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3 Questions to Ask Before Applying for College

​​​It's a fact: College graduates earn more over their lifetimes and experience lower unemployment rates than those with only a high school diploma. A 2023 study found that recent college grads, aged 22-27 and working full-time, earned $24,000 more per year than those with only a high school degree!

When making decisions about college, the question isn't necessarily whether higher education is worth it. If you're considering the college route, help maximize the value of your degree by asking yourself these questions in advance:

1. Why Do You Want to Go to College?

Choosing a college is a big life decision. It's an investment of money, time and effort. Before submitting applications, think about why you're motivated to go to college in the first place. What interests you? Where do you see yourself after college? Reflecting on these questions will help you narrow down your options and make a confident college decision.

2. What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals?

Earning a college degree is shown to yield an excellent return on investment in the long run. However, the earning potential of college grads can vary greatly by major. Jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are projected to earn the most overall. Aside from STEM, health and business majors also offer high-paying entry-level positions and career growth.

While you don't have to declare (commit to) a specific major yet, it's a good idea to give your future career goals some thought before applying to colleges.

3. How Will College Add Value to Your Life?

The “ROI" of higher education extends far beyond a well-paying career. College can also offer opportunities for personal growth, networking, life skills, cultural awareness and lifelong friendships. Consider what you value and how the school​ you choose can provide worthwhile experiences that don't have a price tag.

Pay for College the Smart Way

Making a smart college decision also means being financially prepared. As your caring financial partner, Wright-Patt Credit Union® (WPCU®) is here to support you every step of the way! 

When it comes to college financing, our Student Choice private student lending solutions offer a responsible way to fill any funding gaps that may remain after you've exhausted lower-cost sources of aid. Even if you don't know exactly how much you'll need to borrow or which school you'll attend, you can start the private student loan application process now and complete it later.

Plus, with free student lending financial learning classes and a College Counselor available for personal, one-on-one consultation, you can count on WPCU to help you make informed decisions about paying for college — and beyond.​