Plans for future require preparation

The question of whether college is worth it has been a subject of ongoing debate. On one hand, a college education is often viewed as a critical step toward career and personal success. As Benjamin Franklin aptly put it, “Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

According to 2022 CFHS graduate Shamir Ilyas, college is more than just an education. “It is a transformative experience where lifelong lessons are learned beyond the classroom.”

Another strong argument in favor of college is that it can open doors in terms of career opportunities. Ilyas said, “The belief that college is a place where you grow as a person, make lifelong friendships and shape yourself for the obstacles ahead” fosters skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and efficient communication.

But it’s important to remember that college might not be the best choice for everyone. As counselor Jacob Mueller said, “Going to college is not the best choice for everyone.” This is especially true if you’re unsure of your future or if you’re interested in a trade profession like plumbing, electrical work or welding. In those cases, pursuing an apprenticeship program or a trade school might be a more suitable path.

Whether college is worth it depends on the person’s circumstances. Success is about finding one’s own path, and for many, college is a transformative journey. However, it’s essential to consider alternatives and make a thoughtful decision.

In addition, going to college without a clear plan and financial strategy can be a risky move. Many factors come into play when making this decision, and it varies for each individual.

Your family’s financial situation, how well you did in high school, your ACT/SAT scores and the type of college you’re considering all affect how much college will cost you.

In some cases, attending a traditional college may not be necessary for a successful career. Some students opt for shorter trade programs that lead to careers they love, like becoming linemen, hair stylists, carpenters or welders. Others find success in sales careers, such as real estate or car sales, with post-high school training, not a traditional college degree.

Finances are crucial. You can apply for low-interest loans through FAFSA, explore work-study programs at some colleges or hunt for scholarships (though that takes effort). Starting at a community college and later transferring to a four-year one can also be a more budget-friendly route.

Moreover, if you prefer hands-on work over traditional schooling, trade programs offer great career opportunities with shorter training periods and a chance to earn while learning.

The decision to attend college should be well-planned. While it can be an excellent investment in your future, it’s vital to consider your unique situation and goals. There are many paths to success, so finding the right one for you is key.


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