ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Defend Your Reasons for Not Going to College

Updated on March 17, 2013

The common mantra heard by guidance counselors all over the country is that just about every student should go to college after high school because a college degree is a sure way to get ahead and make more money over the course of a career. There are some studies that argue that a college degree will lead to about $1 million in additional lifetime earnings for those who hold it. A recent article by US News and World Report indicated that this estimate may be a bit off, and that college graduates will wind up making about $300,000 more over the course of a working career. This is substantial money, but are the risks worth it?

There is no doubt that a college degree will pay off for most people in the long run, but there can be very good reasons for people not to go to college, especially right out of high school. Here are a few reasons that can be easily used to justify skipping out on higher ed.

The Cost of Higher Education

One of the leading reasons why a student may not need to go to college is the cost of higher education. In many markets, the sticker price of a college degree can come close to $250,000. Of course, the Obamas or the Romneys can afford such a price, but it is well outside the range of affordability for most Americans, even those who are very hard-working and frugal.

Community colleges can cut the cost of attending college greatly, as can scholarships, but there is also the opportunity cost of lost income. A student who can get a reasonably good-paying job right out of high school can bank much of that money for a rainy day and get ahead of their cohort when it comes to finances.

Higher Ed can open up a world of possibilities, but it is not for everyone.
Higher Ed can open up a world of possibilities, but it is not for everyone. | Source

Some Students Do not Like School

How many people sit through high school idly, just doing enough to get by so that they can get their diploma and then get out into the real world? How many people make the lives of their teachers and serious students problematic because of their incessant goofing off? These people may not do well in college.

Maturity is important for those who are about to embark upon a college degree program. Those who are immature and do not like school are likely to goof off and waste a large portion of the funds that they expend on a college education. These students may be well-served to go to work and then come back for additional education at a later date.

Trades Do Not Need a Degree

There will always be a demand for certain types of laborers. Those who can paint, fix plumbing, or weld will always be a needed segment of society because they have skills that are not held by much of the population. These skills can provide a solid income for many people. They also require a certification, not a degree.

People who go to vocational schools can usually get their certification in a matter of months, not the four years that are required for earning a standard bachelor's degree. These additional years of working in a trade can add up when it comes to a retirement at the end of life. They also provide experience for those who are able to be successful and build up a good reputation.

Some Students Do Not Do Well in School

The idea behind "No Child Left Behind" was that just about all children could achieve at a high level. This is not necessarily the case. Some students are more apt to learn in a scholarly environment, while others have learning disabilities.

A learning disability does not necessarily mean that a student cannot achieve at a high level in college, but it should cause some people to pause when thinking about going to college. There are jobs that people who have difficulty in school can do, and some of them can pay quite well. Being successful is a matter of finding a niche and then striving to achieve in that niche.


There is some serious pressure for most high school students to go to college. Higher education can be an extremely rewarding endeavor, but not everyone is cut out for college. There are several good reasons for not going to school right after high school graduation. There are also opportunities available to earn a living and gain experience that are not related to a classroom. Pointing out these options and reasons for not going to school to friends and family can alleviate some of the pressure that may be evident.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)