“Which schools are you applying to?” “Where are you going to college?” “Did you hear where *insert name* is going?”
If you are currently in your senior year of high school, you have probably heard one of these questions before. I am here to tell you one thing: don’t feel pressured going away for college because so many others are, four year universities are NOT your only option.
I am from New Jersey and I am currently attending a four year university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now in my sophomore year, I often wonder what it would have been like to attend a community college.
Here are five reasons to consider a community college!
1.) Save money on tuition
Four year universities are way more expensive than community colleges, especially out-of-state schools. The difference between four year universities and community colleges is THOUSANDS of dollars, and also thousands in debt as well. The cost of community colleges is much more reasonable. As someone who struggles to pay tuition bills, I can honestly say that low tuition cost is the most important factor in considering a community college.
2.) Save money by living at home
The average dorm at my school is around $4,000-$5,000. Think about what you can do with that money if you lived at home for free! Some freshman dorms do not even have personal bathrooms, they have community ones, which might only come with a few showers. This means waiting in line for your turn. No thanks. I’d rather have my own private bathroom at home!
3.) Immediate job opportunities
Community colleges offer you immediate certifications, such as associate’s degrees, diplomas, or certificates that can all be completed within two years. Students can then start applying for jobs with these qualifications. From personal experience, I have seen people come straight out of community college with job offers in various fields.
4.) Ability to transfer to a university after two years
After you graduate from community college, you might decide to transfer schools to obtain a higher certification, such as a bachelor’s degree. Do some research on which schools accept credits from your community college. Most in-state schools do, and even some that are out-of-state.
5.) Time to think about options
I went in to a four university as an Art Education major, and now I am a Media Studies and Production major. I have heard stories of people changing their major several times, and sometimes, they take classes that end up not counting for their major. These extra courses pile up on expenses, and might cause students to stay in school for another year, which takes a toll on tuition and debt. Community college allows you to explore your options at a reasonable price. Then down the road, if you decide to transfer to a four year university, you will have a better understanding of what you would like to study in school.
Remember, you have the whole world to explore after you graduate high school. You have so many options, for some, school might not be in the future at all, and for others, a four year university is right. Some might attend community college, while others choose vocational schools, and some might even join the workforce immediately.
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