3 Reasons Why I Chose Community College
When I was a freshman in high school I never really thought about going to my local community college. Neither my academic counselor or college counselor ever mentioned it as an option. In my high school days I thought that only screw ups went to those small schools that were basically high school 2.0's. However, after graduating high school and spending nearly two years traveling and teaching English abroad I now am that screw up. Just kidding, but the time I've gotten to be away and talk with others who have gone through traditional universities, community colleges, trade schools and even no college has given me a deeper perspective my high school freshman self didn't have. I realize that it really doesn't matter which path you take as long as you have a plan that's taking you closer to where you want to go in life. However, for me, community college is the path I want to take because it's inexpensive, close to home, and flexible.
Saving Money is Pretty Cool
Let's be honest, everyone in and outside the U.S knows American universities are way too expensive. However, just to keep it clear the average cost of tuition and fees for in state tuition is $9,139 according to collegedata.com. The Institute for College Access and Success says 7 out of 10 those who graduated from public and nonprofit schools in 2013 had student loan debt with an average of $28,400 per borrower.
Now I don't know about you, but I definitely don't want to be in debt. The average cost of tuition at a community college was $3,347 in 2014-2015 according to collegeboard.org.
So if your end goal allows you to take the path of community college, then just maybe, that might be a good idea. You may not receive the outward recognition that comes with going to a cool named university, but you will keep more money in your pocket. And to me that's what's really cool.
Home Sweet Home
Having lived in close proximity with people all over the world (like 6 guys in one room), I can say I love being able to sleep in my own bed in my own room. Even though it is cool and exciting being around friends, there really is nothing that beats being able to chill in your own place.
Especially, once again, when it comes to price. The average cost of room and board is $7,500 - 9,000 dollars according to scholarships.com. I can guarantee you 99.99% of anyone going to their local community college won't spend that type of money on room and board. Notably, considering that many community college students have the option of living with their parents. Which some could see that as a negative, but I see that as free breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In addition, to saving mad amounts of money, by staying close to home you can become more connected with your local community. Having gotten the chance to explore other countries, I am ecstatic at the chance to explore my hometown, Kansas City. To learn more about the history and developments of my city and take part in building it up by volunteering is something I'm really excited about. The chance to become a real member of the community you grew up in is a rewarding opportunity.
Unlike many universities, community colleges have to cater to more adult learners who have full or part time work schedules. This allows for a class times to be available during the day, afternoon or night.
This flexibility in the schedule is positive because of the freedom to do other things throughout the day. If you want to work a part time job or apply what you're studying to real life there is ample time to do that in a community college schedule.