It’s not easy to choose a college, especially when you have to consider the tuition costs. With people looking for alternative ways to afford college, many students have started attending community college with the intent of transferring to a university. However, like with any decision, there are pros and cons to attending a community college prior to transferring to a university. So, let’s start with the pros.
- Less expensive: Probably the biggest reason people attend community college is to save money. According to the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), “community college tuition can be as little as around $3500 per year, compared to up to around $35000 for out-of-state students attending a public university.”
- Close to home: Living at home is almost always cheaper than living on campus or in an off-campus apartment. Additionally, if you don’t feel comfortable moving away from home yet, attending a community college will allow you to live at home for a bit longer.
- Smaller class size: Another benefit of a community college is that they tend to have smaller class sizes compared to universities. This allows you to build a closer relationship with your instructors and classmates.
Now that we have looked at the pros of attending a community college before attending a university, let’s look at some of the cons.
- Not all credits transfer: With limited degree choices at community colleges compared to universities, it might be hard to find credits that will transfer to your university. If you know what school you want to attend, make sure to communicate with your advisor about the classes you plan to take so you know if the credits transfer.
- Miss out on traditional college experience: Attending a community college tends to be a non-traditional approach to schooling. In movies, characters will go away to school for four years as they chase the traditional college experience. Therefore, be aware that you don’t get the typical college experience by going to community college then transferring, but you can make up for it when you do transfer!
- It might take a bit to adjust to a university: By attending a community college, it might be harder to transfer to a university later on. This might be because you a) are far from home; b) no longer know your instructors and classmates; c) you have lots more coursework compared to community college. Additionally, if all of your credits didn’t transfer, you might also find yourself retaking classes and spending more time working to complete your degree.
Overall, it’s up to you to decide whether community college is the path for you. At the end of the day, you are the one that is working for a degree!
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