Who would not want to go to college? Isn’t the question ridiculous? Getting a higher education gives you many opportunities in life. You can get better jobs, earn more money, life a better life. Or at least that’s what the system preaches… But is it really true? And how it is possible that 30% of living billionaires have never earned (or paid for) even a bachelor’s degree?

As it is always the case in life, things aren’t black or white only. Going to college doesn’t guarantee you success. But perhaps it isn’t about the degree only, or more money. Perhaps the experience matters more, the college life, camaraderie, connections you will make. College isn’t only a “means to an uncertain end”–to a better paid job. It is so much more! And maybe that’s what you should write on your essay, or say when facing this question in an interview.

One way or another, you should always have a reason. And pressure from your parents won’t do here. In an ideal case, you should either have a clear goal in your mind (a certain job you want to have in the future, or an academic career you want to pursue), or relate to the experience of college life. Alternatively you can come up with an unconventional answer, philosophizing a bit about college education and life in general. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers now. I hope at least one of them will resonate with you, and give you some inspiration for your own, perfect answer. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to go to college?” interview question

  1.  I want to go to college to make sure my children will have a better childhood than I have had. Coming from a family with no college degrees and financial struggles, we had to battle hard just to get by. My mother had two jobs, father was never home, and we struggled with bills. It was a stressful experience. And while I know getting to college doesn’t guarantee a stress-free life, it at least gives you more opportunities, make more doors open to you. My goal is to earn at least $50,000 a year, once I start my own family. One can achieve it without a degree, but I believe it is much easier to do it with a degree. That’s why I want to get to a college, and I will continue trying until I succeed.
  2. My dream is to run my own vet clinic one day. I’ve always felt for the animals, especially for dogs and cats, and I do not like the clinics in my city. The places are run for money, and there’s no real love for the animals. Hence my dream is to one day run a different place, and take the veterinary care in the area to the next level. Of course, I know I am far from reaching this dream now. But that’s doesn’t discourage me, because even a journey 1,000 miles long starts with the first step. That step is getting to college, and that’s why I want to go. I believe my dream will help me overcome obstacles on the way, and the crises of motivation every student faces now and then.
  3. To be completely honest with you, I want to go to college for experience, and connections. I do not think that you need college to succeed in life. Nowadays, you can find all information you need online, and in libraries. You can become an expert in any field, if you are ready to commit to it, and spend studying it for some years. No need to go to college for that. However, I believe college is something every young person should experience in life. The study life, the campus life, dorm, parties, people, connections you make for a lifetime. I am looking forward to the experience, and believe it will broaden my horizons. Getting a degree will be just a nice bonus, if I eventually achieve it.
  4. Well, as an aspiring scientist I do not have any other option. My goal is to work in research in the field of neurology. I know about great centers and universities where they specialize in such a research, and my ambition is to belong to such a team one day. But to progress in science you need formal education. That’s simply how things work in the field. You need degrees, research papers, experience. Without it you just cannot get a job in this field. I want to study at college to earn my bachelor’s degree, later my master’s degree, and eventually my PhD. It seems like a long way, but I am determined to succeed.
  5. I want to go to college because I do not really see a better option for me. Look, I am a realist. Getting to college doesn’t guarantee much in life. And you end up not only with a degree, but also with a big student debt. But what else can I do? Go and flip burgers somewhere, or wash cars? I have all respect for people who do such jobs, but it isn’t something I personally want to do until I retire. So what options do I have? I cannot start my own business, since I have no capital. Hence the only sensible option I see is getting to college, and sacrifice several years of my working life for a promise of better future. Do not understand me wrong though. I am looking forward to my studies. But I am also realistic about life, seeing things as they are, as we have them now.
  6. I want to study at college so I can teach there one day. Teaching is my calling, my personal mission. Or at least that’s how I feel about it. And especially college teaching. In order to get there, however, I first need to earn a degree and some experience. Super excited about the journey ahead, and all interesting people I will meet here, in ranks of both students and teachers. And I am particularly excited about the proposition of studying at your college, since I love the city, the campus, and simply everything.
  7. Being completely honest with you, I dream of going to college because I do not know what to do with my life at the moment. We have so many options, and at the same time so much responsibility. Especially our generation, considering the challenges we face as a society, and the challenges our planet faces. But I haven’t figured out yet where exactly my place is, and how I want to contribute to the positive change, a change that is needed. In my opinion, in such a case it is best going to college, since once you have a degree you simply have more options in life. What’s more, you meet other young intelligent people, who can perhaps become your colleagues or business partners one day…


Final thoughts

People go to college from all sorts of reasons, and many of them do not even know why. They simply go because that’s what one is supposed to do, should their study results and financial situations allow them to go. What I try to say here is that you should not be afraid to share your real reasons with the interviewers. Be honest, and open up. That’s what they are looking for here.

And while it is great to have a clear picture of your desired future, and of the role college studies play in it, it is also fine not knowing exactly what you plan to do with your life. Maybe you will find the answers at the college. And if you do not, you’ll at least have more options with the degree than you’d have without it… I hope it helps, and wish you good luck in both your studies and life!


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Matthew Chulaw
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