Community College Can Be A Great Option
Last updated March 1, 2021
Contrary to popular belief, there are alternatives to a 4-year college education - community college is one of them. Learn why community college is a smart choice.
You save money.
Paying for courses at a community college is a lot cheaper. If you look at the per credit cost, one community college credit can be $100 versus $400 at a public university (Seattle Central vs University of Washington). Some states/cities have also made community college free for residents, check out the list here.
Smaller class sizes.
Most community colleges don't have big lecture halls like universities. Class sizes can average 30 students per class, even for introductory courses like Biology 101. In a university setting, this number can be in the hundreds. This means that in community college, your teacher will know your name and when you go to office hours you can get help from the teacher instead of a teacher's assistant like in a large university setting.
Get a degree in 2 years.
You can get an Associate's degree in as little as two years or a certificate specific to a job, such as a Dental Hygienist ($60-70k median salary) or a Nursing Assistant ($35k median salary). This means your earning potential can increase within two years instead of four. Ask the advising office at the community college for a list of their certificate programs.
Transfer to a 4 year college.
Another way to get into a 4-year university is by transferring from community college. You get all the benefits you read about above and a clear pathway to a Bachelor's degree.This is a terrific option for students who didn’t have the grades or SAT/ACT scores from high school to get into the school they wanted straight after graduating. Courses taken in community college are typically prerequisites for university course. Meet with your advisor often to make sure your courses will transfer.
Direct Transfer Programs
Many community colleges have direct transfer program partnerships with in-state 4 year universities. Meet with the advising office to learn about the process and the details.
For further reading, Forbes "Drop The Shame: 5 Reasons To Consider Community College"