The ideal of attending college after completing high school is ingrained in most people’s minds at a young age. Perhaps now more than ever, obtaining a college education is thought to be a necessity in order to succeed in the world today.

But some people choose to take a different path.

After graduating from Mastery Charter High School in Philadelphia, Jessica Henderson had planned on going to college, but not “right away” like her fellow classmates.

“That was only because I knew I didn’t have enough credits,” Henderson, now 23, said. “I had to go back to high school for another semester, so I decided to find a summer job instead.”

Henderson said she needed to make up a science course and was just shy of five credits. She was also unable to afford the high price of a college education, something that is a common problem for most youth who wish to attend institutions of higher education, she said.

According to The New York Times, with more that $1 trillion in student loans outstanding in the United States and tuition prices soaring, a college degree statistically remains a good lifetime investment, though it can be costly.

During Henderson’s time out of school and completing the required semester at Mastery, she spent the rest of her time working as a babysitter, mostly for her family and close friends.

“My mother was ecstatic about me finishing high school,” Henderson said. “But she was upset that I had to go back to high school for another semester.”

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