Should You Go To Community College?

Elizabeth Witbeck

Should You Go To Community College?

Deciding which college to attend is a difficult decision, because in the United States there are so many colleges to choose from. You can go to a small or a large campus, you can go to a public school or a private school, you can stay at home and commute or you can choose something residential.

Community colleges are a great way to receive an education, without all of the added expenses. Community colleges offer a way to receive a two-year degree. You can go to school and then enter into the workforce, or use community college as a launching pad before you head off into a larger university. This is an excellent route for many students. Below a a few reasons why community college could be a great fit for you.

You can improve your transcript.

If you received poor grades in high school, a low GPA and class rank could affect your ability to be accepted into a four-year college or university. By attending a community college for one or two years, you will be able to take classes and raise your GPA. Transferring into your four-year college of choice with a higher GPA from a community college may be easier than applying to that same university from high school.

Just make sure that the college or university will accept transfer credits from the community college. You can do this by contacting the registrar or advising offices of universities you are interested in and asking them about their policies on accepting transfer credits from other community colleges.

You can see if college is right for you.

Are you on the fence about whether college is right for you? Maybe you have fears about leaving your family for an extended period of time, or spending a lot of money on college, or are unsure if you would receive good grades in college. College can be a frightening experience, with students unsure if they will be happy or succeed.

Community college is a great place to test the waters and see if college is the right choice for you. You will be able to take classes and understand more about the college experience. If you enjoy yourself, congratulations. If not, you can always look for other options.

Community colleges offer vocational careers.

Many people know exactly what type of career field they want to pursue. Some people want to become a nurse, some want to become a chef, others want to become a car mechanic. Community colleges offer classes to help you get exactly the skills you need for your career. Often community colleges can also help you get an apprenticeship or internship. You will leave with a degree or a certification in your field.

Community college costs less money.

Let’s face it, college is not inexpensive. If you are concerned about the staggering price of college, community college is a far cheaper option. According to CollegeBoard, the average cost of tuition and fees for private colleges was $34,000 for just one year in 2016. Compare this to one year of community college, which is $3,000. If you are looking to save money, community college is a good choice.

Remember, even if you are attending community college, there is financial aid available to you. There are federal grants and loans available, as long as you are enrolled part-time. You can also find private scholarships. Use these to make college an affordable investment for your future.

You can save money while you are in college.

You are able to save money while you are in community college. Many students choose to attend community college part-time or take night classes. This allows them to work at the same time. Many students also live at home with their parents, which takes away an additional expense. Add all of this up and you can see that students who attend community college are able to save money.

It is a good option for nontraditional students.

Sometimes parents are a bit older, married with children, and want to go back to college because they never had the opportunity. Some people may have dropped out of high school, or went into the workforce right after high school graduation, and it is only when they are much older are now interested in going back to college. Community colleges offer flexible night time classes and online classes.

Many people attend community college part-time. This is a great option for nontraditional students. You can attend college, while still going to work and raising your family.

Those are just a few of the reasons why community college might be the best option for you. It is always a good idea to consult with a guidance counselor or advisors at the local colleges nearby to determine whether community college is right for you. Best of luck in your college search.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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