Enrollment into community colleges has increased dramatically through the years. Numerous students are choosing to attend community college for the first two years rather than a four-year university. As tuition inflates each year, student enrollment is starting to decrease. “According to the College Board, in 2011-2012, tuition and fees cost an average of $28,500 at private nonprofit four-year colleges, $8,244 at public four-year colleges, and $2,963 at public community colleges” (Community college value more apparent than ever, By Dr. Christine Sobek). While four year colleges have many benefits, choosing to attend a community college also has certain benefits for students.
Attending a community college will provide an associate’s degree which is achieved by taking prerequisite type courses, such as, mathematics, English, and science. Money can be saved because these types of courses are needed wherever you choose to attend. Thousands of dollars can then be saved to put towards further education beyond the associates degree. Community colleges offer similar if not the same opportunities to students without causing debt that cannot be afforded.
Community college gives a person the opportunity to decide if college is the right choice without incurring debt that possibly could be triple the cost of a private university and for those who would like to give it a chance before ultimately making the decision to enter into the workplace. Going to a community college allows a student to explore various ideas and thoughts about career path and life choices. This is especially helpful for the undecided students just graduating high school. For many students, community college can serve as a building block for future education choices, even those students that begin college with an idea of what he/she wants to study, but after a few classes, meeting with college advisors, speaking to other students, and financial obligations may decide to follow a different career and study path.
It is said by Jeffery King in “5 Reasons Community Colleges Make Sense Right Now” that many students will switch majors in the first two years, which makes sense because it’s difficult to plan your life at 18 or 19 years old. Since community college does not make one declare a major, the student has much more time to decide.
Community colleges also offer students vocational skills and degrees to go straight into a pursued career. Another major consideration is if a student did not have high enough grades in high school to enter a private four year college or university, the student will then have a chance to improve grades and transfer. A two year college basically gives the student a second chance. Once these students have better grades, the chance of being accepted at a university and even be qualified for scholarships improve.
In addition to these reasons why attending a Community college makes sense, another can be for the location and the convenience demographically to home. Community college can be extremely beneficial because not all students can afford to travel or have a means of transportation. Students can also schedule courses around work and personal obligations. Most community colleges are much smaller than a university, therefore, the classes are smaller and have a lower student to professor ratio. Many students have trouble keeping up with the academics and going to a smaller community college can possibly offer these type of students more personal tutoring time.
As you can see, going to a community college is an excellent idea for so many reasons. Although I am not attending a community college. I strongly encourage students to consider going to community college. In Liz Addison’s article, “Two Years Are Better Than Four,” she states “They offer a network of affordable future, of accessible hope, and an option to dream.” I strongly agree with what she said, community college gives an opportunity to restart or just to decide what to do in the future. College is a time in a person’s life where figuring out the future and what you want to do and become in life begins. It is the largest stepping stone to the future as an adult. This is the decision making time in life and a person should use all the resources possible to help decide the correct path and for those students that for one reason or another cannot start out attending a four year college, community college is an excellent choice and is reasonably priced.