Community College – start there

Why Community College is a Good Idea

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When considering a dream school, enrolling at a local community might not be part of the pathway to success that you envision. However, when we talk about affording college and launching your career with minimal debt, having a 2-year school could be a savvy start into your college education.

In my personal pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, I began at a community college myself.  Many students that I knew that went on to transfer told me that it made them more focused.  In addition they mentioned that having an associate degree in their hands gave them a little more confidence when they walked onto their transfer university.

Community colleges offer multiple options for those looking to begin their educational career without the pressures social or financial pressures of a major university.  These junior colleges provide both associate’s degrees, but also occupational certificates. Whether you have a high school diploma or GED, you can be on your way to joining a community college.

A student who has a strong academic record at a community college can transfer to a more rigorous state or private college for two additional years to obtain a bachelors’ degree. Learning at a community college has its advantages as well.  See this article here.

It’s the Hidden First Option

Whether you had a difficult high school experience or not, in order to attend a community college you must show you are capable of obtaining value in attending.  Universities, like the University of California system, transfer in high volumes of local high performing community college graduates into their junior level status, so the grades you obtain at a community college are important.

Further, the transfer stage is becoming a lot easier for a student that denotes more students are taking advantage of this cost effective route towards a bachelor’s degree. You will find community colleges where there are set up transfer pathways (also known as articulation agreements) so students have the ability to transfer quickly to a local state university with minimal to no credit loss.

College is Too Expensive

Community college cost only a fraction of the total price for private or public 4-year residential colleges. if you are short on money and do not have the scholastic backing in order to win merit scholarships, then a community college could save you thousands of dollars in lost wages or student loans. However, do not make your decisions according to money – a lot of 4-year colleges are frequently less than half of the 4-year public universities and a very small portion of the list price for some private institutions.  This is why it is also important to always fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year.  This FAFSA is an indicator of what your estimated cost of attendance versus costs should be.  It is important to fill one out every year you attend a post secondary institution to see if you qualify for free money.

It’s More Convenient

For the majority of students who are about to leave home, a community college could be a viable option. Most students have the opportunities to continue living with their parents after high school graduation and could attend community college while not needing to factor in living independently. Apart from that, staying in the local community offers many advantages. These include work connections that go deeper into your youth, nearby friends as well as other established community ties such as churches and clubs.

Academic Boost

For some people, community college is an opportunity to make up for a poor high school record. For some, it’s a chance to get additional support and guidance. Community colleges sometimes have small class sizes. The focus of the faculty is not about research, it’s teaching. Apart from that, there are lots of support services, like organized study groups and mentoring programs. You might find that you qualify for the scholarship from the school you are transferring.

To sum up, the most important thing to consider is to bear in mind that college is always college. Take your community college education seriously, whether it’s a 2-year or 4-year school to have a good future.

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