Community College – A Viable Choice
By SGZ Staff
While some seniors – and their parents – dream of attending a big-name or well-known four-year undergraduate institution in hopes of earning a degree, some seniors know their next stop is the local community college. That is not a bad thing at all. There are many advantages to choosing community college, including cost.
Going to a community college – two-year public institutions providing higher education and granting certificates, diplomas and associate’s degrees – allows a student to work and save for two years, as well as apply for scholarships and grants to offset the cost of attending a four-year college, if that is the desired next step. Taking the community college route also allows students to get all of their general education classes out of the way at a reduced rate without negotiating the quality of their education.
Students attending attend a community college for two years, that intent on entering their four-year college or university of choice as a junior need to make sure the credits earned at community college transfer. This is very important as a student can find themselves repeating classes.
Community colleges also offer students a solid foundation for the “college” atmosphere – something high school cannot provide. Students coming out of high school are used to certain factors, such as face-time with their teachers; however, at large four-year universities this is not always possible. And students – because of certain factors – tend to fall between the cracks. Sometimes, attending a community college first will give a student exiting high school the tools necessary to make it through a four-year institution.
Teens looking to attend four-year institutions after receiving their associate degrees have a better chance of being accepted than if they applied right out of high school. Let’s face it, getting accepted into a four-year institution right out of high school can be difficult, especially since admission isn’t solely based on grades, but on SAT and ACT scores, as well as extracurricular activities. The same rules simply do not apply to those transferring from community college. Community colleges also offer unconventional courses that may not be readily available at a four-year school.
Community college is a viable choice for those high school graduates undecided about what to do next, or for those who are just not ready to attend a four-year institution. It is an option that should be considered.