Traditional colleges still popular, but more students looking at alternatives

When it comes to the economy these days, money talks. And nobody was listening harder than 18-year-old Ashley Chapen.

The recent Sandwich High School graduate wanted nothing more than to flee her small town and pursue the four-year college dream. But she put that route on hold once reality set in.

"I really wanted to get out of Sandwich and move away–even if it was only three or four hours," Chapen said. "I mean, I still want to do that, but I think money trumps everything."

Originally, Chapen was planning to attend Eastern Illinois University, where she would enroll as an undecided freshman. That changed, and she will be attending Waubonsee Community College this fall.

“I thought about it, and with the money and everything, it wasn’t worth it,” she said. “This way, I don’t have to take out student loans. I can pay for my education myself and I can still keep my job.”

Working at Target, attending classes at Waubonsee’s new Plano campus as a potential business major, and living at home is more feasible, Chapen decided.

This attitude is hardly unique.

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The Courier-News

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