Benefits of Going to a Community College
Last updated May 10, 2022
There are a variety of options you may be looking into after finishing high school. Maybe going to a 4-year college/university does not seem like the option that is right for you at this moment. Don’t worry! There are a variety of routes to choose from and community college might be the right one for you!
Attending community college is an excellent way to learn, discover your educational interests, earn a degree or credential, and prepare to transfer to a 4-year college/university if you want. Here are the benefits of attending community college.
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. The low cost gives you the chance to save money for other necessities such as housing, food, or supporting your family. Many states and cities have also enacted grants and programs - usually known as Promise Programs - that help pay for, or in some cases completely cover, a community college education for residents. Here is an example of one in Seattle, Washington! Ask your high school counselor if there is anything similar in your area.
Smaller class sizes
Community colleges tend to be smaller in size which means classes have fewer students. Class sizes can average 30 students per class, even for introductory courses like English 101. Classes at large colleges & universities can have introductory lecture courses with hundreds of students. This means that in community college, your professor will know who you are and could be able to help you personally during their office hours. Keep in mind, there are TONS of smaller 4-year colleges & universities that also offer small class sizes - it’s just more common at community colleges.
Earning 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!
Transferring to a 4-year college or university
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. Community college credits, if you work with your academic advisor, can count toward your 4-year degree when you transfer. This means by starting at a community college, you’re getting that same 4-year degree for way less money. Many community colleges have transfer agreements with local & state colleges/universities for direct transfer upon completing specific course requirements! A direct transfer means that a student who completes the Associate in Arts degree will have satisfied all or most of the basic (general education) requirements at the university. This means that you will be able to start your specialized/major specific courses when you arrive at the university. There are some cases where community colleges have partnerships with 4-year schools making admissions a little easier, and sometimes guaranteed. Make sure to ask an academic advisor about this at your community college.
Access to the same resources as a 4-year college/university
There are a lot of the same on-campus resources available for students at a community college. Most community colleges have tutoring services, clubs, student government, cultural resource centers & more!
Staying close to home
Many assume starting college means leaving home - but that’s not always the case. Whether you’re not ready to make that move or you want to stay close to home, a local community college will allow you to stay close to home until you decide your next step. You don’t have to have it figured out already!
If you’re thinking about community college as a post-high school option, but have questions or want advice, text #Hello to 33-55-77 for 1:1 help from our college and career advisors! We also have a guide on how to transfer from a community college to a 4-year university here.