The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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The single most difficult financial decision a teenager will make is whether to go to college or not.
 
The average cost for four years at a private college is $105,092; the cost to commute at a four-year public college is $28,080, according to College Board, an association of 5,700 colleges and universities.
 
The average young adult graduates with $19,000 in student loan debt and thousands in credit card debt, according to a 2008 Press report entitled Young, Educated and Broke. At the current fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent, a borrower would pay about $219 a month for 10 years.
 
Here’s two horror stories to consider before you, or your child, take the plunge into such debt.

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In recent issues of The Voice of the Building Trades, Michael Haupricht has written about the gloomy job market in Northwest Ohio, seeing a few signs the outlook for construction work is improving.

Still, if a high school graduate who wasn’t interested in immediately seeking a four-year college degree would come to him for advice on other options, Haupricht, the executive secretary of the Northwest Ohio Building Trades Council (NWOBTC), says he would counsel the graduate to at least consider an apprenticeship program in the trades.

An apprenticeship, says Haupricht, can be the foundation for an array of opportunities.

“There is more to our trades than just the skilled trades. People can branch out into something else. They may decide later to become an architect, for example. But if you come through the trades you get an idea of what’s involved. They’ll learn to work with blueprints and drawings,” he said. “Or maybe someone wants to become a home decorator. They can first work with painters and learn that and wallpapering and the other areas.  They may later want to start their own company and run their own business. They may want to become a contractor. It’s endless what the possibilities are.

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Adam Busdiecker likes to keep his options open.
 
In his fourth year as an apprentice with the Local 50 Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics Union, Busdiecker may someday enroll at Owens Community College to earn a degree in business management – a move, he figures, that may help him if he decides to open his own business.
 
In the meantime, he’s developing the skills – welding, plumbing, and pipefitting – that he’s learning at the Piping Industry Training Center (PITC), operated by Owens and the union, and earning a good wage while working.
 
 PITC apprentices can also receive college credit.

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