Upon applying to college, students often find themselves trying to figure out their major or navigate housing options. However, one of the questions you could first ask yourself as you begin your school search might be: Would my local community college be a suitable alternative to a four-year university? Below, the experts at Commmunityforce break down some of the notable benefits of attending a community college.
It’s not difficult to see how community college can save you money when you factor in, on average, tuition at a community college costs one-third to half the price of a public four-year university.
In addition, attending a college in your community might enable you to continue living at home. Considering the average cost of room and board at a public four-year university falls just under $10,000, you will undoubtedly save yourself thousands of dollars each year by taking advantage of this opportunity.
It’s also worth noting that attending a community college doesn’t typically affect your financial aid. In fact, it could open you up to receive scholarships and grants specifically designed for two-year programs.
Smaller class sizes
If you find that you thrive in a smaller, more intimate learning environment, a community college could be the perfect place for you.
Many community colleges list their average class size at 25 to 30 students; larger universities, on the other hand, have some classes that hold upward of 150 students. In the long run, partaking in a smaller class could enable you to have more one-on-one time with your professor and fellow students – a huge benefit if you find that you learn better in small groups.
Community for nontraditional students
As noted by U.S. News & World Report, community colleges can foster a welcoming environment and a smoother transition for students who consider themselves more nontraditional.
Adult learners, for example, typically find it easier to fit courses offered by community colleges into their regular schedules. Those who practice English as their second language might find a community college experience more accommodating for their learning needs.
U.S. News & World Report also pointed out that community colleges can be beneficial to students who intend to stray from the traditional four-year program.
Whether you only need two years of schooling for your career path or you want to transfer credits to a four-year institution down the road, attending a community college could work out in your favor.
As stated on HerCampus.com, attending a four-year school can leave you with a sense that you need to immediately figure out which field you want to work in for the rest of your life.
Alternatively, attending community college could provide you more time to figure it all out. Even if you sign up for a two-year program, there will be more opportunities for you to explore different programs and potential career paths at a lower cost than you’d be paying elsewhere.
At the minimum, Fastweb.com noted that attending a community college could allow you to fulfill your basic requirements or courses not required for your major at half the cost. From there, you could transfer credits over to another college or university. If you intend to take this path, be sure to check with both schools beforehand to ensure your credits will transfer over properly.
For more information on financial aid and college planning, please visit Communityforce website!