Enrolling in a community college is one of the best ways to earn a high paying and rewarding career. Sometimes referred to as a junior college or a two-year school, community colleges provide access to affordable postsecondary education while also offering fast-track options like 12-18 month certificate programs, and associate’s degrees.
It’s important to know that community colleges are an accredited educational institution. This means the school passed the certification process of providing quality education with degreed and highly experienced professors and instructors. Accreditation assures students that the school exists as a legitimate and credible institute of higher education.
Community College vs. Four-Year University
- Less Stress – Community colleges offer a more relaxed environment, which is vastly different from the high levels of stress that exist at four-year universities.
- Easier Admission – Universities generally have stringent admissions requirements, while most community colleges have an “open door” policy.
- Remedial Class Availability – For students that need extra math skills or reading comprehension before advancing to graduate-level studies, a community college will offer more remedial study classes to ensure student success.
- Hands-on Training – Unlike four-year degree programs, two-year colleges teach a curriculum that prepare students for immediate employment. This may include hands-on training in the school’s laboratory, internships, or on-the-job experiences.
- Post-Degree Studies – Many students decide to complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degree at a community college. Not only does this save them thousands of dollars in loans, it also improves their study and test taking abilities in preparation to transfer to a university.
Benefits of Community College
“So, why should I go to community college?” Well, there are many reasons! Community college is a popular higher education choice because of its relaxed acceptance requirements and lower tuition rates. Undecided students who are unsure of what they want to do can explore a career path with classes that transfer to a four-year college. Contrarily, for those who have decided upon a major field of study, a community college puts them in the workforce faster with a skillset that is higher in demand and at an entry level pay rate.
Another benefit of attending a community college is the many avenues of financial aid available for prospective students – unlike many unaccredited institutions that leave students with a huge financial burden after graduation.
Find a Program for You
Additional benefits of community college include:
- Saves Money on Education – Community college offers lower tuitions when compared with four- year universities and have excellent financial aid packages. The benefit is that you end up with less student loan debt after graduation.
- Lower Cost of Living – By attending an online or in-state community college, you can avoid the cost of room, board, and transportation (to campus, work, and home). Many students save money by living at home or near the college and some continue to work part-time while attending school full-time.
- Smaller, Flexible Classes – Universities are notorious for large lecture halls and often, there are limited class schedules for each course. At community colleges, classes are smaller and offer more flexibility with their schedules, such as night, weekend, and “fast-track” classes.
- Good Transitional Option – If your goal is to complete a four-year degree or graduate studies, a community college is a great way to transition into higher education. Many of your completed classes may be transferable, which allows you the freedom to explore different avenues of study before making a long-term commitment.
- Balanced Lifestyle – Attending a two-year community college provides a good school/life balance where you can take as few classes as you are comfortable with, while still working or raising your family.
- Location – The most notable reason for students to consider community college is that it is local. It provides students with a new network of professional associates within the community – which is beneficial when applying for internships or jobs.
In conclusion, today’s community colleges offer a wide range of certificate and degree possibilities in high-demand fields like computers, technical, medical, and service industries. One of the greatest benefits of community college is that students graduate with more professional, hands-on skills than a university graduate. You no longer must ask yourself, “Why should I go to community college?” Instead, you just enroll at your local community college!