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Is College Worth It For Me?

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2018 GraduationMay 5th, 2018
Countdown to May 2018 Graduation!

NDNU adult studentsIs College Worth It For Me?

I just came across this report from November 2013 by an organization called, “Public Agenda,” called, “Is College Worth It For Me; How Adults Without Degrees Think About Going (Back) to School.

Some of the key findings:

  1. Driving Concerns: Can I afford it and can I make it work in my busy life? Adults who don’t have degree are most concerned about taking on debt and whether they can balance school with work and family obligations. Many also worry about whether they will be able to keep up academically.
  2. Top Priorities: High-quality teachers, applicable skills, affordable tuition. Adults want knowledge and skills that are directly relevant to the workplace.
  3. Most hope to take at least some classes online (but many suspect that employers don’t value online education as highly).
  4. Adults learn about colleges from people they know, advertising, and the websites of specific schools. The most common source of information are friends, family, and colleagues, as well as TV commercials and billboard ads.
  5. Few distinguish between not-for-profit and for-profit colleges, but once they understand the distinction, they become more skeptical of for-profit schools.
  6. Many believe that more opportunities to meet and talk with college experts and other adult students could help other adults like them make better decisions.


What do you think? Do these findings resonate with your concerns and questions? If you were to offer advice to someone considering finishing a degree, what would it be?

Oh, and by the way, this study shows that college IS definitely worth it.  It notes that “…public discussion today … often focuses on the undeniable fact that a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee success. But of course it doesn’t. Nothing guarantees success…”  However, “the decision not to attend college for fear that it’s a bad deal is among the most economically irrational decisions anybody could make in 2014.”

An interesting read…

Image courtesy


  1. Michelle Lucas Rice says:

    I had all the questions above when I was contemplating a return to school, and it came down to this: The years are going to pass whether I return to school or not, and I’ve got considerable time in the workforce remaining. Why not start chipping away at a degree now, no matter how long it takes? Those of us who are established in our career without the benefit of a degree are familiar with working harder to prove we’re as qualified/competent as those with a degree (advanced degree, in some cases). Completing my degree will increase my value with employers, while fulfilling a long overdue personal goal.
    Admittedly it’s a challenge to balance work, school, and family, so scheduling of time is critical. The finances are important to budget/define in advance, but NDNU works with the students to accept courses from other institutions to ease the burden of tuition. The classes I’ve completed at NDNU have been thought-provoking and challenging, containing relevant lessons for the workplace and validating tools I’ve developed over a 25-year career. My writing, critical thinking, and management skills have developed. My supervisor has acknowledged my improved leadership and problem-solving skills several times since my return to school, so the impact of education is experienced on a regular basis in the workplace.
    My advice for those contemplating a return to school? Just Do It! Nothing is more stimulating than a challenge of the mind. Invest in yourself and your future…It’s the best investment you will ever make.

  2. Therese says:

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

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