5 Reasons To Consider Community College
Last updated October 20, 2020
You've heard from parents, teachers, and friends that you need to go to college to be successful, but you also know that college is expensive, and maybe you're unsure if four years of school is right for you - especially at this moment in time. Some good news! There are a number of other options - like taking a gap year, trade school/apprenticeships, and community college. Community college can be an excellent stepping stone to achieving a 4-year degree, OR an end-in-itself through a 2-year associate’s degree or certification.
Here are several reasons why community college can be a smart option:
1. You save money. Tuition and fees for courses at community colleges tend to be significantly cheaper than the cost of tuition and expenses at a 4-year university. Many states and cities have also enacted grants and programs that help pay for, or in some cases completely cover, a community college education for residents. Check out this list of community college grant programs by region.
2. 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. Keep in mind, there are TONS of smaller 4-year colleges that also offer small class sizes - it’s just more common at community colleges.
3. Get a degree in 2 years. You can get an Associate's degree in as little as two years, or earn a career-specific certificate - allowing you to jump quickly into fields like dental hygiene, radiology, nursing, and working as an EMT. Check out this list of jobs you can get with a 2-year degree!
4. Transfer to a 4-year college. Whether you complete a 2-year Associate’s degree, or only take a handful of classes - community college is an excellent stepping stone to a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. If you struggled to get good grades or a strong SAT/ACT score in high school, attending community college for 1 or 2 years - raising your GPA, and then applying as a transfer student to a 4-year university can dramatically boost your chance of being admitted AND save you money. Community college credits, if you work with your academic advisor, can count toward your 4-year degree when you transfer - meaning that by starting at a community college, you’re getting that same 4-year degree for way less money.
5. Get a feel for distance-learning. It’s highly likely that the majority of colleges across the U.S. won’t have in-person classes during the Fall 2020 semester/quarter. If you’re worried about whether distance learning in a college setting works for you, taking a class or two at a community college is a great way to find out - with less of a commitment/investment involved than matriculating at a 4-year college.
If you’re thinking about community college as a post-secondary option, but have questions or want advice, text us for 1:1 help from our college coaches - “ HELLO” to 33-55-77!
We also have a guide on how to transfer from a community college to a 4-year university here.