Is College The Only Option?

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by Jo-Dane Bell

Hey, Cobras, do you ever think to yourself: What if I’m not made for college? Well, I ‘m here to let you know that there are other options besides college. It is, in fact, true that college is not for everyone, at least not right out of high school. There is no dishonor in that, and there are other options that can guarantee a successful future we can take great pride in.

According to the Hechinger Report, as of July 2018,  70 percent of high school graduates attend university. However out of that 70 percent that attends college only 36 percent are able to successfully graduate from college and attain a degree. This makes one wonder: What happened to the other 34 percent? Where did they go? Well, the truth is, the majority of them drop out of university as a result of not being able to manage the pressure or finances, or for other reasons that are unknown to us. Many students attend university because they feel pressured by counselors and teachers who constantly preach to them that college is the only way out. But college is not the only path. Other options include the military, technical school, a job, or other vocational options. BA itself offers students training in aviation mechanics, work that can lead to a lucrative future.

So, why do so many schools focus heavily on college and dismiss other avenues that can be beneficial for a student who is not cut out for college? To answer that question, I interviewed Ms. Creary the BRACEe advisor of Boyd H. Anderson High School.

Ms. Creary explained that there are many schools in the country that preach college as being the only option. But at Boyd H. Anderson High, all avenues are explored.

“The reality is that everyone is not inclined to attend college, however, that does not make them any less from others,” Ms. Creary said.

She emphasized the fact that it is the duty of the BRACE advisor and other school officials to help students discover their other options. While in the interview Ms. Creary was able to inform this reporter about the other avenues students can explore.

One option that many students are not told about is technical college or trade school. You don’t need to attend a fancy four-year university in order to feel accomplished. There are several technical and trade schools offering one month to two-year programs geared toward helping students learn the basics of a trade without the hassle of attending university. For example, many technical schools, such as Atlantic Technical College, offer skills programs that are precise and affordable and can guarantee participants a job after they complete all the program requirements

Another alternative to university is the military.  Not everyone knows about the tremendous benefits associated with joining the military. There are several branches to the military including the navy, the army or the marines, to name a few. The military is a multi-faceted institution and could be a great career option for many high school seniors.

The reality, Cobras, is that university is not designed for everyone to attend – both financially and for many other reasons. Yet our society puts so much emphasis on the college-bound among us. Many school advisors and  officials place great emphasis on four-year universities as the ticket to a great future. However, they make this statement because of a lack of knowledge about the alternative options. Many of us were not born Einsteins and were not created to attend university and graduate with a fancy title. It’s important that schools engage in promoting the alternative options after high school.