With the cost of traditional 4-year college rising, even among public universities, paying for college has become a burden for many families. But there’s one place students can trust to keep their student loan debt low, and prepare them for a great career or transfer to a 4-year college – their local community college. Here are 5 good reasons to choose community college.
1. Community College Offers a Lot of Educational Flexibility
One of the reasons why you should go to community college is the benefits these colleges offer. No community college definition is complete without discussing flexibility. What is a community college if not extremely accommodating?
These colleges tend to offer very flexible schedules because many students that attend community college tend to be adults with jobs or other adult duties that they must tend to while they learn. A community college may offer weekend, night, and online classes far more readily than other institutions.
Community colleges also offer academic flexibility for those who aren’t yet sure what type of higher degree they want to pursue. While they figure things out, they can earn general credits or build credits toward a future baccalaureate program. Because of the degree of flexibility offered by these schools, the question of what is a community college can have an answer that varies from person to person.
These colleges also have more online education options and services available. Students can often still live at home, rather than on campus, while they attend community college, which adds even more flexibility to the college’s offerings.
2. Community College Prepares Students for the Workforce
Many community colleges have curriculums specifically designed to prepare a student to join the workforce. In this way, a community college can often work as a trade school or job training program. Why go to community college? Because community colleges tend to have strong ties to where they’re located.
Many of these schools will offer programs that have input from local professional organizations and businesses to help the schools develop educational offerings that will help students immediately enter the local workforce. This type of local industry training can have a great deal of benefit for those who plan to stay in their counties or state to find work. Those ties to local industry are part of the definition of a community college.
3. Community College Can Prepare Students for Four-Year Degree Programs
Many four-year colleges and universities have enrollment requirements that someone isn’t ready to meet. A community college can offer remedial classes and general classes to help a student obtain the education they need to pursue higher education. For example, if a student didn’t finish high school or didn’t obtain the right high school credits, they can earn what they need from the community college.
Most community colleges have an open-door policy. This means anyone who can afford to go, can go. The community college definition is right in the name, it’s a public college for the local community to take advantage of. People can enroll and do what they need to do to earn a trade, certificate, two-year degree, and even a four-year degree at many of these colleges. For those who want to achieve more, community college can represent a valuable and affordable stepping stone toward earning a four-year degree or graduate degree at another school.
4. Community Colleges Cost a Lot Less Than Other Colleges and Universities
Another of the major benefits of community college is the cost. In fact, the cost of entry is usually the answer to the question of why do people go to community college. Community colleges tend to cost a great deal less than other forms of higher education. In some cases, free tuition is also possible. It’s also still possible to seek financial aid, grants, and scholarships for these schools.
However, it’s not just the cheaper tuition that can make community colleges attractive. Students may sometimes find it beneficial to take lower-cost classes at a community college to fulfill credit requirements at another institution. In addition, it’s often more cost-effective to earn an associate’s degree at a community college instead of doing it at another type of university. The student can then transfer that degree to a baccalaureate program at another school. By comparison, a student can spend a lot more on obtaining the same two-year degree at another university. This can also apply to some four-year degree programs at those community colleges that offer them.
5. Community Colleges Offer Networking and Programs That Help Students Achieve More
Why do people go to community college? The main answer is affordability. However, for those wondering why go to a community college, the answer can go beyond the price of tuition. If you’re wondering why you should go to community college, keep in mind that these institutions offer a lot more than many people think.
A community college is an excellent place for networking, especially for networking with local business influencers and people who will become local business influencers. Community colleges will often also offer things like internships, mentoring programs, and other programs that can help a student achieve more. Just as with any college, it’s important to take advantage of what a school offers, and some of these programs are a perfect answer to the question of why go to community college.