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A College Degree: Why Not You? Why Not Now? A Quick Guide for Adult College Students

Why Get a College Degree?

If you walk around a college campus, you may be surprised to find that many students are older than the traditional 18-22 year old.

According to the Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics, adults 25 and over made up about 40 percent of college students in 2002 and will grow to nearly 7.8 million by 2014. In fact, a recent report showed that nearly 68,000 adults 25 and over were enrolled in Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities.

Many adults (sometimes referred to as non-traditional students) return to school because they are looking for a career change or to update their job skills. Others may have experienced some life-changing event, such as marriage, divorce or relocation. Whatever the reason, a college degree truly changes a person’s life. In fact, college graduates make about $1 million more than high school graduates during their lifetimes.

Education Pays...

National Unemployment Rate
Education Level
National Median Earnings
2.8% Master's Degree $56,600
3.1% Bachelor's Degree $47,000
4.0% Associate Degree $36,400
4.8% Some College, No Degree $34,300
5.3% High School Diploma $29,200
9.2% Less Than High School Diploma $22,400
Source: Employment Securities Commission, 2002 Unemployment Rate/2001 Median Earnings

Other benefits of a college degree include:

A college degree will give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace and provide you the skills and knowledge valued by employers in business, government and organizations.