If you don’t feel ready to leave home, if you need to save money or if you need some time to improve upon your academic GPA.
A community college is a bridge. Do you need a bridge? It may be an emotional bridge drom high school to a large university, it may be a financial bridge to decrease your total education costs, or it may be something else. Bridges are useful!
The question of Community College is a very personal one and is rooted on an individual’s motivation and final goal. I have counseled a number of students who seek Community College as an alternative for a number of reasons. The most common are as follows:
2) Admission Competition
3) Emotional Maturity
4) Academic Maturity
5) Academic Goal of an Associates Degree
For the purposes of this question I would like to focus on a response to the Financial as well as how competitive it is to get into college. Here, you need to ask yourself and be honest, what is your level of motivation. The community college is a wonderful way to save money and demonstrate the ability to succeed at the college level. However, if your view of Community College is the “easy road” and that of the “13th Grade” then you will most likely fall short of a 2 year and transfer goal and in the long run, college may end up costing you more and taking longer. It is important to keep in mind, Community College is in fact COLLEGE. The courses that are transferable are challenging and will prepare you for the rigor of a major university. But you need to be willing to put in the hard work to make it happen. I recommend to my students who are seeking C.C. admissions to maintain a rigorous high school curriculum so that the transition to your college classes is seamless. You must also be persistent and willing to access the many opportunities that community college offers.
Like all college questions, this is pertinent and important. There are many questions you need to ask yourself in order to answer this question! Do you have serious financial concerns? Are you completely undecided about what you may want to major in? Are you short course credits, or did you perform poorly in school? Did your high school have limited options that made it impossible for you to take competitive level classes, like Honors or AP? Are you returning to school and have to work full time?
Community colleges today offer many opportunities for students, even while they are still in high school, to explore different employment and educational options. For example, there are several opportunities to enter the world of hospitality management with a two year degree. And for those students who are not sure what they want to do, these types of community college courses also come with experential learning opportunities, such as internships, that can help you develop an area of interest. And if you are working, taking one or two classes in a community college during the evening allows you to engage with other students like yourself that are not always available to you in on-line courses, while also giving you an education that is convenient for time and location considerations.
Some community colleges can also help families manage financial considerations. For example, you can take one or two years worth of general credit classes, and then transfer those credits to another university or college for your junior year, thereby reducing or even eliminating some of the attendant debt load. Of course, some students also have very real concerns about their grades in high school, or the types of classes they took while in high school, feeling that these might not “look good” to a college admissions counselor. If you are not interested in being an “academic” and are just looking to get a decent job, then community college may be the best answer for you. On the other hand, if your grades were not as good as you would have liked them to be and you do want to pursue higher education, a year or two of community college can give you the credentials you need. This might also include helping you develop better learning habits that you did not develop in high school. Some students even pursue the community college route while they are still in high school, especially during the summer months, to “make up” classes or supplement what they already have (such as learning a foreign language or taking an AP level class).
Whatever your reasons for selecting a community college, consider that there are more options than not! It is up to you to find the options that make sense for you.
If all other schools are unaffordable, and it has a curriculum that can lead you in the right direction – go for it & Good Luck!
Many types of students go to community college. In the past, the majority of applications were for the traditional age student who didn’t achieve the highest grades in high school, or the older student who wanted to wrap up a degree. But now, more and more 18-year-olds who’ve done really well in high school are also looking at community college.
1) Go the college web site, study all information, which is put on there;
2) Feel it! If all that you’ve read feels right for you, it is your college.
If the atmosphere of that site information (pictures, videos, college attitute to its people) feels right for you, there you go! Congratulation! You’ve found what you were looking for.
Community colleges are excellent choices for students who are:
Community colleges get by on about one-fifth the amount of money that four-year universities require. Students are foregoing traditional routes to higher education in favor of a more affordable education. Some students who attend community college opt to transfer to four year universities while others attend to acquire specialized skills that may not give them a degree, but certainly train them for necessary roles in society.
Community colleges receive mixed reviews. Under-performing high school students who do not know what else to do commonly attend community colleges but apply the same lack of enthusiasm they showed in high school in community college. These students sometimes give community colleges a bad rap. In fact, student who appreciate small classrooms with more individualized attention, the opportunity to gain an education at a reasonable price and the feasibility of applying with relative ease and escaping the madness of traditional college admissions sing the praises of community colleges.
Until the economy recovers chances are high that enrollment at community colleges will increase and their reputations could transcend many over-priced four year institutions.
