Many students seem bound for Ivy League colleges, or at least private colleges. Others look to large public universities. One kind of post-secondary education that gets overlooked is the community college system.
But, there are many good reasons why students should consider a community college.
7 Reasons to Attend a Community College
1. Community college can be a stop-gap
If you didn’t get into the college of your choice, you can still go to a community college. Most community college systems have open-enrollment. You need to lose no time, and you can prove your college level skills for later application to a college you want. Also, if you are not quite college-ready, you can get your toes wet at a community college without sacrificing time and money.
2. It can be a place to fulfill your basic college requirements
If you want, you can get credits in general education courses for a four-year college at a community college and then transfer to that college. This is a way to more conveniently and affordably get through a college degree.
3. Community colleges offer more flexible hours and programs
If you have a family or are caring for a family member, or if you have a job and need to work, you can schedule classes at night or for only mornings or afternoons without penalty. When you are not stuck in a lock-step program, you can also attend college on a pay-as-you-go basis.
4. They are smaller
Smaller classes allow for more personal attention, academic help, relationships with your professors, and better instruction.
5. Community colleges are convenient
Many community colleges traverse the country so one is likely to be near where you live. This means you might live at home/in your apartment with your own routines, home-cooked meals, and free laundry. The closeness can reduce any travel costs, and home offers better quiet time for study. Not living in a dorm saves you from the usual social upheavals, troubles with roommates, or putting up with partyers.
6. They offer two-year programs
Any degree, including two-year degrees, mean double the salary of pre-degree job-holders. For those who do not want a four-year degree or are heading for a more direct route into their jobs, community colleges have a variety of degrees and certificates to take you right into a career.
7. Community college is cheaper!
First, community college tuition is about half the tuition of most colleges per year, $4,000 dollars a year less than a public university and $22,000 less than a private college. Plus, financial aid is still open to you. Second, if you select a two-year program, you pay half the full cost of a college education. Third, with less student loan debt, you save after college on the interest you pay on those loan paybacks.
Selecting the right college after high school graduation can be difficult. There are so many factors to consider, so don’t forget to consider all college options, including your local community college.