Overcome
Roadblocks

What is preventing you from going to school?

Check all that apply
  • I’m Overwhelmed

    Most people are overwhelmed by the options of choosing the right college or school. If you are in high school, you can start by talking to your counselor, who can guide you to the information you need. Whether you’re a teenager or adult, answer the questions in this site, which will help you decide where to start and provide you with available resources. If you have friends and family members who have gone to college ask for their advice. And remember, you’re not alone.

     

  • I Don’t Need It

    When it comes to making decisions about your next steps, the only person that matters is you. Maybe your friends lost interest, motivation, or financial support because of decisions or personal challenges. Their decisions shouldn’t sway yours - do what makes the most sense for you now and in the future. If you do some research and talk with different schools, you can make a way for yourself that fits your interests, learning style, and even how you work. The choice is yours.

  • I Don’t Need It

    Think about the job you have or could get right now. Is this a career that will satisfy your financial needs for the next 30 to 40 years? Check out the Lifestyle Calculator to see how much you need to earn in order to live the life you want. If there’s little to no opportunity for advancement in your current job, going to school for training or a degree is worth your consideration. Do you research and choose carefully - no one wants to spend their lives working a job just trying to make ends meet. You spend a large portion of your life at work, so wouldn’t you rather do something you enjoy and earn a good living?

  • I Don’t Need It

    School is challenging. There will probably be moments when you think it's "too hard." That's how you know you're on the right track. Think about it this way: Your education will create the foundation for your future career. Don’t you want that foundation to be strong and something you put a lot of effort into? You're going to have classmates and teachers to help you get through those times. And, most schools have mentorship and tutoring programs. Use 'em!

  • I Don’t Need It

    Many people start school not knowing what they want to do. Others think they know, but end up changing halfway through, without adding cost or time to their experience. You're probably going to need some general education classes anyway. In that time, your interests could show you a path toward something that inspires you.

  • I Don’t Need It

    It is an achievement to be the first in your family to get a college degree. Think how proud your family and friends will be of you for making this decision. There was once a time when a high school degree was all you needed the job you are looking for, but those days are over. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school.*  There are more people with degrees in the job market than ever. You want to be in that pool.

     

    *According to the Georgetown Public Policy Institute

  • I’m Scared

    More than 3 million higher education students are over the age of 35, and nearly 10 million are over the age of 22.* Think about how many working years you have left in your lifetime - there’s no time like today to change that path.

     

    *According to the National Center for Education Statistics

  • I’m Scared

    One of the biggest fears of going to school or going back to school is the anxiety of not fitting in with the other students. Try to think of college as an opportunity to meet new people to share your experiences with. If you are an adult returning to school, you have life experience that will help you tremendously. Decide what you like, become involved and seek out a professor or counselor to mentor you.. This will help you meet friends with the same values and aspirations.

  • I’m Too Busy

    Many people  work school around their already hectic daily lives. 70 percent to 80 percent of college students – are both active in the labor market and formally enrolled in some form of postsecondary education or training.* There are programs for every schedule. You can go to class at night, on weekends or even one day a week. If you go for a degree online, you can be in class anytime. Set up a specific time for studying. Work out a system for keeping a calendar and organizing course materials, and ask your family and friends help you. With a support network, you'll get there. Remember, making some short-term time sacrifices now could give you more time with your family and friends in the long run. You'll inspire others (friends, family, children, etc.) to pursue their dreams, too.

     

    *Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, 2012-2013. 

     

  • I’m Scared

    Go to class. Pay attention. Do your best. Complete your assignments on time. Ask questions. And, no matter how difficult it may get, don’t quit. If you fail something or flunk a test, you can take it again. Find a tutor or teacher to help in the subjects that are difficult for you. We all fail at times, but the ones who stick it out win in the end. Your friends, your family, your teachers, your counselors - they all want you to excel. Lean on these people when it gets hard and they will help you.

  • I’m Scared

    You go to school to learn. Nobody's an expert when they arrive. As long as you are ready and willing to learn, you are smart enough. Find a career path that excites you and you are passionate about - that’s when learning stops being hard and starts being fun.

  • I Can’t Afford It

    Here’s where to start: FAFSA. It stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid” and you can find them here: www.fafsa.ed.gov It can be confusing, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from a counselor, family, friend or an admissions office. A FAFSA will help you increase the amount of aid you can receive from federal, state and institutional sources. It looks scary at first, but don't be intimidated. Filling out a FAFSA may be the key to becoming a student.

