Invest in Yourself With Education

A recent graduate holds a degree and smiles.

Article Provided by Strayer University

A college degree is expensive, but not having one may cost more in the long run. How much more? You could be missing out on upwards of one million dollars in a lifetime. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that during a 40-year career, high school graduates earn about $1 million, while workers with a bachelor's degree earn $2.1 million and those with a master's degree earn $2.5 million.

Ok, so you get that education is a sound investment, but that won't help you with tuition costs. When you apply to college, your first step should be filling out the free Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form will help you determine what kind of federal student loans and grants you are eligible for, if any. Be sure to include any combat pay on your FAFSA form, as this income is considered by the government when assessing financial need. You can fill out the FAFSA online at

Take note: you may be considered a "veteran" by FAFSA even if the Department of Veterans Affairs does not consider you one. If you were a member of the National Guard or a Reservist called to active duty for purposes other than training and were released under a condition other than dishonorable, you are considered a veteran for FAFSA purposes. Also, if you are on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, but will be a veteran by June 30 of the year in which you are applying for FAFSA, you are considered a veteran when filling out the form.

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