5 Reasons to Go to Community College First
It’s easy to rule out community college as an option when you’re starting college. It may not be glamourous and far away from home like some schools are, but it is a great way to start your college career. Here’s why:
1. It’s cheaper
According to College Board, the average community college costs $3,440 a year. A public, in-state four-year school, on the other hand, costs an average of $9,410 a year. The cost keeps on rising when you start looking at out-of-state and private four-year schools.
Going to community college can save you thousands of dollars a year, yet you still get a quality education. Cheaper classes also give you more room to experiment with subjects you’re interested in. To make this an even cheaper option, you can live at home and commute to campus – no expensive dorms, housing fees, or pricey meal plans here!
2. You can get ahead
Attending a community college first is a fantastic way to focus on your general education classes. By the time you finish the gen eds, you can transfer to a four-year school and may only have your major courses to worry about. If you’re lucky and plan it right, you may get everything done sooner and can even graduate early. Not to mention the potential to earn an associate’s degree while you’re at it. Who wouldn’t want that?
|Related: 5 Tips for Transitioning from Community College to a 4-Year School|
3. You don’t have to quit your job
If you have a job and aren’t ready to quit, but still want to go to college, community college is the place for you. Hours at your job may have to shift with your class schedule, but because you will still be living in town, you don’t have to quit. Working and going to school isn’t an easy task, but it will help you build impressive time management skills (and save more money!). When you’re ready to make the transition to a four-year school, you’ll have matured and will be capable of managing your time without going crazy. Bonus: future employers will be impressed by your ability to manage work and school simultaneously.
4. It gives you time to think
Not everyone knows what they want to do in high school. It is perfectly okay if you are one of those people who need extra time figuring things out. While you’re trying to decide on a career path, community college is a great way to explore your interests while still getting your general education requirements out of the way. This way, you’re making progress toward your goals without spending loads of money on classes you’re not sure about. Win-win!
5. You can improve your grades
If your grades weren’t great in high school, you can use community college to improve your overall grade point average. When it’s time to transfer to a four-year school to finish your degree, the only things that will really matter are your community college classes and grades, Use this opportunity as a second chance to improve your GPA.