The benefits of graduating high school may be more encouraging.
Several states are considering programs that would offer free community college for any student who graduates high school.
In Tennessee, the program is called "Tennessee Promise." If the proposal comes through, it will be funded mostly by the state lottery. Other states are considering similar programs.
We spoke with two Staunton parents about the idea of free college education for their kids.
"It would benefit my daughter when she graduates from school as well, and I do feel like it would be a good thing for everybody to benefit from that now," said Sherry Lynn Foltz, who told us a college degree was beyond her reach when she was younger.
"I think it's wonderful, not only will it just benefit these high school children, it'll benefit the families, it'll benefit the neighborhoods, the communities," said Lynn Golladay, who also said she was unable to attend college wants it for her children.
Florida, Mississippi, and Oregon are considering similar programs.
© Copyright 2014 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.