Community colleges are not given as much attention as they deserve. Often people have a negative connotation of them. However, that is a misguided perception. Community colleges offer several advantages to a traditional four-year university. That does mean there are no caveats, though.
What is a Community College ?
So, what is the difference between a community college and a university? They are both institutions of higher education. However, community colleges are structured differently. This can make them more appealing to students with specific circumstances.
Two Year Programs:
Community colleges typically only offer two-year degree programs. If you complete your education and graduate from one, you will receive an Associates’ degree.
Transfer programs are the most popular type of program offered by community colleges. Most community colleges have partnership universities. A transfer program allows you to complete the first two years of a four-year degree at the community college. Then, you will finish your degree at the partner university.
Are you afraid to apply to college because you did not take high school seriously? Plenty of people make the mistake of neglecting their studies while they are in high school. Admission to community college is generally much more accessible than to a four-year university.
Pros and Cons of Community College
Whether community college is the right choice for you will depend on several factors. There are benefits and drawbacks to them. The following are some of the most critical factors for you to consider.
- 1. More Affordable
- 2. Easier Application Process
- 3. Flexible Scheduling
The most common reason people attend community college is the cost. University education can be tens of thousands of dollars for tuition. Most community colleges only cost a fraction of that. Plus, it is easier to get admitted to a community college. Finally, people who work full time can schedule their classes at community college around their job.
- 1. No Student Housing
- 2. Limited Curriculum Choices
- 3. Less Prestigious
Community colleges do not offer the same variety of services as universities. You most likely won’t be able to live on campus at a community college. There are also going to be fewer extracurricular activities. Some people attend universities for the prestige. You will not get that with a community college education.
Tips for a Successful Transfer to a University
Transfer programs are popular for a reason. However, many students make crucial mistakes that hold them back. There are a few things you need to know before you begin a transfer program. Take your education at the community college seriously. The better your grades are, the more effortless the transition to a university will be. Stress can negatively impact academic performance. Check to see if your electric company is offering the most competitive rates. The lower your monthly expenses are, the less stressed you will be.
Review your articulation agreement when you begin attending a community college. Articulation agreements are legally binding documents. It will specify the requirements for you to transfer to the university successfully. These are updated periodically, so you need to stay up-to-date. You would not want to miss out on one of the requirements. That could prevent your transfer and waste a lot of time.
Community College: Is It for You?
Are you excited to begin your college career? If you are nervous about how you will pay for it, community college could be the best decision. Since going to community college is much more affordable, you will waste less money. This is incredibly helpful if you are unsure what your major will be. There is no point in wasting money if you don’t know what you want to do at school. By going to community college, you will graduate with much less student debt.