The Quarter-Million Dollar Question: Should I Go to College?


Many of us wonder what to do after senior year: go to college, or stay at home and get a “real job?” Going to college seems to be a rite of passage in our society today. Adults tell us that college allows us to learn about ourselves and make new friends that might last forever.

On the other hand, according to U.S News and World Report, the average American college student carries 30,000 dollars of debt out of college. So I decided to do a little research. Is college “worth it” in 2015?

For future success, college might be a good investment. People with college degrees can expect their wages to increase over time, while those with only a high school diploma may not experience the same benefits. Some surveys have found that the average college grad will make one million dollars more over the course of her career than the average high school graduate.

But consider this: many famous people dropped out of college and still became quite successful. Most of these famous people, however, are actors that moved to New York or Los Angeles with total determination to pursue their passion. Many people go into trades such as electrical work or construction and do just fine. Some even get very rich. If you have a similar passion for the arts or the trades, then perhaps college is not for you.

For your decision-making convenience, here are 16 reasons for going to college, according to, followed by 21 super-successful people who dropped out of high school. After all, we here at The Eagle’s Cry want student readers to make informed decisions in the next few years.

Reasons to go to College:

  1. Make way more money with a college degree than a high school degree
  2. Have more opportunities
  3. Make new friends/connections
  4. Demonstrate success
  5. Learn from experts
  6. Learn to love what you do
  7. Experience personal growth/become more independent
  8. Expand horizons/explore options
  9. Have more job opportunities
  10. Increase your potential
  11. Challenge your mind
  12. Build knowledge, skills and brainpower
  13. Discover new passions
  14. Follow and satisfy your curiosity
  15. Learn more about yourself
  16. Prepare for a future in which you’re better equipped to give back


Now, college might seem like the best option, and I just provided pretty convincing proof.  However, every rule has its exceptions.  Here are some very successful people who found out that a collegiate diploma didn’t mean much in the end. This list was compiled at

Successful College dropouts:

  1. Vidal Sassoon- Legendary hairstylist
  2. Kirk Kerkorian- opened the original MGM hotel and casino
  3. Francois Pinault- third richest man in france (15 billion)
  4. George Foreman – boxing two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Olympic gold medalist
  5. Mark Zuckerberg- Facebook founder
  6. Steve Jobs- Apple founder
  7. Travis Kalanick- Uber founder
  8. Bill Gates- microsoft founder
  9. Michael Dell- Dell founder
  10. Kanye West-College dropout from Chicago State University; wanted to pursue his music career full time.
  11. Jim Carrey-Carrey’s mother fell ill and he dropped out of school to help take care of her
  12. Cameron Diaz-at 16 she left school to model with Elite Modeling Management
  13. Tom Cruise-left high school after a year, and moved to NYC to pursue acting full time
  14. Ryan Gosling-He dropped out of high school (Lester B. Pearson High School in Ontario) when he was 17 to pursue a career in acting.
  15. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)- left school, once his schedule begun to fill up with acting gigs
  16. Seth Rogen- left Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver to pursue a career in stand-up comedy
  17. Johnny Depp-dropped out of florida high school in the hopes of  becoming a rock musician


Clearly, not going to college is a risk. But on the other hand, it can be very expensive. If you are worried that you won’t be able to find the funds, there are many scholarships, grants, and student loans that can help you out.

In the end, you’ll have to decide for yourself.