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6 Reasons to Finish Your College Degree

By Kelsey Stremel on February, 25 2021

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6 Reasons to Finish Your College Degree

Are you considering going back to school to finish your college degree? You aren't alone. Today more than 47 percent of students currently enrolled in college are older than 25.

Working toward getting a college degree while balancing family and work isn't for the faint of heart. It takes determination, but you can be confident that there are many great reasons to keep working toward your degree.


Here are six reasons to finish your college degree and great examples of how your hard work will pay off in the future. 


For Career Advancement


Earning a higher paying salary is one of the many reasons adults return to college. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median income for individuals with a bachelor's degree is nearly double the amount earned by individuals with only a high school diploma ($42,783 vs. $21,569). That's a big difference!


In similar reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly earnings of college graduates were found to be nearly double the earnings of those with only a high school diploma ($1,300 per week vs. $652 per week).


If you look at this earning potential over the lifetime of the employee, those with a high school education earn approximately 1 million dollars less than employees with a bachelor's degree.


The data indicates that your college degree will pay returns on your investment, especially throughout your lifetime.


Many jobs today now require a degree, and those career fields are evolving. There is a shortage nationwide of skilled workers in high paying careers such as computer science that a degree could qualify you for.


For Job Security


Love your job? Those with a college degree are more likely to have positive feelings about the people they work with, the work they are doing, their compensation level, and higher overall job satisfaction.


The jobs held by degree holders also typically come with more responsibility and salary-based pay along with stronger medical, retirement, and paid time off plans. Those with a degree are even more qualified when an opportunity for raise or promotion arises.


Achieving a college degree also adds a layer of security. In an economic recession, it has been found that college graduates are less vulnerable to long-term unemployment. A degree indicates an investment in you and is seen as so important that many companies will even support employees with tuition aid programs.


If you love your job and value your role in an organization, finishing your college degree can help you further your role and add value to the work you do.


For A Change of Direction


Sometimes you just need a change, right?


There are many reasons why you may want to make a career change even after years in a specific field. Perhaps it's to make more money, have a more flexible schedule, relocate, you have new goals or want to focus on different values. Gone are the days where employees stayed in one career and retired with a gold watch after a lifetime of service. Today, more and more employees are successfully making a career change.


Continuing your education may be just the step you need to take to change careers successfully. Completing a college degree or certificate in a specialized field can bridge the gap between the career you have and the job you want in a new field.  


For Your Family


No question juggling a family, full-time job, and education is challenging, but the long-term reward of graduation is worth the sacrifice today. Achieving your goal of a college degree can positively impact your family's livelihood, and you are inspiring your family to dream big and believe in the transformational experience of education.


You are choosing to lead by example, and by pursuing a college degree, you are encouraging positive and healthy behaviors in the lives of your family. Studies have shown that higher education is correlated to physical and mental health as well as life expectancy. When you focus on taking care of your mind and education, you are more likely to take care of your body as well.  


Your commitment to yourself, education, and your success will be the role model of success for those you love. The children of college graduates are more likely to attend college themselves. As one FHSU parent said, "I want my kids to see me going back to school, so they will know that education is important. I want them to know success takes work and be proud of my investment in our family's future. I also want them to know that whatever goals they set, they can achieve."


For Your Community


Did you know college graduates are more than twice as likely to volunteer in their community over a year's time as those with only a high school diploma? It's true!


Those with a college degree also donate 3.5 times more money to charity than those without a college degree. The greater income potential and financial stability because of a college degree play a significant role in a graduate's capacity to give back in their community.


How would you make a difference in your community if you had the education and resources to do so?


For You


Earning a college degree will benefit you in the job market, can impact your financial bottom line, and can inspire your family and community. Still, pursuing a college degree will also help you develop on a personal level.


While earning your degree, you will gain knowledge and skills to help you become a confident professional prepared for the demands of today's workforce. These skills can help you become a better communicator so that you can nail the next job interview, professionally network for success and enjoy stronger relationships with family and friends.


A college degree can be something you need to do for you. To reach your goals and prove to yourself that you don't have a case of imposter syndrome, you can achieve anything you work hard for.


For You, For Your Future, Fort Hays State University


Fort Hays State University provides one of the best values in higher education today so you can reach your goal of completing a college degree. With one of the most affordable tuition rates in the nation, a degree from FHSU can lead to career advancement, job security, helping to build your confidence and skills, and open the door to new opportunities for your future.


Explore the many degree options at FHSU and learn more about our culture of student success, innovation, and personalized learning at



Kelsey Stremel

I'm intensely curious about everything, which makes it a joy to champion for our humble, innovative, and resilient people at Fort Hays State and their work. My name is Kelsey Stremel and I get a rush seeing another's eyes light up as they tell me about their lifelong research, projects, and passions—be it English grammar, agriculture, healthcare, business, or biochemistry. I believe I'm making a difference by helping to amplify those stories and helping create thriving communities here in Western Kansas. I'm raising four children with my husband and several fur babies on our family farm, and I'm passionate about advocating for agriculture, and I'm a volunteer 4-H club leader. I also love to garden, read, and make art or DIY projects.


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