Does College Matter?

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EICC_college_matterMaybe you’re the first in your family to go to college.  Maybe you’re worried about the cost of tuition.  Or maybe you’re just not sure how successful you’ll be as a student. You might even think that college is just high school continued.   If any of these statements ring true, you might be thinking:  Is college worth it?

In a word: YES. College opens doors for you that a high school education alone doesn’t. And college can change you and shape you in ways that you might not imagine.

Thanks to all the knowledge, skills and experience you’ll gain in college, you’ll be able to adapt to a greater variety of jobs and careers. Statistics show that a college diploma can help you:

  • Get a job
  • Keep a job
  • Make more money
  • Become more independent

College can be your key to increasing your economic potential – so whether you dream of owning a home, starting a family, building your own business, or traveling the world – the financial stability you need to reach those goals is more attainable with a college education.

College graduates on average earned a whopping 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute. As reported recently in the Washington Post, since the Great Recession ended in 2009, college-educated workers have captured most of the new jobs and enjoyed pay gains. Non-college grads, by contrast, have faced fewer job opportunities and an overall decline in income. Last year, for the first time ever, a larger proportion of workers were college grads (36 percent) than high school only grads (34 percent).

Long story short? New jobs in growing areas of the economy require education and training beyond high school.

But it’s bigger than just the economic impact

A college experience can help you:

  • Start fresh
  • Build confidence
  • Meet people and make connections
  • Get involved with causes you care about

College can give you the opportunity to put away your old habits and old self and become the person you were meant to be. Whatever you are interested in, you can take your passion to the next level or find a new outlet for your creativity. Studies show that individuals with an education and training beyond high school are more likely to give back to their communities. They also are healthier and more willing to volunteer or get involved. College is also a great way to have some fun. Sure, college is challenging; but it’s also a time for laughing, growing, and seeing the world in a new way.

Why a Community College

One of the great things about a community college education is the incredible variety of ways you can complete that education. It starts with the availability of so many programs. Chances are if it’s a career you’ve thought about, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges offers a way to start, finish, or enhance a pathway in that career. We offer degree paths in the traditional Arts and Science areas, as well as career-based training in fields like Health Care, Business and Management, Information Technology, and more.

It’s not just about the ‘why’. We also help with the ‘how’. You can travel a more conventional path of earning an Associates Degree and then transferring your credits to pursue a Bachelors Degree or advanced degree. Or you can complete specific skills certificates you need to build on skills you already have to enter or move up in your chosen field. Want to accelerate your path to a degree? We can help with multiple starts throughout the year, summer classes, and more. Work during the day? We have evening options and courses you can take online that will fit a more part-time student schedule. Need a fast track to improve your job skills? We have short term training options to give you the boost you need.

Nationally, about 45 percent of all students get their education at community colleges. That’s good company to be in. While community colleges have always been a smart move from a cost standpoint, in today’s economy, it makes even more sense. Consider this: two years of tuition at one of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges costs you approximately $9,500, while two years at a public university is closer to $20,000. A private university?  The approximate cost for two years is $37,000. Those numbers speak for themselves.

Whatever your destination, college can help you get there — even if you don’t know where “there” is yet. Whether you’ve mapped out a long-term plan or you see new possibilities every day, college can help you become your future self. To learn more about opportunities at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, visit Spend a little time exploring our website. See both
‘why’ and ‘how’ for yourself.

Why Complete an Associates Degree?

Your Accomplishment

Put it on your resume: you completed a degree! You set a goal and accomplished it! Life may stop you from getting the Bachelors Degree, but this you will always have.

Higher Employment

Did you know that people with an Associates Degree have lower unemployment rates than those with just a high school diploma.

Save Money

Compare the cost of completing courses at a community college for your degree to that of the four year colleges. You can easily save thousands of dollars by completing and still be on track for a four year degree.

Increased Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average Associates Degree holder earns over $3 an hour more than a high school-only completer. That’s over $5,500 a year.

Complete Quickly

If you have taken five or six college courses in high school, you may be able to complete the Associates Degree in one year! Let us help you develop a plan to complete!

Transferring to a Four-Year College? Call Yourself a Junior

That’s right, at the three State universities – University of Iowa, Iowa State and UNI – you will be enrolled at Junior Level Status in the colleges of liberal arts or other participating colleges in the universities! Check out their website to learn more about how well our Associates Degree transfers to them. (

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