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Can You Get a Bachelor’s Degree at Community College?
The idea of earning a bachelor’s degree at a community college is not one many people talk about. However, that raises the question–can you earn a bachelor’s degree at community college? The answer to this question can be found below, so keep reading!
First, what is a bachelor’s degree?
A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree that is awarded by four-year colleges and universities. When pursuing an undergraduate degree, students major in a subject of their choice. Some key characteristics of a bachelor’s degree includes:
- A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years+ to complete
- A bachelor’s degree typically equals roughly 120 credits
- Many students pursue a bachelor’s degree right after high school, but it is not uncommon to receive one later in life
- Bachelor’s degrees provide graduates with more job opportunities and higher incomes over their lives
Can you earn a bachelor’s degree at community college?
Yes you can receive a bachelor’s degree at certain community colleges. Traditionally, community colleges have been known as two-year institutions that award associate degrees. However, there has been an increase in the number of community colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees. Currently, each individual state determines whether or not to allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees.
Also see: How to transfer from community college
What states allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree at community college?
The following states currently allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Keep in mind that just because a state legally allows community colleges (CCs) to offer bachelor’s degrees does not mean that they do. If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at community college, check with the Community College Baccalaureate Association. Be sure to confirm all information with your local community college as well.
Related: Do you have to take the SAT to attend community college?
How much does it cost to get a bachelor’s degree at a community college?
The cost of earning a bachelor’s degree at a community college varies depending on the specific college and the state. Generally, tuition at public community colleges is significantly lower when compared to public or private colleges and universities.
Community colleges charge tuition depending on where you live. In-state or (in-county in some states) students typically pay less tuition than out-of-district students. Every community college has different pricing depending upon the students address and number of credits they take.
Also see: Top community college scholarships
Is a community college bachelor’s degree the right choice for you?
There are many pros and cons to receiving a bachelor’s degree at a community college. The factors below can help you decide if earning a bachelor’s degree from a community college is the best option for you.
Area of study
Community colleges typically do not offer the same variety of majors as four-year universities. However, in-demand majors such as business, education, health, law enforcement, and STEM fields are commonly offered.
Community college classes are typically smaller when compared to four-year universities, particularly four-year public schools. Therefore, if you are more comfortable learning in a smaller learning environment, community college may be the perfect fit for you.
Community colleges offer classes, including in the evenings and on weekends, that allow students to have jobs while earning their degrees. If you require greater flexibility in your schedule, community college should have viable options for you.
Level of support needed
Some students benefit from high-support and structure. Community colleges vary in regard to the support systems they offer students. In general, community college students should be comfortable working independently. Students need to be willing to advocate for their own needs and comfortable asking for help when needed.
A bachelor’s degree from a community college may not or may have more value than a traditional bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution. Like most degrees, value depends on your final grade point average, the reputation of the college you graduated from, and what you chose to major in.
Overview of receiving a bachelor’s degree at a community college
Whether this program is the best choice for you depends upon your preferences and where you live. Not all students are able to take advantage of community college bachelor’s degrees since not all states or schools offer this option. If available, this route is definitely a convenient money-saving option for the right students.
Don’t miss: Top reasons to attend community college
Frequently asked questions about earning a bachelor’s degree at community college
Are bachelor degrees from a community college a good value?
Students who graduate with four-year degrees from community colleges with good grades and recommendations can go as far as they choose. Not having the burden of large student loans is a huge advantage as students start their careers and transition to adult life.
Is earning bachelor’s degrees from community colleges a growing trend?
Community college baccalaureate degrees will continue to expand because they are better able to respond to workforce demands, especially in STEM fields. With their lower cost and flexible class schedules, community college baccalaureate degrees are sure to grow in popularity.
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