It depends on what you want to do as a career. Community and Technical Colleges offer a wide variety of choices that can make nice careers. You definitely want to figure out what you want to do as a career then see what type of training, certification, or degree that is required for that particular career.
Community colleges are a great alternative for students who don’t have the finances or aren’t ready to spend the resources needed for a college that will require you to pay for housing. If finances are tight, it is often a great advantage to stay at home and attend college daily.
1) Go the college web site, study all information, which is put on there;
2) Feel it! If all that you’ve read feels right for you, it is your college.
If the atmosphere of that site information (pictures, videos, college attitute to its people) feels right for you, there you go! Congratulations! You’ve finally found what you were looking for.
The first thing you have to do is visit the college. Check out your options, during this time your most important factor in deciding between a community college and university is, how much of a dedicated student am I, how would I function better – in a small setting or large setting, and finally look at costs.
Community colleges are perfect for so many people, they are gaining students by leaps and bounds! They might be perfect for you if: 1. You want to save thousands of dollars over your first two years, 2. If there’s a career you want to pursue that requires a two-year degree, 3. If you have family obligations that prohibit you from living on an out-of-town campus, 4. You’d prefer to attend college part-time, 5. You have a good job you’d rather not give up in your home town. In the past, two-year colleges (formerly called “junior colleges”) were viewed as “second best.” But all that is changing. If a community college fits your needs, no one will think you’ve settled for something inferior. You might just be admired for making a great decision!
Lot’s of ways. First, find out how many of your classmates are attending the local community college. If you were looking to get a change of pace from your friends in high school, it may be time to look into another school. Also, what type of program are you looking for? In California, the community colleges are a great option for direct transfer into UC/CSU’s as well as many private schools. Basically, follow the program to a T and transfer without a hitch. Are you looking for technical training? Then community colleges will be a better bet for your future career plans in programs such as welding, early childhood credits for working with toddlers or maybe a fire technician. (There are lots of other programs)
A community college is probably right for you for a number of reasons. If you don’t feel ready to move out of your parents’ house, spending 1-2 years at a community college could help with the transition to a campus farther away. If your grades weren’t where you wanted them to be in high school, community college can be a great way to to get your grades up to be a more appealing candidate when you apply for your bachelor’s degree. Lastly, community college is a great option to save money for two years as they are often less expensive than 4-year colleges.
Whether community college is right for you depends on the kind of college experience you are looking for and the resources you have to support those goals. With the rising cost of a college education, a community college can be a place where you can get some basic core credits at a comparatively low cost while you are trying to get a better sense of the path you wish to take. If you choose that route check the school’s accreditation status, for it can be an important factor in how the credits or the degree will be treated by future employers or educational institutions. Indeed, tied to this is the question of transferring or applying of the credits you earn. Some community colleges are fully integrated parts of state university system and the credits are easily transferable while it is more problematic in other areas. That is something you want to check in advance. Overall, community college can be a great place to start your college education, but to maximize its value, make sure you know what you are getting.
What to be a Successful Student at a Community College?
Follow These Top 3 Steps:
There are great advantages to starting off a college career through a community college. Keep in mind that some community colleges are rated higher than others. Community colleges are normally less expensive and on average the core curriculum transfers to major universities. Starting in a community college allows you to work toward a higher education goal even if you have no idea what you want to do yet.
Here are some things to think about when considering a community college:
1) Go the college web site, study all information, which is put on there;
2) Feel it! If all that you’ve read feels right for you, it is your college.
If the atmosphere of that site information (pictures, videos, college attitude to its people) feels right for you, there you go! Congratulations! You’ve finally found what you were looking for.
Community college is becoming a more and more popular option for students, particularly given this economy. Studies have shown that students who attend these colleges receive equally strong educations and equal opportunities to students that begin at more prestigious colleges and universities as long as they work hard and make the most of their experience. In fact, highly selective colleges often recruit transfer students from community colleges.
A community college may be an excellent option for you if your grades or test scores are not quite strong enough to get into a four year school, if you are not quite ready to live away from home, or if you are looking to save money on your first two years of college.
Community colleges are beneficial for most students. With the admissions criteria become more strict, many students are required to attend a community college to complete developmental courses prior to enrolling in a 4 year university. Community colleges are also beneficial for those who do not require developmental courses. The tuition is considerably cheaper and the classes are generally smaller. The community college setting is idea for high school students seeking a gradual transition into college and it is also perfect for the non-traditional student.
