Why College?

The earlier you start thinking about and preparing for college, the better. Blueprints is here to help you prepare by showing you how to plan for college and provide you and your parents with resources on paying for college, college applications, federal student aid, and more.

Of course you can go to college. There are many opportunities available, including financial aid. We want everyone to have an opportunity to gain a good education, career, and future.

The Need for a College Education

You may have heard the saying: “You can’t afford not to go to college.” It’s true.

In 1965, people who earned college degrees made roughly $12,500 more per year than those who did not. 

In 2007, people who earned college degrees made roughly $33,000 more per year than those who did not.

Every year, the gap in earnings between people with a college degree and those without is widening, which means that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing larger.

According to Measuring Up, a 2008 study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education:

Only 35 percent of young adults in the state of Alabama are enrolled in college.

Only 23 percent of Alabama residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

This fact, in turn, discourages more students from enrolling in college, since students of parents who did not attend college are less likely to enroll in college, and those that do (“first-generation college students”) are less likely to be prepared for college and more likely to drop out.

The same study evaluated the affordability of higher education in Alabama.

In the 40 percent of the population with the lowest incomes, families must commit at least 36 percent of their annual income to send a student to community college, even after the average financial aid package.

For every dollar in Pell Grant aid to students, the state of Alabama spends only five cents.

Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the nation. In a study on Alabama’s High School Dropouts, the Southern Education Foundation concluded that 60 percent of our income gap in Alabama is due to low educational attainment. And Alabama’s low educational attainment is negatively impacting other areas of our state’s economy. Alabama’s limited access to an educated workforce is a disincentive for businesses to open branches here.

Blueprints was created to address these issues, and the program looks different in every place where it is implemented. We are thrilled to work with you to tailor the program to your community’s specific needs.

The Value of Education



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