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Community College Versus 4 Year University

Lucy Law, A&E Editor

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Community college used to have a reputation for being a path that students take when they aren’t sure or aren’t serious about their future. However, qualifications for teachers and academic standards have risen, so community college might not seem as detrimental to one’s future as it used to.

When it comes to choosing between a community college and a university, it comes down to a number of factors. Location, costs, and work are all things that go into consideration.

There appears to be a stigma around going to community college. It is looked at as a cop out for lazy students to avoiding facing their future.

If you are in the process of deciding which choice is better for you, look at the pros and cons.

Cost is arguably the most common reason for one to choose a community college over a four year. When price differences range from $3,000 for an in-state community college to $20,000 for a four year private college, savings can be huge.

If your plan is to attend a community college for two years and transfer to a university, one thing to keep track of is if the classes you are taking have transferable credits. Otherwise you end up having to pay for the same class with a heavier price.

Another thing that contributes to cost is location. Granted, you can also live at home when attending a university, but attending a local community college can save you around $8,000-$10,000 every year when you don’t have to pay for dorming.

The community college system has changed a lot through the years. They started off as junior colleges, where one would go for two years and most times stop there with their education,”

The community college system has changed a lot through the years. They started off as junior colleges, where one would go for two years and most times stop there with their education.

Now, community colleges work to prepare students for a university. Some even partner with local universities for automatic admission for students who graduate with a two year degree.

Community colleges also tend to have more flexible classes, which is something to consider if you aren’t going to be a full time student and have other commitments such as work. If a university has a large population, then classes can vary in flexibility.

A big  problem people have with community colleges are the sky-high dropout rates. But the lesson is the same whether a student chooses a community college or a four year; start college with the full intent of finishing.

If you are thinking about going to a four-year, but are worried you might not be ready for university-level studies, going to a community college first might help you gain confidence and learn advanced study skills.

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About the Writer
Lucy Law, Co Editor-in-Chief

Lucy is a senior at SJHHS and is excited to be returning for her third year for The Express as Co Editor-in-Chief. When she’s not writing, you can find...

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