Going off to college may seem like a no brainer after graduating high school, but here are 15 reasons you shouldn’t disregard the option of community college.
1. It’s way easier on your wallet.
Tuition at a community college is often just a fraction of the tuition costs at state and private universities. To give you an idea of just how drastic these tuition differences are, Florida Keys Community College tuition is just $3,000 a semester, while tuition at the University of Florida is just about $6,000 a semester. Aside from tuition, think of all the money you save on transportation, food, and laundry, especially if you live at home. No one really wants to go into debt while sharing a restroom with an entire floor of people.
2. It’s an easier transition after high school.
Instead of moving to a new city, looking for a job, and trying to adjust to college life all at once, why not simplify things? Community college offers the perfect transition point after high school.
3. It offers more flexible scheduling.
One of the great things about community colleges are that they keep different students from different walks of life in mind when creating class schedules. This means that you have the option to take really early morning classes, late night classes, or anything in between, according to what fits your needs. If you prefer online learning, they have that too!
4. You have time for class AND work.
Because of the generous amount of class times provided by community colleges, it is totally possible to balance school and work. If you need to be able to work full time and go to class, do online or night classes. You have full control of making your classes work for you.
5. The class sizes are smaller.
Giant lecture halls can be pretty intimidating, no doubt. Community colleges offer smaller, more intimate class sizes. This way it can be easier to ask questions and make friends with your classmates.
6. You actually get to know your professors.
With the smaller class sizes, professors are much more accessible to students. They may even learn your name! This comes in pretty handy when it comes time for needing letters of recommendation.
7. It’s easier to be involved on campus.
On a smaller campus with a smaller student body, it’s easier to find positions of leadership and organize events on campus. If you enjoyed extra curricular activities in high school and are looking to continue on in college, your local community college may be a great match.
8. You make friends who live nearby.
One of the best things about attending community college is that you make new friends who only live a few minutes away. Coffee dates and study sessions are still very possible. And having these friends nearby is especially great during summer break.
9. Different types of diversity are everywhere.
Community colleges attract people from tons of different backgrounds. You’ll have class with people from all different parts of the world, as well as all different parts of their career. Most universities have a student body all within the same age group. At community college you can have classes with people in their twenties, as well as people in their sixties. This brings another type of diversity to the table.
10. There are plenty of opportunities for community involvement.
Community colleges offer so many opportunities for their students to get involved in the community. Whether it be through volunteering, galleries showcasing student art, or a concert series, there are tons of ways for students to feel connected and find their niche.
11. There’s less competition for scholarships.
Student bodies at community colleges are much smaller than their state university counterparts, meaning less competition for the scholarships offered by your college. In addition, there are often specific scholarships for community colleges offered by local businesses.
12. It’s a less stressful environment.
Everyone on campus at a community college is working at their own pace and doing what is best for themselves. Sure you’ll meet people who are on a similar path as you, but people will have totally different class loads and graduation dates. In my experience, this creates a much less stressful environment.
13. It gives you time to decide what you want to do.
So you’re about to graduate high school and begin your college career; only you have no idea which college or what major. How are you supposed to know what you want to do for a career? Not to worry! Go ahead and get your general education courses out of the way, work towards an associate’s degree, and take the time you need to figure out what you want to do.
14. You get a second chance.
Community college gives those students who maybe didn’t apply themselves as much as they should have in high school a second chance. By attending a community college for your first two years, you are given the opportunity to raise your GPA before applying as a transfer student to your dream university.
15. You learn and grow in your own way.
Staying home and going to community college doesn’t mean you’re not growing up and starting your career; it just means you’re going about it differently. You will have different opportunities and learn different lessons, and do so at your own pace.