There’s a rumor out there that community and junior colleges aren’t worth going to because they aren’t full four-year universities, are less academically rigorous, and frowned upon by employers. This simply isn’t true. Community colleges are great for students who are first starting out their college career or are going back to college after a long break. Here are some reasons why a community college could be the right choice for you.
Tuition is usually a lot less expensive
Community colleges offer a way for you to get your generals and prerequisites at a lower cost than a four-year institution. It is a good way to start out your college career with not a lot of money. Plus, they will still offer financial aid, grants, and scholarship opportunities to pay for your classes.
You can almost always transfer your credits, but still check first
If your plan is to go to a community college and then transfer to a four-year university, make sure that those credits you take at the community college will transfer where you are hoping to go. This is as simple as calling the college and asking the admissions office about transferring credits from a different institution. In most cases, credits will easily transfer over into a four-year degree program, especially if the college you are transferring into is in the same city or state. In fact, many community colleges have partnerships with larger colleges in their area to make it easier on students.
Great academic standards
In the last couple of decades, community colleges have really stepped up their game in terms of the quality of education they provide. A lot of the times professors will be fresh out of their Ph.D. or master’s program, so they will be just as knowledgeable but with less experience. However, there will also be a lot of professors who are seasoned veterans with 20-30+ years of experience. Don’t think that just because they are teaching at a community college they are the bottom of the barrel.
Class schedules are flexible
Community colleges are great for traditional and nontraditional students alike because they offer a wide range of subject areas and typically at a variety of times. They will usually offer a lot of night and weekend classes as well as online classes so that you can work during the day and go to school at night or at home. This can be a great opportunity for those who don’t think they have enough time to go to traditional daytime class times because of work and family, but can fit in their education on the weekends and at night.
Class size at community colleges are kept low so that students have an opportunity to get to know the professor better and get extra help if needed. You won’t get huge 100+ lecture halls at a community college, and for most students this means a better chance of success.
Partnerships with other local colleges
Junior and community colleges tend to offer programs that are done in partnership with a local or statewide public college in the area. What this means is you can get everything you need to get in order to start and qualify for a program at a university without having to pay for the full cost of the university. For example, some community colleges will have nursing programs that will help you get all of the prerequisites you need to get into the nursing program at the university to finish out a Bachelors in Science Nursing degree. There is no sense in paying for the cost of a attendance at a university when you can do the same thing at a fraction of the cost at a community college.
No matter what type of student you are, fresh out of high school or in your 40s with kids and a full-time job, a community college is a great chance to further your education for a fraction of the cost and on your own time. Don’t ever think that community colleges won’t be able to offer you a good education, because that is simply not true.