I have to say, I think a college education really has become as critical today as a high school diploma was 20 years ago. She may not ever become a mortician, she may not even work in her degree field. But I’m trying to remember the last job application I filled out which did NOT require at least a Bachelor’s degree or some kind of at least vocational training. It doesn’t actually matter what the degree is. Rather, it shows future employers that the job candidate has not only the brains, but the discipline, to set their eye on a distant goal (ie, the opposite of “instant gratification), and work to get it. I easily believe that being a woman of color sets her up for more challenges than a young white man would face in her shoes. But even the young white man would have a heckuva time getting any job worth more than minimum wage, and with promotion potential, without a college degree. Those of us who are self-employed often came to this place after working in the professional realm (either blue-collar or white-collar) for a number of years. She has to start somewhere, and starting off even self-employed is already tough enough. Trying to do it without a college education just makes it harder. And good luck getting a blue-collar or white-collar job without either a bachelor’s or very specialized certificate training in hand. In this jobs market, she needs every ace up her sleeve she can get. Dropping out of school isn’t a guaranteed hard road, but it sure doesn’t pave the way to success.