If you’re an incoming high school senior, or even just thinking about applying to community college in general sometime in the future, here are some reasons on why I believe that you should go!
For one, community colleges are cheap, sometimes even FREE depending on your state. So, I highly recommend researching any scholarships, grants, or any other programs your high school might know about. It’s really a shame that the American school system brainwashed us into thinking that paying $14k+ for our education was the optimal decision. Especially when it results in thousands of students taking out student loans or debt just to get into a name brand school for G.E. classes you could have taken for a much cheaper price. Not to mention textbook expenses, dorm rooms, tax fees, all on top of your tuition when going to a popular state school. When looking in retrospect it seems like the obvious choice to go to community college, yet many people are still very hesitant in making this decision.
What Other People Might Think
However, I think one of the biggest reasons why people choose not to attend community colleges is because of what other people might say about them. This negative stigma that comes with saying you went to a community college is one that will affect our self-esteem. But it is important to recognize your own self-worth in knowing you made the best decision for yourself. Because who cares what other people say when you graduate with your Associate’s degree, 60 transferable credits to your chosen state university, and not a single penny in debt and financially stable at the age of 20. Not many people who attended a state university their first two years can say that.
The “community” and Making Friends
Another complaint I often hear people discussing is that it is “harder” to make friends your age or even just meeting people in general. While it is true that community colleges have some of the greatest variety when it comes to ages, races, and backgrounds, all different kinds of life experiences, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because instead what you see are students who truly go to school for an education, to make a better change in their life and start over. From students who did poorly in high school and finally realize the importance of school, to adults who never had the opportunity to go to school in their 20s so now take the opportunity to get that degree. The list goes on and on, so this huge diversity of students should not be your primary problem.
But I will say that students who do attend community colleges have much busier lives such as working part-time jobs and/or needing to take care of their family and children. So, for these students, college isn’t their first priority like it is for many students at a state university. However, that isn’t to say that making friends is impossible. Go and join some clubs and take initiative in meeting new people, because I can assure you everyone wants to have a friend as much as you. Also, luckily as more and more students are aware of community college as a valid option for their education career, that you will begin to meet more smart like minded people like you.
The “College Experience”
Now, I am a strong believer that your college experience is what you make of it, and not which school you go to. If your idea of the “college experience” includes having a lot of friends, dating, partying, etc. then you can equally have that same experience in any school. But remember, choose a school for your education, not the social life, because that is what colleges and universities are for. So, if having this great social life is what you seek in a college, simply go out and meet those people for yourself. Create the college experience that you want, because no one else will give it to you.
Uncertain of Your Major?
Another reason why going to community college is the best option for you is if you are someone who is still unsure of which major they want to do in their future. By going to a cheaper school, the pressure of switching majors and simply exploring interesting classes is less stressful. Besides, that is what most community colleges emphasize! To truly discover what you love to do and to not settle for a degree because “everyone else is doing it.”
However, there are many exceptions to why someone should NOT go to a community college. For example, if you are a student who is getting a full ride scholarship to a four-year university then by all means go there! Also, if a certain community college doesn’t have your specific major or career goal, then of course go to a school that does offer it.
But if you’re reading this article, then these problems most likely don’t apply to you. Remember there is nothing wrong with community college, in fact, most people know it’s actually the “smarter” option. Because if you really want to go into a four-year state university of your dreams, you still can while also being smart about it. Community colleges offer so many learning opportunities on how to successfully transfer to your dream school while making it super affordable to do so.
Thank you so much for reading! I really hope this helps any future students out there to make the right choice and avoid getting into debt as much as possible.