For those who see college as a reasonable next step in the maturation for young people, or as an “experience” whereby people party and socialize, rather than as a place where people go to attain the skills necessary to prosper in a modern society, there probably is some bit of confusion as to why older people might be interested in attending college. For everyone else though, college is a logical choice, because people who graduate from college make more money than those who do not; a lot more. According to CNNMoney.com those people with a bachelor’s degree make nearly $20,000 more per year on average than do those with just a high school diploma.
In other words, it makes little sense to not get a degree, if your priority is making more money. This matters in a culture such as ours where people are judged by how much they earn. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to go to college right out of high school, and thus aren’t able to attend. Also, there are times when other circumstances intervene, such as pregnancies, physical injuries or growing up in a local or family culture that doesn’t see higher education as something worthwhile, important or attainable. All of these reasons can be contributing factors in keeping people from starting college during the so called “normal” years of seventeen or eighteen years of age.
For those who are not able to attend college fresh out of high school, there is always the opportunity to return at a later time; and more and more, that is exactly what is happening. People of all ages are finding that going to college is really the only way to increase their earning power and to land jobs that are more suited to their individual talents.
The fact is, employers pay more for people with bankable skills; skills that must be learned through hard work and effort. A college degree shows perspective employer’s not only that candidates for open positions have learned the requisite skills taught in courses at the college attended, but have also managed to navigate the path that led them from initially registering, to passing all the required courses and finally to graduation. They know this means that students have learned to manage their time, to allocate their resources, to knuckle down when it was called for in order to succeed. They know that someone who comes to then with a college degree has earned it.
This is why so many people of so many different ages have enrolled in college and why age really doesn’t matter in college anymore.