As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to go into the medical field. I always go back between being an RN, a physical therapist’s assistant, or an athletic trainer. This year I have become extremely interested in becoming an athletic trainer. An athletic trainer’s job specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating bone and muscle injuries. An athletic trainer is one of the first healthcare providers that arrive on the scene when an injury occurs on the field. An athletic trainer must recognize and evaluate injuries, provide first aid care, create and carry out rehabilitation programs for injured athletes, and keep records and write reports on injuries and treatment programs (bls.gov). To become an athletic trainer, I need at least bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and I will have to take state classes and tests to be certified and licensed as an athletic trainer (bls.gov).
An athletic trainer typically will work in educational services, offices of therapists, hospitals, fitness and recreational sports centers, and by some self employed workers. They usually work full time, and if they work with a sports team they may travel often, work some evenings, and work some weekends. The employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow 23% from 2016-2026. The median annual wage for athletic trainers was $47,510 in May 2018 (bls.gov). .
I chose this career for many reasons. One reason is that I would get to work with athletes, and because I’ve been an athlete my whole life, I believe I would feel at home in that work environment. Another reason is that I enjoy the intense situations that emergency care requires. The final reason is because I find athletic injuries interesting. I recently tore my ACL and Meniscus, and I found that learning about the injuries fascinating. I think becoming an athletic trainer will be beneficial to the future and life I want to create for myself. This all starts with choosing the right college.
The first college I have considered attending is Trine University. Trine University is a private university founded in 1884 located in Angola, Indiana. There are 4,998 students enrolled at Trine, with a 16:1 student to teacher ratio. Trine’s mission statement is to “promote intellectual and personal development through professionally focused and formative learning opportunities, preparing students to succeed, lead and serve” (trine.edu). Trine also has a great athletic program. They have volleyball, basketball, football, softball, baseball, track and field, and many other teams to spectate for free as a student there. They have multiple campus life activities, sororities and fraternities, free tutoring, guidance counselors, and clubs that give one an opportunity to feel like a part of the university in some way.
Trine supplies many opportunities that will help me in becoming an athletic trainer. I have the option to minor in athletic training, sport psychology, and exercise science. Trine has multiple programs that would benefit me in my career path through Rinker-Rosa School of Health Sciences. Through this program I would have the options to earn a Bachelor Of Science with a Major in Physician Assistant Track, Pre-Medical Track, or Physical Therapy Track (trine.edu). Trine has graduate programs such as Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Physician Assistant Studies if I ever want to further my education. To add on to this, Trine offers free tutoring and support to students on campus, if I need guidance or help with my education.
Trine’s tuition for an academic year for an undergraduate student (based on 12-18 credit hours per semester) is currently $31,700 (trine.edu). Other fees are required for an academic year. Trine’s student fee is $320. Trine’s health and wellness fee is $156. A student parking permit costs $120 (trine.edu).
If I attended Trine University, I would be required to live on campus. This is a slight inconvenience because Woodburn is under an hour away from Trine. The cost of living in the Residence Hall is $5,050 for the academic year. If I lived on campus I would need to purchase a meal plan. The meal plan at Trine I would purchase would be ten meals per week, which costs $3,980 for the academic year (trine.edu).
Overall, the cost for me to attend Trine University for one academic year would be $41,326. This is before scholarships and financial aid, which Trine also provides. Looking at my household income, it is predicted my tuition fee would be about $19,347 (ed.gov). My goal is to receive an academic scholarship from Trine as well. Through earning money from working during my highschool years I hope to earn as much money as possible for college, but most likely I would have to take out a small loan to help pay for school.
While attending Trine, during my free time I will need activities to do. The city of Angola has many events and places to go when I am not studying or in class. Angola is the home of Pokagon State Park, which has outdoor activities all year. Angola is most known for its lakes. Lake James, Fox Lake, Snow Lake, and Crooked Lake are just some of the lakes located in or just outside of the city. If I wanted to visit home, Angola is less than an hour away as well.
Another college I have considered attending is PFW University. PFW is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana and was established in 1964. PFW is the largest university in northeast Indiana. The campus is about 700 acres on the banks of the St. Joseph River (pfw.edu). There are 46 buildings and structures on campus. As of 2011, PFW has 14,326 students attending with a 23:1 teacher to student ratio. There are 60,712 PFW alumni and 75% percent of them work and live throughout Indiana. PFW has athletics such as volleyball, basketball, cross country, soccer, softball and baseball, and many others (pfw.edu). A notable alumni from PFW is Lloy Ball, an Olympic gold medalist on the U.S. men’s volleyball team.
PFW has both Purdue University and Indiana University course and degree options on campus. The IU courses and degrees are more of my direction in becoming an athletic trainer than Purdue’s, because IU typically has more health care options. IU offers many programs and degrees in Health Sciences, along with opportunities to gain experience in the field I want to go into. IU also has the option to minor in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (iufw.edu). IU offers courses such as Athletic Training Education, Organization & Administration Of Athletic Training, Introduction to Exercise Science, General Medical Issues in Athletic Training, Introduction to Medical Physics, and Senior Semester in Athletic Training (igps.iu.edu). These courses will be extremely beneficial to educate me in athletic training.
The resident tuition cost for PFW (based on 12-18 credit hours per semester) is $4,224 (pfw.edu). This would be a total cost of $8,448 for an academic year. For a resident graduate student, the cost is $277.65 per credit hour. Along with these costs, course-specific additional fees may apply (pfw.edu). As long as spots are open, I may park for free on campus. If they’re aren’t spots open, there are multiple parking garages around. I would save a decent amount of money by not needing to purchase a parking pass.
By attending PFW I am able to live at home. PFW is only 13 miles from Woodburn, so I would not need to spend an unreasonable amount of money on gas. If for any reason I need3d to live on campus at PFW, I’d live in the two bedroom, one bathroom floor plan. This would cost $2,995 per semester and $5,990 each year (pfw.org). The amount of money I’d end up saving by living at home would be extremely convenient while I get my education.
Overall, each year attending PFW would cost approximately $12,456. The tuition, books and supplies, and extra fees all make up this amount (pfw.org). This is the cost before scholarships and financial assistance. PFW offers both, especially through FAFSA (pfw.org). My goal, as stated earlier, is to receive an academic scholarship.
While I’m not studying or in class, I will be able to go home. If I have breaks or such between classes, there are many things to do around campus. Fort Wayne has a zoo, museums, parks, and other places to go have fun with friends.
While both colleges provide many benefits towards my future career, they are both extremely different. Trine provides more degrees, minors, and courses for athletic training than PFW, but costs a substantial amount more. Making a decision between these two will be extremely difficult and will depend on my financial situation at the time. While I would like to attend Trine University for their larger amount of sports medicine studies, I think I may end up attending PFW. If I attend PFW, get my needed degree, and get a job, I can always go back to school and further my education in sports medicine.
After completing the course work, I can see myself working as an athletic trainer at a high school, physical therapy office, or a at a hospital. From doing the research on college and becoming an athletic trainer, I’ve learned an unbelievable amount of new information. I learned about the different places that an athletic trainer can work other than a school. My eyes have also been opened about little details and expenses that go into attending college and getting my degree. The biggest eye opener from all the research I have done is that although I have a decent amount of time to figure all these details out, highschool goes by incredibly quick, and I need to start preparing for my future now. By doing this, I need to make sure I chose the right college.