autumn-leaves

A lesson from the autumn leaves … Is it time for YOU to turn over a new leaf?


Updated By Allie Cuno on August 25, 2020

The other day my good friend asked me, “Five years from now, how will you remember this time period?” I knew where “Miss Positivity” was going with this. Amidst all the external turbulence, she wanted me to ponder on the good things I would remember during the pandemic. My response to her in a minute …

If there’s one thing that remains constant in our lives, it’s change.

We’ll soon witness the changes of autumn as mature, yet brilliantly colored leaves fall off the trees to make room for new growth in the spring. It’s a change we can count on year after year. Is it time for a change in your life as well? Perhaps shedding old habits and stinkin’ thinkin’ and making new changes that could lead to better tomorrows?

“Turning over a new leaf” is about changing one’s behavior or direction for the better. One of the most powerful changes you can make is to advance your education. Ben Franklin said,

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Wise old Ben made that statement over 200 years ago, but it’s just as applicable today. The payoff to earning your degree could be astounding.

What the research says …

According to a 2019 research study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, college grades earn a premium of well over $30,000 a year––or 75%––more than those with just a high school degree. The research further states that as an investment, a college degree has an average rate of return of 14%, well above the long-term returns for traditional investments like stocks at 7% or bonds at 3%.1 The takeaway? Skip Wall Street and put your money where your best investment can be made––a degree.

What about the time commitment?

While many know an education is a wise investment, the seeming lack of time holds them back from earning a degree. A degree earned online could be the solution. As a busy online student, you have the flexibility to fit your learning into small blocks of time––on your lunch break, during baby’s naptime, or before your workday starts.

What about lack of money?

You may be surprised at the financial aid2 which may be available to deserving people just like you. At Independence University (IU), a financial planner can uncover financial aid that may be available through state, federal, institutional, and private channels. And since IU provides this information at no cost or obligation, why not find out the real numbers so you can make an educated decision about earning a degree.

Back to my story …

I told my friend that what I’ll remember is my new and improved garden. While working remotely, I’ve used the commuting time I gained toward improving my yard––clearing out years of underbrush and planting trees and perennials that will continue on season after season. An investment of just one extra hour a day this summer will add beauty to my landscape for decades to come.

When you think about it, that’s what a degree can do for you. Sure, initially you’ll need to put in extra time and effort. But once you’ve earned your degree and have your educational foundation in place, your efforts have the potential to bring financial and career rewards for decades to come. The bonus? Five years from now you can look back on this period and be proud of the positive changes you set in motion. Make it your best investment yet!

Call (800) 917-6391 today to learn more about our career-focused degree programs—from Associate’s to Master’s—earned 100% online with 24/7 anytime, anywhere flexibility. From healthcare and business to IT and graphic arts, we are eager to assist in finding the right degree program for YOU.


Allie Cuno is a human-interest writer for Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE).

  1. https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2019/06/despite-rising-costs-college-is-still-a-good-investment.html.
  2. Financial aid available to those who qualify.

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