While in high school, students face one of the biggest decisions of their life: what college? Before this, however, students must choose a type of school, which include both community and 4-year.
In order to help with this decision, here’s a list of the pros of attending community colleges.
Cost of Tuition
According to the College Board, the average cost of attending a community college is around $3,000, including tuition and fees, while the average 4-year in-state public university is around $22,261. The lower cost of community college allows students to save money for a 4-year university if they want to transfer later.
Workload and Schedule
Community colleges typically offer far more flexible schedules than universities, including night classes, so it’s easier to work while attending a community college. The workload is typically easier at community colleges. Class attendance may also not be required, but it typically is at universities.
Exploring Courses of Study
As the cost at a community college is less, students can take classes and explore outside of their major without massive financial expense. Community college students also typically take on internships and apprenticeships within the nearby community, allowing a look at future jobs.
Although cheaper tuition would make students believe that attendance would be higher, community colleges typically have smaller class sizes than many public universities. Smaller class sizes allows more interaction with professors and additional time with professors is common.
Community colleges provide a transitional period between high school and a 4-year university. Students can earn college credit that goes toward their major at a university, while having a more personal experience and an internship or job.
Even though there are many advantages of attending community colleges, there are also several cons.
Fewer Class Options
Attending a community college will earn an associate’s instead of a bachelor’s degree. Unless that’s what students are looking for, a transfer to a 4-year university is a must. Holders of associate’s degrees also typically paid less than people with bachelor’s degrees, but the cost to acquire one is less.
There are also fewer courses of study offered at community colleges, as these colleges are typically specialized to one or a few vocational paths.
While slightly stereotypical, many students who attend community college have no plans for continuing their education after college. These schools are meant to be vocational and prepare students for jobs, but transferring is still an option.
Discussion in the classroom typically involves the professor and a few students, while others either don’t show up or don’t care about the class– they just want the degree to work.
What campus life? While community colleges may have clubs and other student organizations, they are not a main or integral part of the college experience. A lot of students must balance their classes with work or other commitments, so there is little to no time for clubs and sports.
So, the million dollar question: what are you looking for with your college experience?