In your search for colleges, have you considered community college? Four-year colleges have traditionally been the first choice for most students. Don’t discount community colleges completely though. There are community college benefits that may make them a better option for you instead of a 4-year university.
So how do you decide between the two? These signs may point you in the right direction.
Cost of Tuition Is a Main Deciding Factor
Perhaps the most popular of the community college benefits is cost. Attending a four-year university can be expensive. Most students who attend private colleges take massive student loans to cover their tuition. While getting a loan is easy, it also means spending a long time repaying the debt.
Enrolling in a community college can save you thousands of dollars. Two years at an in-state public university could cost you about $43,900 on average. At a private university, $99,758.
The same amount of time at a community will cost you about $25,440.
If you want to earn a higher degree, you can transfer to a four-year university after those first two years at community college. With this “2+2 strategy“, you will graduate with far lower debt than your peers who started out at a four-year college.
A Flexible Schedule is Important for You
Having a flexible schedule is crucial when you’re trying to balance family, school, work, and other obligations. You may be a parent with young children or you may need to stay home to care for your older parents. Maybe you need to work full time to fund your education and attend classes around your work schedule. Community colleges are the best choice for you if you are looking for flexible class schedules. Community college students can choose from full or part-time enrollment, in-class or online class options, and evening or weekend classes.
You Are Looking For Job-Specific Training
Consider community college is a better option if you’re looking for job-specific training that will allow you to join the workforce faster. Classes at community college can be tailored for very specific careers. You can get the training you need for your chosen career in two years. No need to spend the first two years in generalized studies that may not even apply to your major.
You Have Weaker Grades
Community college admissions are not as highly competitive as that of four-year universities and are generally easier to get into. Most community colleges also offer classes to help students boost their grades in weaker subjects. Attending a community college for two years may be just what you need to master your weaker spots and improve your grades. This will also increase your chances of getting into a four-year university to continue your education.
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