It’s that time of year when it’s your turn to respond to acceptance letters and select a college or university for the fall semester.

Whether you’re about to graduate high school and about to go off to college for the first time, or considering returning to school after years – even decades – later, college is a major investment that pays off, if you manage it right.

Earning a bachelor’s degree is not a straight ticket to the middle class, but it does statistically improve annual earnings significantly, and give those with this credential an advantage when applying for jobs. Here’s the catch – to get these benefits, you’ve got to manage your investment. Here’s how:

1. Graduate

While starting college and taking courses is all well and good, you don’t get any of the benefits of going to college if you don’t have a degree to show for it.

2. Finish On Time

In the United States, the odds are stacked against you for finishing a bachelor’s degree on time. In fact, Complete College America found that on-time graduation at public universities is only 36%. Graduating on time means you don’t spend more on tuition, and you get out into the workforce on time earning more and gaining on-the-job work experience.

3. Choose the Right Major

In the midst of the first big decision – where to go to college – it’s daunting to think of the next big decision – what major to choose. While you don’t have to put it at the forefront of your mind just yet, it’s important to keep in mind that some majors are more useful and lucrative than others, and will open up more doors for you after graduation. It’s also important to choose a major that interests, challenges, and captivates you throughout your four years in college. Remember, completing our degree on time is critical to managing your college investment, and that won’t happen if your major makes you miserable.

If you’re not sure what you want your focus to be, consider starting in community college and completing your general courses there before transferring to a four-year college. Many community colleges partner with local public colleges and universities that allow students to complete their first two years at the community college and transfer to the four-year college to complete their degree. This will save you money and offer a more flexible learning environment as you explore your academic trajectory.

If you’re concerned about graduating on time, visit for a free consultation. You may be able to get credit for work experience and college credit that may not have transferred over from before to count towards completing your major and your degree.


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