College is important for many reasons, including long-term financial gain, job stability, career satisfaction and success outside of work. College is also an opportunity to meet new people, explore your interests, and grow as a person!

With more and more occupations requiring advanced education, a college degree is critical to your success in today’s workforce.

Fact: It’s never too early to plan for college. In fact, you can start as early as ninth grade. Make sure you are taking the necessary classes and exams that will get you to graduation on time.

Fact: There is a place in college for any student who wants to go. All you need is a high school diploma. Many colleges have programs designed to support students who need some extra help. You may want to enroll in a two-year college to strengthen your skills before transferring to a four-year college. Your high school guidance counselor can help figure out what would be best for you.
Fact: There are many grants, scholarships and low-interest student loans available to help you pay for college. Most students get some form of financial aid, making college affordable for many more families.
  • The first step is to fill out the U.S. Government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form used to determine students’ financial aid needs. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal student financial aid and should not fill out the FAFSA. Undocumented students should complete the NYS DREAM application, then apply for TAP and Excelsior.
  • Consult your high school guidance counselor about grants and scholarship programs for which you might be eligible.
  • Also, ask the financial aid offices at the colleges you are applying what scholarships and student work programs they offer.

Fact: A college degree is now required for more jobs than ever. College graduates earn more — an average of 57.1% more — than high school graduates. A certificate or degree may be a requirement for the job or career you want.

Fact: Colleges review the classes you take and the grades you earn in your senior year. The colleges you apply to will look at your entire transcript to determine whether you take your education seriously and decide whether to admit you.
Manuel D. student

“When I started at Lehman College as a transfer student from Puerto Rico, I found myself trying to fit in with different departments. I got involved with different organizations like the dance concert and met friends and networked that way. College is not only about studying, but it’s also about having fun.”

Manuel D., Lehman College