A community college can be a good option financially, as tuition rates will be lower, and if it’s in your own community, you may choose to continue living at home with your parents, which will also be an economic benefit.
There are a number of factors you might want to consider. People choose community college for very diverse reasons.
#1. Community college provides an education at a cheaper cost than a university or college. If finances are a concern, this is definitely an option.
#2. Community colleges are a place where you can “decide” what your career path may be, if you are unsure. You won’t have to go into great debt figuring out what it is you would like to pursue.
#3. For those high school students who did not always take their education seriously, and therefore do not have the GPA to qualify for scholarships, this is a logical choice. Go to a community college, apply yourself, and at the end of your associate’s degree, hopefully your GPA will be such that you can be eligible for transfer scholarships.
#4. If staying at home with your family is necessary, community college is also a good option. Sometimes personal live necessitate that students live at home to care for parents, siblings, and/or children of their own.
#5. Choose your community college wisely. Make sure it offers the classes/programs you are interested in taking, and talk to someone in the financial aid office about what scholarships are available.
I look at age. I am a guidance counselor where we have an 11th grade exit year, so I am very fond of community colleges. I went to two community colleges before attending Michigan State University. Grades and economics are two important factors along with maturity. The truth of the matter is that young people must be careful and realize they are going to university to improve themselves. Unfortunately we all know someone who has gone to university and have been overcome with a drug or alcohol problem. Does a student like a smaller school? Community colleges are excellent transitional institutes between high school and major universities. Does a student need extra assistance with math or English skills. Community colleges offer an array of tutorial and remedial courses.
Community colleges are an incredibly valuable part of the American higher education system. They truly serve the community at large, and can help you meet your educational goals, whether you’re planning to transfer to a 4-year school, become certified in a trade or professional field, or simply explore your own interests. In these challenging economic times, when more and more people are finding the sticker price for four years of college impossible or unwise to take on, community college can be a cost-effective way to pursue higher education.
Having taught at a community college for over a decade, I do know what a wonderful opportunity it can be for many students. It is a great option if there are financial and/or personal issues that would not allow you to begin your college career away from home. For some students, it can offer them a chance to bring up their GPA so that they could then transfer to a “top” college. I had one client who after attending her local community college was successfully able to transfer to Cornell University! If you believe that for whatever reason you are not “ready” to go away, then I strongly suggest that you pay a visit to your local community college and see if it would be the “right” beginning for you.
Community college is often the second chance that many students need to make up for a tough high school experience. Other times it is for kids whose families are experiencing tough economic times or who are wary of letting them go away to college. Yet you must be more organized and tough than ever to go. You need to be willing to go to more than one community college to get the right classes you need. You need to get involved in jobs, activities, and service. You need to take classes that fulfill GE and major requirements. You must enroll in classes as soon as possible and get to know some professors. You need to form study groups and be pro-active. You can do it!!!
This could be a tough call as some students might be considered borderline. I would leave this up to the person who is going to PAY for the Four (4) Year extravaganza, because colleges cost $20,000+ a year for a public school and up to $60,000 for certain private schools. So we are talking about buying an education which might cost as much as someone’s house. In today’s economy, we cannot afford to mess this up.
It really depends. Community colleges are generally cheaper than all the four-year colleges. But there’s some drawback too. At community college, there are limited courses and if you weren’t sure about your credits and major, you might end up wasting your credits. But community colleges do have lots of smart professors and students- it’s a place where you get to choose whether you want to make the most out of it or just waste it. If you would transfer to an in-state college after the first two years in community college, most of the credits should be transferred.
Whether or not to attend a community college is at times a complex decision for people to make. In most cases, it’s a more simple decision than you might think. For instance, are your family’s finances extremely tight and are you not wanting to take on a lot of student loan debt to get a bachelor’s degree? If so, go to a community college. Are you completely unsure as to whether you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or perhaps become a Power Lineworker? If so, go to a community college. Do you want to live at home in order to be close to family or save on money? If so, go to a community college.
Community college’s are becoming more popular because of their price. If you were not the most motivated student in high school the best place for you to start is a community college. Community colleges will assist you in your choice of major and what your career goals are for your future. If you didn’t take the right classes in high school for your college major or you didn’t do well in those classes a community college can assist you with getting to the place you want to be.
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.
Many students (and some parents) automatically eliminate community college as a viable option for after high school. Many times, they eliminate the choice without even know about the benefits involved with community college.
