With the ever increasing costs of college education, expensive four-year residential colleges may not be the best option for everyone. In many cases, attending a community college first and then transferring to a university is the smartest choice a student can make. Here are ten reasons why:
1. Community colleges are cheaper
Attending a community college costs a lot less than public or private four-year college because local taxpayers fund them in part, so students can get affordable education, a higher paying job in the future and contribute back to the community. If you don’t have enough savings and your test scores aren’t that great to win a merit scholarship, community college is a great option which can save you thousands of dollars.
2. Flexible learning schedule
At most community colleges you can take weekend and evening courses, so you have more time juggling other obligations in your life like a job and family. Regular colleges rarely offer this type of schedule; generally you’ll be busy with classes and studying throughout the day, leaving you with very little time for anything else. Besides that, you can work with your instructors to make up for missed coursework online, and what’s more, many education programs in community colleges are available as online degrees.
3. Your test scores or grades are weak
If your tests scores and grades aren’t that great to get you into a four-year college, don’t be discouraged. Community colleges offer open admissions which means that you can use this time to build your academic skills and gain experience. Later, if you decide to transfer to a four-year school, the transfer admissions office will consider your college grades as much more important than your high school record.
4. Convenient Locations
Community colleges are usually conveniently located at the hearts of towns and cities, where you can use public transportation to and from your classes, thus saving money in travelling expenses. As an added incentive, many community colleges have daycare facilities on the premises for students with children.
5. Certification and Associate Degree Programs
Some technology and service careers don’t require a four-year degree but just a certificate or an associate degree, and the type of specialized training you need is only available at community colleges.
6. Small class sizes
Class sizes at community colleges are usually small, allowing you to get close one-on-one attention from your instructors.
7. You’re not sure whether you should go to college
Most students feel that they should go to college because that’s what’s expected of them but they’re not quite sure why. If this applies to you, community college can be a good choice. There you can try out some college-level courses and see if this is something you want to do. After all, the number of freshmen signing up for college is far greater than the number of students who actually graduate.
8. Transferable credits
You can take some classes at a community college and then transfer to a college or university bachelor program for continuous education. Most universities accept many if not all of the credits from two year schools. By doing so you’ll not only save money but you’ll also be able to finish with core requirements and subjects at the community college and concentrate on your major while attending university.
Some community colleges have sports and athletic teams (football, basketball, swimming, etc.)
10. Quality of education
While many people consider community college education to be not as good as that in private schools or universities, it is a key access point to higher education. So if you’re still hesitant about attending a community college first, don’t be. Many successful people start out at such colleges.