I read with interest reader Kacie Candela's piece "The trap of college rankings" [Expressway, Aug. 16].

Candela is so right in her concluding statement: "The college you attend will not prove your worth -- it is merely a tool to help you achieve your dreams."

She had a choice between a high-ranked college and one that would better meet her needs. She chose the latter for financial reasons, but also learned a valuable lesson.

It takes many years for some to learn the lesson that this student did -- the difference between image and substance. The reason is that we, as a society, are so hung up on image.

As a professor at St. Catharine College, I have seen the anguish of students trying to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. I would like to impart one piece of advice: Give due consideration to all of the options, but do not obsess over them. There are many paths to success, and detours sometimes lead to alternative, better paths.

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Harry Toder

St. Catharine, Kentucky