I like community college choice for many reasons, but here are my top three. First of all, the class size as community colleges are much more small than their four-year college counterparts. My average psychology course at the community college that I teach in is about 20 students. The average psychology course at the university is about 100 students. The community college can serve as kind of a security blanket for students not ready to be completely on their own. Community college teachers are kind of a transition between high school teachers and full blown college professors.
The second factor is the overall cost; not just tuition, but fees! For one, three-credit course at the community college, the class fees are about $60. For one, three-credit course at the university, the class fees are over $350. Between tuition plus fees, the difference per class is well over $600.
The last factor is the guaranteed transfer class list available through the community college. Many states have articulation agreements, guaranteeing credits to transfer to 4-year colleges in the state. The local community college has over 150 courses that will guarantee transfer to any 4-year college. They also have a 60+60 degree program where they guarantee the 60 credit associate’s degree will transfer to the four-year school.
Many people who attend community colleges are full time workers and may not have time to be a full time student at a college that’s not close to them. They usually have classes at night targeted just for them.
You know whether or not community college is right for you in the same manner you know whether or not a four year school is right for you. You start by knowing you. Really think about what satisfies you, as a student and as a person. Do you like crowds? Do you value the arts? Are large lecture classes your thing or do you prefer more intimate classroom settings? Does the college have a major in your field of interest? Do they have the athletics, arts or music programs that interest you? Will the school challenge you when challenge is needed. Do you like the social aspect of the school? Are you allowed to park your car on campus, if you have one? Do you have a short attention span? If so, you may not be able to stay in school four+ years without a break.
The initial reason community colleges were created was to serve the population around them. One of the big advantages to a community college is to save money and they allow you to live at home and commute. (Many four year schools actually make it mandatory for freshman to live in the dorms.) Although any post education is a wise decision, saving money while expanding your knowledge is doubly wise! After determining the community college that is near you, research the different programs that are available to determine if it is the best choice for you! Most community colleges have a matriculation program in place with nearby colleges and universities. This allows you to complete the general education requirements at the community college and transfer in as a junior!
I am a product of the community college system and I am aware of what the community college system can do for those who choose to begin their educational career at a community college. The following is my research review on community colleges with references included:
For many students, attending their local community college can be a wonderful start to their college career. There are many advantages to attending a community college. First of all is cost. Students can save thousands of dollars in tuition, fees, room and board attending community college. Some community colleges do have dorms or housing sponsored by the college.
The same way you would know about any other college choice: does it offer the program(s) you want to study? If finances are a major issue, is it the most affordable option? Is it the best next step in your education, as it is for many students who cannot study fulltime, need to be frugal in financing their college education, or are still gathering the credentials they need for a four-year college or university? Can you take courses that would transfer easily if you plan to go on to another college or university? Is there good career counseling as well as academic counseling? Visit. Ask questions.
There are so many variables involved in where a person attends college and that includes community colleges as well as four-year colleges. To get you started, consider how you answer the following five questions when deciding the best place to further your education.
1. Financially, what can I (my parents) afford? Even this question encompasses many factors – Am I living at home and attending college?, Is there a four-year college or state university in my hometown?, Have I submitted a FAFSA for colleges to determine if I am eligible for financial aid that may offset the price tag of a four-year college?
2. Did I struggle to graduate from high school and are my SAT/ACT scores low (or non-existent)? Community college can be an excellent place to gain your academic footing before moving on to a four-year college/university. However, just because the community college doesn’t usually require SAT or ACT for admission, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to prove yourself. They are generous with admissions but still require some kind of placement evaluation to see if you need remediation in math or English.
3. Would I be better served academically in smaller classes? Many students find they prefer the smaller setting of the community college and can get to know the instructor faster.
4. Am I trying to figure out what to select as a major? Since many colleges require students to complete a set of core courses, no matter what their major, it can be helpful to complete these prerequisites at a community college and save money at the same time. Community colleges also have advisors and career centers that can help give you some direction about majors. However, my main caution is that you select your courses carefully and as soon as you have a major selected and a college destination, be sure to talk with an advisor at the four-year college to be sure your community college hours will transfer – not just as electives but towards your degree requirements! You won’t save money, if your hours don’t align with the new university/college degree requirements.
5. Am I looking for a Bachelor’s degree at this time or certification in a specialized arena? Community colleges continue to expand their programs and many offer excellent two-year degrees and certifications that will give the student exactly what he/she needs to get started in a career. Have you checked them out lately? There are two-year degrees & certifications in areas such as automotive technology, computer networking, cosmetology, jazz/music, audio technology, web/graphic design, programming, electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning/heating, culinary/chef training, and more!
