Writing Contest: Semifinalist

The Pathway, College

Colleen Costello, Larry A. Ryle High School, Union, KY (Teacher: Ms. Sarah Meece)

About 14 weeks now. Graduation is right around the corner, and decisions regarding colleges are still in question. Although college is a clear pathway to the future and places one on the track to one’s dream career, college searches involve costs, benefits, and economics concepts that one must research in order to determine what college best fits one’s intended career.

During my college search, I have visited countless websites as well as college admissions offices in my quest to pursue the fashion field. My dream is to work for a fashion line, and no matter whether I would be a buyer, promoter, or assistant in a company, I knew I would need a background in the field before I could make it in the industry and become financially stable on my own. This background would come from the experience college has to offer. When visiting various colleges, I noticed that costs ranged from $7,000 a year in state, compared to $25,000 out of state. I considered the costs, pros and cons, and benefits of each college I evaluated. The city of Louisville was great, as was the campus, but I would have to take the business route instead of the fashion merchandising major I had planned. It would be cheaper, but I continued my journey to Ohio State where I enjoyed the large campus and atmosphere of the city. The program was average, but the costs were high. The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program was a program I grew to love. Although it was very competitive, it was nationally ranked, close to home, and professional. However, the costs of being just over the river were outrageous. I still haven’t decided if the costs outweigh the benefits. My last option, Kent State University, fell right in the middle. Their fashion program was well known, exciting, and fit me better. The costs ended up being less than the University of Cincinnati; that seemed to be an added bonus. By weighing the costs and benefits of my options, I am now at the point where I have narrowed my multiple options down to the two best-suited colleges for my intended major. In this case, the best road to earn the education and skills I need is a four-year college that has a well established program but is also affordable and well worth the costs.

Throughout my college search, I have realized that college is truly important to success in one’s life. It thoroughly prepares you for the workforce, especially in my intended field. I am confident that with a professional background in fashion, I will be able to make a career in the fashion industry. Without a college experience, I will not be as knowledgeable in the field as I would like to be.

I don’t believe there is an economic benefit to entering the workforce right away:  The lack of a background in one’s workforce field will most likely limit one’s success and human capital.

For those who believe they are unable to attend college for financial reasons, incentives such as scholarship money can help them realize, as I did, that college is truly a benefit to one’s lifestyle.