The Benefits of Community College

A university student who is earning her bachelor's degree World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight

In the past, community college was viewed by many as an inferior option to traditional four-year universities. However, with rising tuition costs and an increasingly competitive job market among college graduates, students may want to rethink their options when it comes to post-secondary education.  A few reasons to consider attending a community college:

Cost Effectiveness

The obvious reason for choosing community college over a four-year university is the price difference. Community colleges are generally much cheaper and you often get the same or better services as you would at a university. Even if you don’t plan to obtain your degree from a two-year college, it’s financially wise to consider a local junior college for introductory level courses. If you do plan to go on to a university, speak with an academic advisor to make sure your classes will transfer.

Location

It’s common for graduating seniors count down the days until they can move away for college, but attending a local junior college might be a wiser financial choice because you can save a lot on living expenses by staying with family. It may also help you transition to college life more gradually by staying close to familiar territory. And if you currently have a job, you can continue to work and save even more money while in school.

Teaching Focus

Since research is not the top priority at junior colleges, instructors and professors can focus solely on teaching. At large universities, classes are often taught by graduate students who are not only focused on their own educations but also much less experienced with teaching. If you’re afraid of getting lost in the crowd in large university classes, try community college courses.

Practical Career Options

Perhaps the greatest advantage of community college is the selection of practical career options that only require an associate’s degree. In many cases, an associate’s degree can offer more job security and pay than a bachelor’s degree. The increasing demand for technically trained workers in healthcare and other fields proves that career-minded students don’t have to attend a university. More education doesn’t necessarily mean greater employment options or pay, so it’s important to research career paths before deciding where to attend college. By getting your degree at a two-year college, you might end up saving precious time and money.

Considering community college? Read The Community College Advantage: Your Guide to a Low-Cost, High-Reward College Experience for more information.

 

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