  • I Can’t Afford It

    It’s important to know how much your degree is going to cost you. On our site, you can view costs and starting salaries of hundreds of programs to understand how much financial aid you’ll need to complete the program you’re interested in. Once you know the financial impact, every school has financial aid counselors whose jobs are to make it easier for you. They’ll help you fill out the forms you need and gather the right documents. You don’t have to do it alone.

  • I Can’t Afford It

    Scholarships are not just for "straight A" students and athletes. Nearly 80 percent of first-time, full-time students nationwide receive some kind of financial aid.* You are very likely to get help if you seek it out.

    * U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017) 

     

  • I Can’t Afford It

    Not necessarily! Some of the schools with a high “sticker price” have money for scholarships from their own financial resources. As a result, they have more to give to students in the form of scholarships. After taking financial aid into consideration, a seemingly more expensive school may be more affordable than one with a lower list price. Investigate your options and compare.

  • I Can’t Afford It

    OK, it’s true, education isn’t cheap. BUT, the good news is that there are hundreds of different ways, including student loans, scholarships, grants, state/local/federal aid and endowments, that will help you pay for it. It’s true that you probably won’t find one financial aid option that covers all of it, and you may have to work. You can use our site to review degree costs, starting salaries of graduates and total financial impact over your new career and make a smart, informed decision.

  • I’m Scared

    Lots of things are going to happen in your life you're not planning for. Once you begin looking for schools and careers that fit your interests and strengths, it will start coming together. Take it one step at a time. Do the first thing. Then do the thing after that. You may need to brush up on math or English classes and the admissions team will help you find those classes and create a plan. They are there to get you in, not keep you out.

  • I’m Too Busy

    Part time school programs exist for people just like you. Most colleges offer programs you can attend in the evening or on weekends. Some schools even give classes where you work, or in neighborhood churches and community centers. Almost every school offers online courses. A number of states have external degree programs that let you work for a degree without any classroom attendance!

  • I’m Too Busy

    More and more schools have childcare for both married and single parents. Being able to drop your kids off to participate in a childcare program can be a win-win -- you attend class while your children learn and play at the same time. If your college doesn’t offer a childcare program, ask a family member or relative to keep your kids while you’re in class. Also, look for a local Boys & Girls Club where your kids may go. Talk to people. You'll be surprised how much support you'll get when you make your decision and show that you're serious.

  • I’m Too Busy

    There are many awesome jobs that you can get with a certificate, a technical or two-year degree. Others may take longer. But we can't say it any better than Philip: "Going back at 31 and wondering how to balance full-time work, a family and studying for school was overwhelming. I thought, 'To get a four-year degree at this pace, I will be 40 or older before it’s over!' Someone told me this and it still sticks with me: 'You’ll turn 40 with or without a degree anyway!'"

     

  • I’m Overwhelmed

    That's great! Is your job one you can see yourself working in 20 to 30 years from now? If not, it might be best to start exploring your options sooner rather than later. Over a lifetime, college graduates earn 75 percent more than non-college graduates. A college degree is an investment in your long-term financial success.  The numbers don’t lie. In 2015, the average annual income for those with a college degree was $50,000, but people with a high school degree made only $30,500.* Use the lifestyle calculator on our site to help you determine how much money you’ll need to support yourself - not just now but in the future.

    *According to The National Center of Educational Statistics 

     

  • I’m Overwhelmed

    All colleges and tech schools have counselors who can help you navigate the admissions and enrollment process. Find the general contact info for a school (their website is a good place to start) and ask to speak with an admissions counselor. They're in the business of helping, and they want you to find a way. You can also discuss with family or friends that have gone to college - their experiences can help you understand what to expect and where to go next.

  • I’m Overwhelmed

    That's OK. No one does at the beginning. You're in the right place. There’s a clear way forward. You can do it. This site will give you the info you need to know what to do, when to do it and where to go next. Don’t give up.

  • I’m Overwhelmed

    After high school, you may have 40 or 50 years of employment ahead. Many jobs will change. Some won't even be around. Others will be in demand. Higher education will give you more options. Many careers which require only a high school diploma today may not exist in a few years. Here's another reason: Your family will be proud of you. Did you know that by 2018, 63% of American jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education or training?*


    *According to a 2011 Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce study