Five Reasons to Attend Community College Before Transferring to a Four-Year School
Community college isn’t the right choice for everyone. However, there are some outstanding benefits of starting out your education at a junior college before transferring to a four-year college.
- The cost. This is one of the main reasons why students start out at community colleges- and it’s a good reason, especially in an era of skyrocketing education costs and out-of-control student loan debts. Community colleges allow students to complete the first two years of their education at a highly reduced cost before transferring to a four year school. Once they graduate from the four-year school, these student have the exact same degree as all the other students–but for much less money. Community college is kind of like a higher education coupon.
- The class sizes. You can take intro to American history at a major university with 400 other students. Or you could take the exact same class at a community college with 25 students. You’ll get to know the teacher and the students, and have class discussions as opposed to straight lecture.
- Good teachers. Yes, there are bad teachers at community college, and good ones at four year schools. But community college teachers are there almost exclusively to teach, whereas professors at four year colleges and universities have a multiplicity of roles that often includes a heavy research load. And community college jobs are actually quite competitive—sometimes more so than at four year schools—so teachers have to be good or they’ll be replaced.
- A second chance at a good four-year college. Didn’t do so well in high school? Get some solid grades in your community colleges classes, and you’ll get a second chance to prove yourself. That D you earned in high school chemistry won’t matter much (or at all) after two years of community college with a 3.75.
- An easier transition. A four year college can be intimidating—whether you’re a high school senior who isn’t quite ready to leave home, or a returning student who hasn’t been in school for two decades. In community college, you’ll be surrounded by others in similar situations, and by teachers who understand that this is where their students are at.