Why Do People Go to College?

People attend college for a variety of reasons, including earning a degree to achieve better jobs, enhancing knowledge in specific academic areas, learning new topics, and establishing new friends, relationships and networking opportunities. College educations build on academic experiences acquired through lower levels of schooling. However, attending college lets students refine skills in areas of interest; following graduation, students holding college degrees find more job opportunities and earn higher wages than peers without college degrees.

In addition to improving academically, students attend college to enhance personal and professional growth. Colleges accept students from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic and racial backgrounds. They bring young men and women together, giving attendees the opportunity to work and live with a diverse group. Through shared experiences, students develop lifelong skills in communication, tolerance and collaboration that serve as valuable assets in many jobs.

Students learn and reinforce basic but important skills like time management, organization and planning. They set and achieve academic and personal goals too, which in turn builds confidence and self-esteem. People earn degrees from different types of colleges, including public and private institutions, two-year schools, four-year schools and trade schools. Following graduation from an undergraduate institution, some people continue their educational paths by enrolling in graduate schools or earning other advanced degrees.