Frequently students are not encouraged to check to see if the community college might be the appropriate option for "right now". Parents and educators both might see the community college as only the "fall-back" plan if every other possibility fails.
I have always told students to investigate all options when making the college decision. When assessing the different options, selection needs to be greatly influenced by achieving the goal of graduation in a reasonable amount of time.
Three things are important to look at.
1) Have you made a selection in terms of what you want to pursue?
2) What is your academic skill level? Are you truly ready to make the leap from a high school program to a challenging university format? If you are academically ready, are you emotionally ready for the challenge?
3) Can you afford the cost of going to a university?
1) Frequently students do not have a strong concept or idea of what area they would like to study and wind up changing their majors a number of times while in college. This type of experimentation can be very costly for students and parents both. Junior college is a good place to test the waters and take classes to see what is available in terms of academic pursuits and career options.
2) If the student's skill level is not where it should be to succeed at the university level, the junior college is the place to build on those skills. Many colleges and universities do provide remediation, but that remediation is costly in both time and dollars. Students might be prepared academically but not emotionally or sufficiently mature to handle the challenges of balancing a college academic life and the newly gained freedoms of the college world.
3) The financial aspects of college/university are a very important consideration. Frequently colleges will present a financial package to students which includes loans, etc. I have encouraged students to reconsider attending a four-year program if money needs to be borrowed. Save the borrowing for the second half has always been my advice.