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5 Reasons To Choose A Community College Over A University

Updated on September 30, 2014

Find Your Basic Plan For College

  • Path – degree, certificate or transfer
  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • Budget – cost of college and personal expenses
  • Living situation – home, roommate, or on own
  • Job for additional expenses
  • Part-time or full time student

Programs Offered at Community Colleges

  • Associates
  • Certificates
  • Transfer credits
  • Vocational certificates

I once heard the craziest phrase, “college is not meant for everyone.” Well that can be true if you believe it but don’t accept it on my account. College has been offered to most everyone, even those with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Today not one person can be denied a college education through the community college system unless his or her own behavior negates the attempt.

Set up somewhat differently than a university, community college is meant to appeal to as many interested candidates as possible. With each candidate come individualistic needs and desires. Some of those candidates have a clear path and direction whereas others are trying to find their calling. Despite the desired direction any person certainly has a place at the community college level.

Preparing for college is a lengthy process that has the potential for evoking a lot of anxiety. When preparing for college applications many question, fears and unknowns come to mind. Some high schools really focus on preparing students for college but others do not. Not to mention the older or non-traditional student who often appears to the community colleges with little warning or preparation for what lies ahead.

Though when the thought of becoming student comes to mind the preparation phase focus on a person’s needs. Though the student population may be different than the university student the level of education that is offered is very similar.

Before starting college either at a community, state or university level one must have a plan. By setting out plans and goals a person is more likely to obtain and complete what they set out to do. Without a clear idea of what college personally means it is very easy to become lost in the world of being a lifelong student.

However, remaining as a life long student is only feasible if paying for classes on your own. If a student is receiving financial aid there is a limitation of funds that can be received without obtaining either a degree or certificate. So understanding and maintaining a goal is essential.

So let’s get to the reasons a community college education outweighs that of a university.

5 Reasons

Similarities to Universities

  • Campus clubs and groups
  • Sports teams
  • Student outreach and campus activities
  • Bookstores with spirit wear
  • Some community colleges have dorms
  • Disabled student services
  • Psychological services


How will I will pay for college is the first though that comes across most potential students’ mind, if not their parent’s minds. Often many potential students are already thinking about the cost of school well before they apply. Far more never get as far as an application because they count themselves out due to the lack of finances and being unaware that other options are available.

Community colleges regularly serve the local population at large and many of those students are eligible for financial aid or other financial services. Often centrally located, which makes community colleges accessible by public transportation.

With the convenience of financial assistance a greater population can be served and thereby affords some that may not otherwise have had an opportunity at higher education.

By attending a community college versus a universities students save on average about $5000 per year.

Time to Improve Grades

To get into the top schools the acceptance procedures are pretty tough and a potential students grade point average is at the top of the requirements. Community colleges afford students the ability to take college driven courses while working on bringing up their grades. Those will be the marks used when the time is right to apply for a university transfer. Certainly throughout college ones grades becomes the center of attention and is the trail of their college existence.

Would you consider going to a community college

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General Educational Requirements

The plain and simple truth about general educational course is they are pretty much the same class whether taken at the community college or university level. Hence the term general – these courses are counted toward a degree or certificate and are the same classes that are transferred when completing a Bachelors degree.

Frequently local community colleges are paired with near universities when accepting transfer students. Universities pair with community colleges and approve their curriculum as part of accepted courses. These partnerships ensure that the potential student is obtaining a university level education at a discounted rate.

Entrance Requirements

When faced with the stress of getting accepted to school community college alleviates much of that anxiety. For most community college potential students will need to prove that they have obtained an equivalent certificate to a high school diploma. All else is left up to applying, paying for and attending classes.

Though these procedures prepare the student in many ways to the process of universities. Students are able to understand the seriousness of their behavior and determination when attending a community college. Often the community college affords the baby steps so many students need. Becoming an adult in today’s society is tougher and more intense than years of the past. Therefore, taking life at a slower pace is just what some students require.

Don't be afraid to dream
Don't be afraid to dream | Source

In The Local Area

A thought that pops up far too often with parents is the fear of their child moving away from home and being left in the world miles apart. Even though they try to minimize this same fear students alike fear being left to their own devices. Not for the fun stuff – they quickly think about how much fun they will have away from their parents. But what about the day-to-day responsibilities that most young people dread if not are terrified by.

One way to alleviate the pressures of upcoming adulthood a young person can attend a local campus. Many local community colleges offer some of the same groups, clubs and sports as the big universities, therefore nothing is lost in the adult experiences.

Community Colleges Measure Up

After considering all your options and reasons to attend a local community college, it may be a simple choice for some. The benefits of attending a local and cheaper college is likely to alleviate much of the stress that goes into the choices to be made.

When looking at the overall picture ones education is not compromised or lessened by any means when attending a community college as an initial step in ones college career. Community colleges serve a great purpose when looking toward obtaining either a certificate, associates degree, transfer units or a vocational certificate.

Most importantly when weighing out the options related to higher education one must be solid on their plan. Once a plan has been put in place making the decision of whether to attend community college will become clearer. If you find that this is most efficient for you then do your research in terms of the programs offered and the universities that they are linked to if thinking of transferring.

Hopefully this information helped to solidify your decision and create an easier path to higher education.


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