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Top Reasons to Attend a Community College
Lisa Freedland is a Scholarships360 writer with personal experience in psychological research and content writing. She has written content for an online fact-checking organization and has conducted research at the University of Southern California as well as the University of California, Irvine. Lisa graduated from the University of Southern California in Fall 2021 with a degree in Psychology.Full Bio
Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.Full Bio
Annie has spent the past 18+ years educating students about college admissions opportunities and coaching them through building a financial aid package. She has worked in college access and college admissions for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission/Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Austin Peay State University.Full Bio
Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.Full Bio
Community college is better now than ever, and there are a plethora of reasons to attend. Benefits of community college (CC) include much more than more affordable tuition costs. If you’re not sure what you want to pursue yet, want more time to choose a four-year university, or simply want a more flexible schedule, community college will allow you to do all of the above!
The main benefits of community college:
1. Save money
Perhaps one of the best (and most common) reasons to attend a community college is all the money you can save by starting there. Below is a breakdown of what the annual cost of tuition looks like at different institutions.
|In-state 4 year university (public)
|Out of state annual tuition
|In-state community college tuition
Many states have even made community college free for full-time students who reside in the same state, making it an even better deal than it was before.
If money and financial aid play a big part in choosing a college, we highly recommend checking out your local community college. If you still want to attend a four-year university at some point, you can simply transfer out of community college after a year or two (and to your dream university).
2. Flexible schedule
If you struggled with the rigid schedule and long hours of high school or simply plan on working during college, community college provides you the flexibility to meet all your wants and needs. Compared to four-year universities, community colleges tend to offer far more night and online classes. Those options make it easier to fit other things into your schedule during the day.
3. Smaller classes
In comparison to many four-year universities (with the exception of small, private ones), community colleges tend to have smaller class sizes. This allows students to get more personalized attention and possibly form connections or mentorships with their professors. This can be a positive for those who like to learn at their own pace. Smaller classes allow more time to ask questions and get help when you need it.
4. Quality of professors
Unbeknownst to some, many highly qualified, experienced professors who spent years teaching at impressive four-year universities also teach community college courses. This is often in their later years of teaching, when they would prefer to work less hours, but still want to provide students with their knowledge and expertise.
5. School-life balance
School-life balance refers to the ability to successfully juggle your school responsibilities with those in your personal life. This can include taking care of parents, children, or a career. Community college provides such a balance as students can easily enroll part-time (often taking only one or two classes) at a low cost and will not feel out of place doing so. In fact, a vast number of community college students attend part-time! This unique quality of community colleges can make it a great option for parents or older students interested in enrolling in a few classes.
6. On-campus living
Things like dorms and on campus living are a big part of the “college experience”. In more recent years though, the number of community colleges with dorms has grown quite a bit, which means you really may not need to compromise at all!
Living on campus allows students to establish similar study habits, social lives, and extracurricular involvement to students at four-year universities. This feature found at some community colleges makes the transition to four-year colleges easier. Students will already be adjusted to living away from home and being more involved at their school.
7. Certificates and degrees
Just like four-year universities, community colleges also provide students with a variety of certificates and degrees. Associates Degrees are incredibly common to earn at community colleges. These degrees and certificates are awarded in a huge variety of fields. This includes biology, philosophy, and creative writing (and more!).
8. Transitional period
Instead of immediately going to a four-year university, attending community college can help students think more deeply about what they want from a university. Attending community college gives them the time to properly select a university that would be the best choice for them (all while earning college credit!). Community college students may even be able to transfer to Ivy league colleges!
9. Transfer agreements
Last, but certainly not least, are transfer agreements! It is incredibly common for students to transfer out of community college into a four-year university after a year or two. Transfer agreements are there to help such students out. These agreements are contracts between community and public (four-year) colleges. The transfer agreement allows certain students to transfer their CC credits toward earning a bachelor’s degree.
If you’re looking to transfer out of a community college (or transfer from any university), we have some useful resources for you:
And we’re finished! We hope that this guide has been helpful and wish you the best in your studies!
Frequently asked questions about top reasons to attend community college
Is community college easier than university?
Can I transfer from community college to a four-year university?
Keep in mind that this process will be easier at some universities than others. State schools and larger universities are generally more flexible with transfer credits, whereas smaller liberal arts schools might be less so.
What are the disadvantages of attending community college?