Professional athletes who left college without completing their undergraduate degrees often find it daunting to go back to school after retiring from professional sports. Finances, work and family obligations are some of the challenges that make degree completion a challenging goal. But the future personal, professional and financial value a college degree has should propel you to complete that goal.
The benefits of earning a college degree are many but here are some tidbits to consider:
- People who earn a college degree stand to earn, by many accounts in excess of $1 million more over a lifetime than those who did not earn a degree
- Research suggests children of parents with college degrees are more likely to become college graduates themselves
- Many higher paying jobs require college degrees
- Career advancement in many professions is linked to educational attainment
- Major employers/businesses are typically drawn to areas with high concentration of college graduates thus increasing employment opportunities
Times have changed and earning a college degree is easier than you may think. For example, online education provides flexible options to help you earn your degree around your schedule and your pace. There also may be several ways to find financial assistance to fund your degree completion endeavor, like for instance The Trust's Scholarship Fund. And, keep in mind that a degree can be completed at a school closer to where you are now (by taking courses to transfer back to your original institution or by transferring from your original institution to a school close to your residence).
There are a few steps you should take to begin the back-to-school process:
- Contact your original institution and set up an appointment with an advisor to discuss all possible options (returning, transferring, online options, etc.) to complete your degree
- Request your official transcripts as they will be an essential part of exploring your options
- Find out if you had any academic standing holds (academic probation for example) or financial holds that may prevent your return to school and ask your school what the steps to clear the holds are
Completing something that you started can be invaluable and provide a great sense of accomplishment, and as mentioned there are many reasons that make completing your degree a worthy investment of your time and energy. Don’t let any perceived challenges stop your from earning your college degree.