Is college equal to success?

Growing up, many kids are taught how important it is to have a college education.

Parents constantly stress how it is essential that children go to school, behave and aim high in every endeavor encountered.

And whether people want to believe it or not, children today are becoming more independent; they have the freedom to choose how they want to fulfill their future.

I’m sure getting a college education would be among the top 10 steps people would give in order to be successful. However, what some people fail to realize is that it doesn’t take a college degree to become successful.

I mean, just take a look at some of the successful individuals like rappers Master P and Jay-Z, past presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, U.S. Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller and U.S. author, humanitarian and lecturer Eleanor Roosevelt.

These individuals are living proof that it is possible to succeed without a higher education.

Although it is a great accomplishment to receive a college degree, it’s not mandatory for success. If one has the right determination, vision, attitude and confidence, then becoming a success story is reachable.

For example, there have been many individuals who have attended college but discovered along the way that it just wasn’t for them. Take the world’s largest software maker Bill Gates.

He attended Harvard but dropped out, and now he is the wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $50 billion dollars, according to CNN Money.

And even businessmen like Sean “Diddy” Combs, rappers Kanye West and Ludacris and ABC newscaster Peter Jennings all attended college but failed to receive a college degree.

This goes to show success can be obtained despite the statistics and myths.

But it seems as though, for minorities, having a college education is considered a badge of honor; thus a college degree should be taken serious if that is what your goal is.

Although obtaining a college degree shows dedication, there are others who aren’t book wizards but can get the same things done in their own way.

Who gave someone the right to determine one’s success based on their educational background?

Is success not hard work despite the route one takes to reach it?

Is it fair to ridicule the success of others because it took them six years of selling tapes and books out of their cars rather than four years in college?

The answers to those questions lay within each individual. Just remember that when you see someone striving to be all that they can be, don’t knock their hussle.

Letitia Skipping is a biology and journalism student from Cocoa. She can be reached at