Simply attending college isn’t enough, either. Bakhriyev said he feels he needs to take advantage by getting good internships and making connections, so future employers see his experience beyond a degree.
That experience is also important to solidify his choice of careers, Bakhriyev said. That’s something he tells future students to do, as well.
“Do something you want to do for the rest of your life,” he said.
Ward, a senior at Northmont High School, plans on going to college.
“I think for my personality type, having that goal in mind, and just being able to just go for it has helped me,” said Ward, who has been class president all four years of high school.
As of early November, she had been accepted into several colleges, including Bowling Green State University and the University of Dayton. She’ll make a final decision after she learns the details of her financial aid in the spring.
Ward wants to pursue business administration, which would likely require a master’s degree. Her family has money saved for her to attend college, but she wants to use that money to get a master’s degree instead of using it on her undergraduate degree, so she’s seeking as much scholarship money as possible, up to full cost. She wants to avoid student loans.
For her, college is an invaluable experience to make the connections she needs to succeed. It will also allow her to explore several possible careers.
For Black women like Ward, college can help raise wages. Black women have historically made less than their white counterparts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Black women with a college degree statistically still make less than white women with a college degree, according to a 2017 analysis from the Federal Reserve.
More from this project:
- College Bound? Some students drawn to well-paying trades, avoiding college debt
- College Bound? Military service is an option
- College Bound? Weighing 2-year college over a 4-year degree