If the college you would be admitted to would not be where you would want to spend 4 years, community college is a better option. Its cheaper, you get a degree after 2 years, and usually all the credits are transferable.
Community college can be the right answer for many students for a variety of reasons! One example might be a student who got off to a slow start in high school and did not perform as well as he/she could have, which ultimately results in a GPA that is below the standards of the four-year colleges he/she has investigated. Attending a community college for a year or two may give this student an opportunity to improve their GPA and transfer to the four-year school that may have been out of reach directly out of high school. Another example of a student who may want to consider community college is a student whose family cannot afford the tuition costs of a public or private four year college – community college is significantly cheaper than nearly all four-year colleges. Most frequently, a student can take the same “core requirements” at a community college for a fraction of the cost of the same courses at a four-year institution.
The optimal way is by spending a few days there staying with an older friend or sibling after having done the campus tour and admissions visit/interview. Ask if you may attend a few classes while you are there which usually needs to be requested in advance (to get the professor’s opinion). All of this also shows interest to the school while finding out if it may be a college community you would enjoy.
The optimal way is by spending a few days on campus after having done the campus tour and admissions visit/interview. Ask if you may attend a few classes while you are there which usually needs to be requested in advance (to get the professor’s opinion). Try to speak with students on campus about their experience and advice.
Whether to attend a community college and transfer after completing an Associate Degree is an option families explore for many reasons. Decisions are always about personal choice and should be based on facts, so let’s take a few minutes to examine the Pros and Cons:
Students considering a community college should consider the same aspects of the college as they would for a four year college. Namely, is the school a good fit academically, socially, and financially.
I typically say a Community College is a great option for students if you have at least two of the following that apply to you.
1. Finances. Community colleges cost a fraction of four-year schools. If you are financially challenged go to a CC for your first two years for your basic undergrad classes, many of which will be the same as you’d take at a four-year school, and often in smaller class size.
2. Academics. If your GPA and/or test scores are not where you need to be for admissions, especially if you have particular four-year school in mind, then go to a community college to gain credits and raise your GPA to a transfer level. Many community colleges have direct transfer partnerships with nearby four-year schools.
3. Specialty Majors. Many four-year colleges don’t offer specialty degrees (i.e. culinary arts, firefighting, physical therapy) that you can get through an associate’s degree at a CC, preparing you directly for work or to continue on to Bachelor’s in a similar program.
4. Living situation.Not sure if dorm life is for you and ready to be on your own? Do you prefer to stay local to live at home for social or financial reasons? If so a local CC can be a great option.
5. Athletics. Many CCs have fantastic athletic programs, some better than 4-year schools. If you are an athlete not NCAA eligible, not recruited out of high school, or not wanting to ride the bench as a freshman CCs are a great option. You play the first two years, get transfer credits for admissions at 4-year schools, may be seen by four-year schools to help in recruiting, and transfer in with two or three years of eligibility left.
Enroll in a class and try it out. Try to choose a course that will transfer easily to another academic institution. An English course is a good place to begin. Make an appointment with a counselor to discuss matriculation agreements with four year institutions. Attend an open house.
Are you unsure/unwilling to navigate the four-year college search and application process? Are you concerned about not knowing what you want to study? Do your parents teach at a community college?
Does your state offer an incentive program for students with a certain GPA to attend community college and then transfer to a state university?
If you don’t feel like your adequately prepared for a 4 year college or university, or if money is a concern.
Most students would benefit from taking courses through a community college. From a financial standpoint, the lower tuition rate makes community college an extremely attractive option. Taking transferable summer courses at a local community college can enable students to minimize graduation debt levels. Also, many community colleges are incorporating increased academic and student services than in the past. For example, Montgomery College in Maryland offers a highly competitive honors program and merit scholarships.
Community colleges vary from place to place. While some serve as a stepping stone to a four year institution, others offer degrees only available through them. Maybe the student can’t afford the cost of a 4 year school, or needs to be available to help on the home front. Or suppose the student needs to work so they can’t handle a full course load/can only take classes at night. A local 2 year institution may be the best fit. Community colleges are often a good transition between high school and university for the student who hasn’t found their stride. Review level courses, skill building classes, and survey seminars can prepare a student to be successful at the next level of education.
very low retention rate, high drop out percentage.
qualify of education varies from one to another, it is not the best way to save money.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.
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