CAP | Students
The College Ambition Program is your chance to get ahead. It is an opportunity for you and your friends to learn about what it takes to get into college and why college is so important in getting a good job and having a successful career. College isn't just a pipe dream for other people – it is an achievable reality for you and the best chance for your success in the future.
Why the College Ambition Program?
Everyone at CAP knows first-hand what it takes to get into college and how to be successful once you get there, and now we want to share this information with you. Just the idea of going to college might seem overwhelming and maybe a little bit scary. Perhaps you don’t know anyone who has been to college, or you are worried that you won’t be able to pay for it. Maybe you are even thinking that you are not college material (not true) or that having a college degree won’t help you all that much (also not true). Many students feel this way, rest assured you are not alone! Plenty of people just like you are wrestling with these same issues, and we are here to talk with you about all of these things! The truth is, applying to college is intimidating for everyone, but if you have a strong support system and friends or mentors to guide you through the process, you’ll be much better prepared for what lays ahead and much happier with your ultimate decision on where you go to school.
What We Offer
The College Ambition Program has all the information you need about college, financial aid and other academic resources. All you need to do is walk in to your school’s CAP center and ask one of our mentors to help! Even if you don’t think that college is for you, it is definitely worth it to stop into the CAP center and talk to one of our CAP mentors to learn what college is really about.
The Cap Center
The CAP Center is one of your greatest resources in the college-going process. This is the place for you to get help with school work, college essays, and financial guidance. It is also a place for you to explore your options, learn about potential colleges and possible career choices. We have all the resources you’ll need at the CAP Center: college information, FAFSA forms, ACT study guides and more.
Benefits of Getting Involved
You may be wondering whether you really need to go to college. You probably know plenty of people who seem to be doing perfectly fine without a college degree. Let us assure you that most people who went to college are better off economically and emotionally than those who didn’t go to college.
How can we be so sure? We have the facts to prove it.
Though high school graduates begin earning money sooner, college graduates, on average, earn more than high school graduates over their lifetime. The average increase in income from an associate degree (the degree that you get after two years at a community or junior college), compared to what a high-school graduate would get, is about $116,550. Even better, the average increase in income from a bachelors degree, compared to what a high-school graduate would get, is about $308,588. And, four-year college graduates with degrees in engineering earn $497,930 over their lifetime more than a high school graduate (Weston 2007). Check out the facts for yourself!
Beyond money, a college degree sharply reduces your odds of being unemployed. The unemployment rate for high school dropouts is 15 percent; the unemployment rate for high-school graduates is 10 percent, and the unemployment rate for college graduates is only 5 percent (PEO, Census 2009).
In addition to economic benefits, there are psychological and personal benefits to postsecondary education. (By the way, postsecondary education is just another way of saying schooling after high school.) College graduates have the most freedom of choice in where to work and live. They enjoy the most hobbies and leisure activities. And, they are in much better health than those who didn’t go to college. (Institute for Higher Education Policy 1998; College Board 2007).
There’s more, but we don’t want to bore you with what should be clear by now. There are too many benefits to college for you not to want to go. So really, the only question is how to get there, how to pay for it, and how to succeed once you’re there. And that’s what we are here for. Welcome to the College Ambition Program!
The Benefits of STEM Careers: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
The skills that you develope in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses are the skills that you will need for many of the jobs in the future. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 90 percent of fastest-growing occupations (health, accounting, engineering and computer science) require education beyond high school. In addition, jobs requiring science, engineering or technical training will increase 24 percent between 2004 and 2013. (Ohio STEM Learning Network). More than 67 percent of new jobs will require some education after high school (Ohio STEM Learning Network). Average starting salaries are highest for college students who major in health sciences, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. Moreover, the next highest salaries are for students who major in economics, physics, accounting, chemistry, and business, all of which require strong levels of math and/or science preparation (Wall Street Journal 2008, National Association of Colleges and Employers Salary Survey 2009, New York Times 2009).
You Are Not Alone!
Don’t worry, you won’t ever be alone in this process! Whenever you walk into the CAP Center, there will be trained staff waiting to work with you. During the day, our site coordinators are there to help, and after school there are mentors and tutors. CAP mentors/tutors are students from Michigan State University who were once high school students like you! They know what it takes to be successful in high school, and how to navigate the college-going process. They are here to make sure you don’t fall behind in your classes, help you learn study skills that will serve you well now and into the future, and help you think through where you want to go after you graduate. CAP site coordinators are knowledgeable about the courses being offered in your school, and what kinds of courses are needed to be competitive when applying to college. Our coordinators are also able to help you set up college visits, and meetings with current college students and faculty should you ever want to visit campus and talk to someone one-on-one about your future. We are here to help you make the best decision for you.
The CAP Center has something for everyone:
The benefits of STEM are not only career oriented, but can positively impact your everyday life. For example, people who focused their education on STEM careers were called in from around the world in order to find a solution to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For more examples of the benefits of pursing a STEM related career, check out the Siemens STEM Academy site.