We have officially passed the beginning of the school year and holiday season which means the 2018-19 college application season is now upon us. High school seniors from all around are now completing the process of applying to colleges, filling out their final recommendation letters and sending an application to their final list of schools.

Four-year colleges are often the  most revered and recommended route after high school for seniors and the one they are usually most informed about. While for some students this is truly the best route to take after high school, many persue this option because they feel it is the only way. Although there are many benefits that come with attaining higher education, information about alternative options after high school should also be more easily accessible and seen as acceptable, for those who choose not to go to college.

1. Attend a 2-year Community College

Although attending a community college does not offer what some deem to be the “true college experience,” there are numerous benefits to attending such a program. Attending a community college allows the individual to save a large amount of money being that tuition is often thousands of dollars less than that of the average 4-year college.

Community college is also a great option for students who plan on working or may need to provide for themselves while in college. The schedules are often very flexible and revolve around the students work life and not the other way around. This can be an opportunity to significantly save and build funds for whatever one may want to do later on.

It is important to keep in mind that it is always a possibility to further your education after a community college. Many students continue on to a four-year college to obtain their degree.

2. Enroll in a Gap year program

For many the year right after high school is the last year as an adolescent. This is a crucial time period in the development of a person as an individual. It’s a time to look for a place in the world and discover new aspects of self identity and personality. Enrolling in a gap year program such a Year Up, or Global Citizen year allows one to gain an entirely new experience and broaden their perspective on life as a whole. In addition to the spiritual and emotional growth that often comes with enrollment in a Gap-year program, doing so can also be very beneficial in a material. Many programs open up opportunities to the participants in regards to future careers and even scholarships to the schools they choose to attend after completion of the program.

3. Get a certificate or enroll in a Trade school

Trade schools and classes for a certificate offer direct hands-on training on specific skills. Both of these can be done in two years or less depending on the trade or training in question. This is highly beneficial in regards to the cost of tuition being that these programs all cost approximately half of the average college tuition, consequently allowing one to save money. Although the specificity of the training given does not allow much room for change in choice of career, it is very easy to view the placement rates for a field. If this is considered in the decision making process, attending a trade school or a certificate program can lead to a very successful long-term career.

4. Enter the workforce

For some, none of the previously stated options are a fit right after high school. Although wages are often lower for those who only have a high-school diploma, hard work can go a very long way. With the right mindset and the proper work techniques one can easily climb up in the workforce and build their standing. By getting a job right after high school you inevitably gain valuable real life experience, whether it’s working as a cashier or simply arranging clothes in a retail store. When saving properly while working, you can be able to provide for yourself and live a comfortable life. It is also important to keep in mind that it’s always possible to go to back to school and obtain a certificate or even a degree if you choose.

There are many options after high school. With an open mind on the possible options and preparation ahead of time, you will be setting yourself up for the best possible future.

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