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Community College is a Great Option

Last updated May 2, 2022

There are so many alternatives to a traditional 4-year college education - like community college! Here's why community college is a great financial and academic option. 

You save money. 

Paying for courses at a community college can be much cheaper than at a 4-year university. 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. 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. 

Transfer to a 4 year college. 

If you end up deciding that you do want to attend a 4-year college or university, you can always transfer after 2 years at a community college! This is a terrific option for students who weren't sure what they wanted to study after graduating high school, or for those who wanted to cut down on high college costs. Courses taken in community college are typically prerequisites for university course - and your credits from those courses should be transferrable to the 4-year college university you decide to attend. 

Direct Transfer Programs

Many community colleges have direct transfer program partnerships with in-state 4 year universities. Contact the advising office at your local community college to learn more about about the process and details.


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