The gift of an education is one of the best things you can do for yourself. However, the cost of college has been rising almost exponentially, and the returns on investment for many graduates have not measured up to expectations. Some college credit, however, even if you don’t complete a four-year degree, can pay off in the long run. Studies have found that completing the equivalent of one full-time year of college can lead to an increase in wages of up to 11%.
Median weekly earnings were measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), and findings show that workers with a Bachelor’s degree earned an average of $1,108/week. Those with an Associate’s degree earned $777/week, and workers with some college, but no degree, earned an average of $727/wk. High school graduates averaged earnings of $651/week, and high school dropouts averaged $472/week.
Interestingly, the unemployment rates for the same time period also favor those with at least some college (7%), Associate’s degrees (5.4%), and Bachelor’s degrees (4%). High school grads averaged unemployment of 7.5%, and high school dropouts averaged 11%.
With so many online and local options available both day and night at McHenry County College, you can take classes as your schedule and budget allows. MCC even offers free academic, financial aid, and career counseling for prospective students who want to attend college. According to counselors in the MCC financial aid office, the first important step to take is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form, once submitted, will determine your eligibility for grants, loans, and work-study programs that can help you pay for college. Get the form at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
MCC also hosts free college fairs, career fairs, and financial aid workshops throughout the year, and you don’t have to be a student there to take advantage of them.
For more information, visit the following websites:
McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, Illinois 60012-2761