From community college to Amherst College and Yale Medical School

The College on a Dime series is written by Zac Bissonnette, a junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His book College On a Dime will be published by Penguin in the fall.

Think community college is nothing more than a fifth year of high school for kids who couldn't get into four year colleges? Try telling that to Latisha Wilson (pictured below), who attended Manchester Community College in Connecticut before transferring to Amherst College -- the number two liberal arts college in the country, according to US News & World Report -- in 2006.

Wilson once had to remove her younger sister from their mother's home because she could no longer care for her. She also worked as a manicurist, a hairdresser, and a makeup artist to help pay for her living expenses while attending school, and says that there were times in her life where she did not know where she would live.