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5 Reasons to Go to Community College First

Updated on May 11, 2014

Community College Before University

Community colleges are an excellent place for anyone to start their secondary education. Because so many college students change majors or drop out, community college offers a safer alternative for both parents and students.

There is little risk involved in going to community college. As long as the college is accredited and their credits are transferable, the risk of losing money, owing money for an unused education, or regret are little. They are also a great way for incoming students to get used to college life.

Here are the top 5 reasons graduating high school students should apply and attend a community college before going to a university.

You Could Be Saving These....
You Could Be Saving These.... | Source

1. It's Cheap

The obvious reason for attending a community college is to save money. As the economy plummets, the need to save money is greater. You can spend approximately 50 percent less on tuition at a community college than at a four year university. Talk about savings.

I attended Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming and was delighted to know that I wouldn't be spending any of my own money after scholarships and federal grants. My tuition without housing was just over $2,000.

You will also save money on those nasty application fees. Most community colleges don't require an application fee, where other schools require $50 or more just to apply!

Forget those parking passes. Community colleges are small enough to have sufficient parking for all students and staff, making your total bill a little less. Which in turn means parking won't be a hassle when it comes down to those last five minutes before class starts.

Cost of Community College vs. University

Pierce College
Montana State University
Gallatin College
This table compares UCLA to a Community College nearby and MSU to a Community college in the same town.

Did You Know?

There are 1,655 community college in the United States, 1,047 of which are public.

2. Options

Just out of high school, you may not be sure of what you want to major in or what career path you want to follow. Don't waste your money at a University taking classes that you don't need, or won't use in the future.

On the other hand, you can take classes that you want to take without feeling guilty about the price. Say you want to learn about psychology, but your major doesn't require any psychology classes. You can take the class of your choice and explore your options for very cheap. You might change your major, as nearly 50 percent of college students do.

Community college is a place to explore yourself, your options and ease into college life. You aren't expected to know exactly what you want when you graduate high school. You are young and have time to decide.


3. Small

While some young adults dream of going to college with 10,000 other people, having a smaller group of students will benefit you.

It's important to have a good relationship with your professors, and community college offers the opportunity to actually talk to them. At a University, you are just another face in the crowd, another body. Going to a community college puts a name to your face. Professors will recognize you, have time to talk to you and explain assignments or lectures.

Campus is small and easy to navigate. It won't take you fifteen minutes to walk from your dorm room to class, saving on time. You can set your alarm clock for a fifteen minutes later than you would if attending a four year school.

The services offered at a community college are above standard for tutoring and academic help. You may find recourse center for help with all topics, as well as groups for dealing with personal issues such as loss, abuse, addiction and pregnancy. Check with your adviser for more information.


4. Insufficient Grades

Were you a slacker in high school? Did you struggle or have teachers that didn't accommodate your needs? Community college gives you a second chance to prove yourself. Most small community college don't require an outstanding GPA for admission. In fact, most are open admission.

Community colleges offer classes that are geared for lower level learners. For people who struggle in math, you may be able to take a high school level class that will give you the skills to walk into a college level course and be successful.

When you choose to transfer to a four year school, the admissions office will look at your college grades and disregard your high school transcripts.

With lower grades you may not qualify for scholarships, but you will be given that second chance. Prove that you're serious about your education, and you will qualify for scholarships the next semester or year.

Would You Be Interested in Community College or Send your Child to One

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5. Experience

Don't be fooled by TV shows and movies. Kids at big universities aren't the only ones who have fun. Attending a small college will introduce you to the world of independence, responsibility and the lack of.

You don't need to worry about joining a sorority or fraternity. Simply meet your fellow dorm mates, create study groups and plan parties. Small colleges mean tighter friends, knowing more people and getting to be a part of everything.

You will get to meet people from all the places in life, from older people to international students. The experience is not to be missed.

Sarah Palin, U.S. Governor
Sarah Palin, U.S. Governor | Source

Important People Who Attended Community College

  • J. Craig Venter: The man who mapped the human genome.
  • Harry Reid: Senate Majority Leader
  • Walt Disney
  • Clint Eastwood: actor, film maker and politician
  • Richard Carmona: former U.S. surgeon general
  • Nolan D. Archibald: CEO of Black & Decker
  • Tom Hanks: actor and director
  • Sarah Palin, politician


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    • TimArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 3 years ago from Chicago Region

      I can vouch for this. I attended Berea college, which was a community college and was generally very good. However, community colleges are not necessarily for slackers. Berea College has a reputation of being pretty tough. Also, Sarah Palin was no dummy, although the media made her out that way.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 4 years ago

      Smart. Useful advice.