Get matched with vetted scholarships and enter our
I’m a high school student I’m a college or graduate student
100% Free. No Spam.
    Start typing in the text field above
    Advertiser disclosure

    Student-centric advice and objective recommendations

    Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.

    Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.

    Top Reasons to Attend a Community College

    By Lisa Freedland

    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

    Learn about our editorial policies

    and Cait Williams

    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

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Reviewed by Annie Trout

    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

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Edited by Maria Geiger

    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

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Updated: June 20th, 2024
    Top Reasons to Attend a Community College

    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!

    Also see: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

    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 (no room/board or other expenses included) looks like at different institutions.  

    Type of Institution    Four-year public university Private university  In-state community college
    Tuition cost $15,552 $43,945 $3,730

    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

    For some students, things like dorms and on campus living are a big part of the “college experience.” Community colleges are often thought of as more commuter in nature. 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!).

    Related: How many credits is an associate degree?

    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:

    We hope that this guide has been helpful and wish you the best in your studies! For a more personal perspective about why community college is right for some students, check out “Starting at Community College.”  We wish you all the best, and no matter where you are on your academic journey, be sure to apply for all the scholarships you qualify for! 

    Start your scholarship search
    • Vetted scholarships custom-matched to your profile
    • Access exclusive scholarships only available to Scholarships360 members
    Get Started

    Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • Now that you are familiar with the advantages of community college, ask yourself what of those things matter to you, such as cost, living arrangements and the level of degree you are striving for
    • Explore the community colleges that might be nearby to you and whether they offer programs that you are interested in
    • Try to visit nearby community colleges if possible to get acquainted with the campuses

    Frequently asked questions about top reasons to attend community college

    Is community college easier than university?

    Not necessarily. Whether or not a community college is easier than university depends on the CC and university being compared. The specific classes you’re enrolled in and how hard you work also impacts your perception of which is easier. For the most part, the content you learn will likely be similar no matter where you’re attending school.

    Can I transfer from community college to a four-year university?

    Yes! Many students can transfer relatively seamlessly into a four-year university after taking classes at a community college. Many community college credits can be applied towards the general education classes that most students take during their first few years of college. Our guide on transferring from community college to a four-year university can help you through the process.

    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?

    There are of course always going to be disadvantages to anything you do. However, disadvantages are really things that will be relative to you. Students who were hoping to attend an out of state school may feel like it is a disadvantage to have to stay so close to home, while others may not see that as an issue. Try to assess on your own what is important to you in your college experience and then examine if community college will be able to offer you those things.

    3 reasons to join scholarships360

    • Automatic entry to our $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
    • Personalized matching to thousands of vetted scholarships
    • Quick apply for scholarships exclusive to our platform

    By the way...Scholarships360 is 100% free!

    Join For Free