A college education is a difference-maker in people's lives. College can pave the way to greater career options and higher salaries, which unlocks a world of possibilities.
College offers more career-specific knowledge than high school does. So every little bit helps. In just two years of community college, you can earn an associate degree, which doubles your likelihood of making at least $35,000 a year. Over a lifetime, that's a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Plus, if you earn an associate degree, you will have finished half the coursework for a bachelor's degree, which offers even more financial benefit. (See the chart below.) Some people choose to complete their bachelor's in the two years immediately after earning their associate, while others choose to finish their bachelor's later in life.
There is no limit to how much college you can pursue. You could go on to earn a master's or doctoral degree or professional degree in law or medicine. A lot of it is up to your own hard work and ambition. But the general rule of thumb is this: The more college you finish, the better off you'll be.