There is a strong stereotype that if you do not go to a four-year college, you will not have a good job and are deemed less intelligent than people who do, but this is far from the truth. Community college is an opportunity and investment in your future that many people do not take advantage of.
Community College Options
Some people may opt to stay in community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year college, and some may want to stay for all four years, but both are viable options.
Tuition and Debt
The average annual rate of a four-year private (or some public) university is around $30,000, whereas the annual tuition at community college is not more than $5,000. Not only would you be saving money by going to community college and getting a proper education, but you would be saving your money in the long run by avoiding a lot of debt. Depending on their major, many students in four-year universities or colleges graduate with debt in the 4 or 5 figures range, some even with 6 figures. With community college, not only are you paying less and leaving with little to no debt, but it is easier to stay at home instead of paying for housing.
Community college classes allow you to explore different majors with less risk of losing credits, unlike four-year colleges. If you switch a major at college, some of your credits may go to waste, along with the money you spent on it. Community colleges also give more night class opportunities, which can help if you are preoccupied with other commitments during the day, such as a job. You are also able to pick the number of classes you can take when you do community college part-time.
Balancing School and Life
Many people who have out of school prior engagements, such as family responsibilities or a job, attend community college because it gives them more flexibility and time slots for classes. This way, they can juggle their obligations in and out of school for less money and are still able to receive a proper education.
Community colleges have smaller classes that allow you to have more one-on-one time with professors, get extra help when you are struggling in a class, and the option to ask more questions. You are also able to build closer relationships and interactions with your peers as there are fewer people in the class.
If you do plan on going to community college, be sure to make sure they have a solid transfer agreement, which will let you carry and accept your credits from community college to your next college or university.
Remember that community college is not like stereotypes that you hear from other people. Community college not only allows you to balance your workload from in and out of school to make your life easier, but you leave with less debt and a similar level of credentials. Although community college is frequently looked down upon by many, especially compared to a four-year college, the benefits are worth considering.