College alternatives offer careers without heavy debt

Reporter: Corey Lazar
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. Janet De La Cruz thinks she found a way around the high cost of college.

De La Cruz, a Lee County high school student and aspiring artist, is dual-enrolled at Fort Myers Technical College. She’s working toward a career in welding and will be certified by the time she graduates high school.

“You just want to do something where you wake up every morning and be like, ‘Yes I want to go to work,'” De La Cruz said.

The average cost for an in-state public university is $24,610 a year and a four-year degree would cost about $96,000, according to College Data. But most vocational schools cost no more than $6,800 and students become certified within a year.

“I didn’t have to pay anything,” De La Cruz said. “Not a single penny.”

De La Cruz received multiple scholarships that paid for her books and welding equipment.

“What we are doing now is telling our students you can have a wonderful life financially without going in to college,” said Rita Davis, the Lee County School District Director.

Visit the School District of Lee County’s website for more information.

WINK News Anchor Corey Lazar spoke about college cost alternatives live on Facebook:


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