LONG ISLAND — Dropping out of college doesn’t lead to financial hardship in every case.

When Steve Train, 48, left Northeastern University in Boston as a young man, he had only 12 courses left to take before he would graduate with a business degree. By then, however, the Long Island resident had decided he wanted to be a lobsterman. So he decided to spend his limited funds on buying more lobster traps and a larger boat, rather than pay for college tuition for a degree he would never need.

Luckily for Train, the lobster industry proved to be a good investment. It’s a sustainable fishery that has seen increasing catch volumes over the years.

“I’m fortunate my industry is OK,” he said. “If I had chosen groundfishing instead of being a lobsterman, I wouldn’t be able to make a living now.”

Did he did make the right decision?

“I like what I do and I’m happy,” he said. “To me, that’s the measure.”

But Train now has two daughters, ages 17 and 14, and he wants both of them to go to college. He worries, though, about the cost.

That’s why he bought a bigger boat to allow him to continue lobstering even in the winter, when lobsters move to deeper offshore waters.

“I have to fish harder to help my daughters out more,” he said.

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