What’s holding you back?

167,931 students have the same concern.

These college students have a lot going on outside of school—find out how they manage it all.

My mom is disabled.
Imani describes how she dealt with the guilt she felt about going to college.


"My mom is disabled."
I had to deal with a lot all at once.

I had to deal with a lot all at once.

Student: Mo’Nique
Year in college
Family income
My mom is disabled.

My mom is disabled.

Student: Imani
Year in college
African-American Studies and English
Family income
I wasn’t sure how to go to school and work.

I wasn’t sure how to go to school and work.

Student: Giovanni
Year in college
Intended major

Make College a Top Priority

You can continue your studies even if you have greater commitments than the average student. It’ll be challenging, but worth it—and juggling responsibilities and managing your time is a skill colleges look for.

Colleges that meet your needs
With competing demands on your time, you might need to do some creative scheduling. Most colleges offer courses that meet outside the standard workweek to give you more flexibility.
Going part time and living off campus (commuting) is most common at two-year colleges, where almost all students commute. Still:

  • At over 500 four-year colleges at least 40 percent of freshmen commute.
  • At almost 200 four-year colleges, at least 40 percent of degree-seeking undergrads attend part time.

Greater career choice, increased job security and more money
A college diploma unlocks the door to opportunity. The knowledge and skills you’ll build and the experience you’ll get facing the challenges of college will help you adapt to a greater variety of jobs and careers.

What can a college diploma help you do?

  • Get a job: Of the 30 careers expected to grow the fastest, 19 typically require an associate degree or higher.* And it’s expected that nearly half of new jobs will typically require at least some formal training after high school.**
  • Keep a job: The unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees was about half the rate for high school graduates in 2009.†
  • Make more money: The median yearly earnings of workers with bachelor’s degrees were over $20,000 higher than the earnings of those with only a high school diploma.‡

A chance to invest in yourself and build on your strengths
College pays off in other ways too. Inside the classroom and out, you’ll encounter new ideas and challenges. Along the way, you will:

  • Increase your brainpower
  • Discover new passions
  • Learn more about yourself
  • Bond with new friends


* Fastest Growing Occupations, 2008-18. The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
** Monthly Labor Review. November 2009. p. 88
† Unemployment Rates Among Individuals Ages 25 and Older, by Education Level, 1992-2009. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010. (Unemployment was 9.7 percent for high school graduates and 4.6 percent for those with bachelor’s degrees.)
‡ 2008 median earnings for full-time workers at least 25 years old. U.S. Census Bureau. See Cost for more detail.

College is flexible


Convenient Schedules

About 2/3 of four-year colleges offer early morning, evening and Saturday classes.

About 3/4 of two-year colleges offer early morning, evening and Saturday classes.

On-Campus Daycare


About 1/4 of four-year colleges offer on-campus daycare.

About 1/3 of two-year colleges offer on-campus daycare.

Aid for Part-Timers


About 3/4 of four-year colleges provide need-based financial aid to part-time students.

About 2/3 of two-year colleges provide need-based financial aid to part-time students.

Take a next step

Get started with these ideas.

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Reason for going to college
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