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Is there still ways I can be successful if I don't attend college?

I'm worried about student debt, and i would want to try to find options to avoid it

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Subject: Career question for you

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Amit’s Answer

Hi Alaina,

Absolutely, there are many ways to be successful without attending college, but without education nothing is possible. Knowledge can be achieved from various sources but education comes with experiences and real-life problems.

Back to your questions, Here are some strategies:

Start Your Own Business: Many successful entrepreneurs didn’t attend college or didn’t complete their degrees.
Learn a Trade: Trades like plumbing, electrician work, or carpentry can be lucrative and don’t require a college degree.
Upskill: Learn new skills through online courses, certifications, or self-study.
Network: Building a strong professional network can open up job opportunities.
Work Experience: Gaining work experience in a field of interest can sometimes be just as valuable as a degree.
As for avoiding student debt, here are some tips:

Scholarships and Grants: Apply for scholarships and grants that don’t need to be repaid.
Community College: Consider starting at a community college where tuition fees are typically lower, then transfer to a 4-year college.
Work-Study Programs: These programs allow you to work part-time while studying.
Save Money: Save money before and during college to reduce the amount you need to borrow.

Remember, success is not solely defined by academic achievement but by your skills, experiences, and determination. Good luck! 😊
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Juliana’s Answer

You have the potential to thrive in any direction you choose to take in life. Here's a piece of wisdom I've shared with my own children:

1. Keep the flame of learning alive, always.
2. Pour your heart and soul into your work.
3. Acquire a skill that's practical and useful.
4. Consider attending a local community college if finances are a concern or if you're uncertain about your future path.
5. Consider mastering a trade.

One of my children is pursuing a four-year college degree, having a clear vision of his future and the qualifications he requires. Another child is exploring her interests at a community college, an excellent place to start when you're unsure about your life's direction. One of my children is keen on becoming a dog groomer, taking advantage of the on-the-job training provided by a local store. And another child is venturing into the world of cosmetology, a field in which you can start your training as a high school senior right here in NYS.

Juliana recommends the following next steps:

See what your high school offers in the way of job exploration.
Check with your local library to see if they have an programs there to help.
Check your local college to see if they have any special programs that are short and subsidized by grants.
Start now looking for scholarships you can apply for - your school is a good place to start.
Remember - You can always change careers, go to college, or learn a trade. You don't have to be confined to your fist choice.
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María José’s Answer

Alaina,

I totally understand you. If going to college is something you really want but are worried about debt, I would go or call the university and ask about any financial help or scholarships that you can apply to. However, keep in mind that many occupations do not technically demand a certain degree or require you to go to actual college, so if you’re not 100% sure about college then definitely look into that. Don’t be afraid to explore and ask questions.
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Tavorius’s Answer

You could always start your own business or go into a profession that's a skill trade where you learn on the job
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Danielle’s Answer

When I first embarked on my career and college journey, I too was filled with similar worries. My path shifted numerous times, but I discovered that a wealth of employers are willing to provide tuition aid or reimbursement. I strongly suggest exploring cost-effective associate degree programs as your initial step. Afterward, secure a position with an employer. After a year of service, most employers offer tuition aid or reimbursement, which can assist you in achieving your bachelor's degree. This journey may seem daunting at first, but remember, every step you take is a step closer to your goal. Keep going, you've got this!
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Lilyan’s Answer

Definitely! College is just one path to success, but it's not a surefire promise. Consider what you truly love doing, identify a job that aligns with that passion, and then pursue it with all your might! Always strive for excellence. Be curious, keep expanding your knowledge, whether it's through practical experience on the job or through free or low-cost training and certification programs. Work diligently and maintain good character, success is sure to follow.
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Gina’s Answer

This engaging podcast is a valuable resource to help guide your decision-making process. Check it out here: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/20/podcasts/the-daily/is-college-worth-it.html

Consider exploring the multitude of certificate programs or community college courses available. These programs are designed to equip you with specialized skills in a specific field. Increasingly, employers are recognizing and valuing these certificates as comparable to a 4-year degree.

It's commendable that you're carefully considering all your options and assessing the potential debt implications. Your thoughtful approach to this decision is a testament to your intelligence and foresight.
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