So, essentially, you can take courses from a third-party and get your degree or certificate from a historically brick and mortar college. Still, online is not the answer for everyone because self-motivation is the major requirement for success which means finding one with plenty of academic and financial support is imperative. That is, you want to make sure that the program or institution that you choose provides a clear path to achieving your goals. How do you make sure you’re making the right choice? Ask these questions of each program:Can I find answers easily on their website?
Is the program I am interested in nationally accredited?
Am I able to use Federal Financial Aid with this program?
Do they waive out-of-state tuition fees?
Did someone contact me immediately after your expressed interest?
Do they have a step-by-step orientation process?
Will I be assigned a person who will help me through the academic process?If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you should keep them on your “short list”. Then, after finding at least 10 programs for your short list, break them down by categories like price, time requirement, and national ranking. Of course getting the answers to these questions means dozens of others will follow, and that’s a good thing! Higher Education can be confusing but the answers are out there when you know the questions to ask.