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Did you know that about half of NFL players have yet to complete their college degree? You are not alone if you are left wondering if this is the year that you return to school to finish what you started years ago. It’s never too late to complete your college degree. Before you decide, it is beneficial to do some reflecting to know if this is the best time for you to pursue your goal to become a college grad. Below are four questions to help guide you through this important decision-making process.
1 - Do I have the time?
Returning to school will take time, effort and focus. Consider what this might “cost” your other personal and professional responsibilities. If you took a class, it could require that you spend less time with your family on the weekends so you can catch up on readings and homework. It could also mean putting your career ambitions on hold while you focus on education. All of these are good things. This reflection will help you prioritize them in the upcoming year and understand where finishing your college degree fits in your current circumstances.
2 - How will I pay for classes?
There are many costs associated with returning to school. There are also many resources available to help you with those costs including The Trust's Scholarship Award Benefit, NCAA grants, FAFSA, NFL Tuition Reimbursement, and Institutional Aid. Your AthLife Advisor can help you determine which resources fit your qualifications and needs.
3 - Do I need a degree?
Before returning to complete your degree, it is helpful to know your “why”. Some need an undergraduate degree for professional reasons and some want to it for personal reasons. According to a 2014 article in U.S. News and World Report on the benefits of attending college:
“Even though bachelor’s degree holders enter the workforce at a later age and forgo “opportunity costs,” — or money they could have made during those years instead of being in school — over the course of their lifetimes, they made an average of over $1 million more than someone with just a high school degree, and those with associate degrees made $325,000 more than those with high school diplomas.”
4 - Do I know my options for finishing my degree?
You can complete your degree at your original institution and you also can transfer to another institution. Your options are endless and your AthLife Advisor can help you discover which option best fits your circumstances and goals. Some can complete their degree at their original institution without returning to campus by taking transfer classes or online classes. Others find a best path to graduation by changing their major to better suit their new career goals.
As you reflect on these questions, your AthLife Advisor can help you discover if now is the right time for you to complete your degree. If now is not the right time, that's okay. When you are ready, we will be here to help.