Everyone makes college seem like a mandatory step toward success, but I don't think it's the right place for me. I don't enjoy formal education but love learning. What are some alternative ways to pursue learning after high school that don't involve going to college?


Chelsea L. Dixon, M.S., M.A.T, Author. Speaker. CEO.

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Online colleges and universities are another option that may be available to you. With flexible schedules, lower costs and greater access, you can still earn a degree without having to be on a college campus. You will have the option of going to school part-time or full-time and as long as you have access to a computer and the internet, you can do your work any place and at any time.

One thing that you should be aware of, however, are diploma mills which aren’t accredited and offer fraudulent and worthless degrees. To check the accreditation of an online institution, check with the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education.

Best of luck to you.

Carrie Hagen, Nonfiction Writer and Researcher, Teacher

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I think a lot of people feel like you do! Some students take a service year, or a "gap" year, after high school before moving into college or a different career pursuit. These types of experiences allow you to travel, meet different people, and serve while learning about life in a completely different way. If you have already applied to college, you can defer enrolling for a year, or you can wait to apply when you return ... if that is the direction you are ready to move towards.

Many students enter college without knowing what they want to do. While that is fine, it can be expensive to start a course of study a couple of semesters after starting college. Service years allow you the opportunity to take some time to consider what life has taught you and where it might lead you.

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