Why I’m not Going to College

Jayda Moore, Reporter

Many students believe that college right after high school is a requirement, not an option, and when I reveal that I don’t plan to go to college they are confused and concerned that I won’t be successful. College is an option, but it is not always the best option for your personal dreams and goals for life.

My Plan
I have always wanted to work in the athletic field, as athletics have been a huge part of my life since I was little. But I wanted to figure out what I could do without going to college, because I knew I could never have the money or patience to go to college. This is when I discovered that I could be a personal trainer with a simple certificate, and then everything just fell into place. Now as a senior I am planning to do an internship in my second semester, while also working to get a personal training certification through Afpafitness (AFPA). Once I get my certification and my internship comes to an end, I plan to work for a local gym for about a year or two before becoming a solo personal trainer.

My personal benefits of Getting a certificate instead.
College isn’t going to be for everyone. Not to say college isn’t important at all, but some careers don’t need college and have just as many benefits. It all depends on what works best for you. For instance, a certificate program consists of a self-study, online course which makes it easy for me to stay at home and take care of my family. The program is also only a one year long program, and that is way better to me than a four-plus year undergraduate study because it gives me more time to learn at a younger age and gain experience in personal training.

Price of College vs Price of Certification
According to financial advice website Value Penguin, the average price paid a year for college in Colorado is $24,960. So for a full four years it would cost $99,840. Keep in mind a personal trainer makes about 31 thousand a year, and Education Quest estimated that my yearly expenses would cost around $19,656. This would leave me with just $11,344 a year to pay off my student loans. Even if my loans had zero interest it would take me more than eight years to pay off my loans completely.
According to American Fitness Professionals & Associations (AFPA) the prices of an entry level personal training certification are $400-600, and a masters level costs $2,000. The costs of this certification largely comes from digital books, video lessons, online quizzes, guides for opening your own business, study material and the final exams. Other things you would pay for is a CPR/AED certification which would be $75,and a gym membership at a local gym. Locally the cost is about $445 dollars for 1 year, and liability insurance if you plan to go solo that costs $1,735 a year.
I plan to get the masters level certification, and I will be working through a business for about one year to gain experience before going solo, so training will only cost $2,075. So my first year will cost me $4,255 which will leave me with $26,745. Factoring in my calculated expenses ($19,656), I would be left with $7,089 and no student loans to pay off.
Once I go solo I get to decide my price for clients, but the average pay is about 51k a year. I will still be paying for a yearly membership ($445), my annual expenses ($19,656) and will also be paying for liability insurance ($1,735). All together I will have to pay $21,836 a year, this would leave me with approximately an extra $29,164 yearly.

My decision not to go to college was not a spontaneous one. Getting a personal training certification is less expensive, and it provides me more benefits in life than college does. This is also a reminder that college isn’t the only option and before making that commitment think about what you want to do and look into the best ways to do those things.