ADHE’s Dr. Maria Markham Debunks 5 Myths About College

By Dr. Maria Markham on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Karen E. Segrave

Dr. Markham is a graduate of Arkansas’ own Dierks High School and Henderson State University, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. In 2016, she was named by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lead the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

1. Myth: College isn’t for everyone.

Reality: College is for everyone — a bachelor’s degree isn’t for everyone. College is any education beyond high school; this includes bachelor’s degrees but also includes certificates and workforce skills.

2. Myth: But I can’t go to college. I don’t have any money.

Reality: College isn’t free like high school, but you certainly don’t have to be rich to get an education. There are federal grants, state scholarships, and now we even have programs available for students getting certificates in some areas (See the Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship at 6 Scholarships Everyone Can Apply For.)

3. Myth: I’m sick of school. I don’t want to be stuck in a classroom for years.

Reality: College isn’t structured like high school. You can take classes online. You can take evening classes, or you can take all morning classes (you know, for those rare early birds!). You can also choose from weeks- or months-long certificate programs, two-year degrees or four-year-plus plans — there are options for everyone.

4. Myth: Community colleges aren’t as cool as four-year colleges. I want a REAL college experience.

Reality: Community college is an incredible option for students. You can save money on two years worth of college credits at one of our awesome two-year schools — earning credits that will transfer easily to whatever four-year college you’re eyeing. Plus, two-year schools are way cooler than they were 10 years ago. There are “traditional" college experiences for students to take part in, not to mention, since these are typically smaller schools, professors are able to give students more individualized attention (better grades, anyone?).

5. Myth: I can’t make as much money if I just get a workforce certificate or technical training.

Reality: Oh really? Ask a pipe welder how much they make with a certificate. Ask a surgical LPN how much they make with a technical certificate. No degree guarantees you to be rich and no certificate reduces you to poverty.

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