Would beginning at my local community college be the best choice for me?

local community college

At any age, if you are considering going to college, you have a significant choice to make. Should you apply to a four-year university, enroll in an online distance learning program, or begin your post-secondary educational journey at your local community college? There’s no wrong answer here, as each student should review their finances and consider their end career goals to choose a learning format that is right for them. If you decide to enroll in a community college, it is a wise option, no doubt. Here, we’ll explain why.

First and foremost, students who enroll in their local community college save themselves a ton of money, compared to the costs of attending a four-year university, which typically involves excessive student loans. If you decide to participate at your local community college, you can also take advantage of state-based grants and scholarships, in-state discounts, military discounts, as well as, assistance through school/work programs.

Also, you will save money on everyday expenses. As a local student, you can still live at home, therefore, eliminating on-campus housing expenses. Your transportation costs are at a minimum, and you’ll never miss out on a home-cooked meal. Also, save your quarters because you can do your laundry at home, as well.

For students who have always lived under their parent’s direction and care and have never lived away from home, adjusting to campus life can be a huge culture shock. Living in a new place, sharing a dorm with a lousy roommate and searching for a quiet study place can sometimes be a challenge for a new student who has high aspirations of excellence. Bad experiences can affect a student’s performance; therefore, discouragement ensues, and then dropping out of college comes next. If you are not happy, you can’t do your best. Through the community college experience, you can study in the comfort of your home, in a familiar environment and without a messy roommate to distract you. You can rely on your family for support and encouragement!

Other advantages to attending your local community college include the opportunity to transfer credits to a top university when you are ready. As many introductory classes are required in your first two years of college, you will want to verify the transfer of credits, for this is a critical issue, before enrolling. No one wants to repeat courses when not absolutely necessary. Many community colleges have articulation agreements that guarantee your admission to a four-year institution at a later date.

Honestly, attending local community college was once considered to be the least desired option. Typically, students who could not be accepted into a traditional four-year university had to “settle” on community college. That is NOT the case anymore. Of course, attending college is an option and not a requirement. Post-secondary establishments know that. They want your “business,” so to speak; therefore, community colleges, as well as, universities have upped their game. How so? Through the process of accreditation, all formats of learning, (including online learning), offer their students a quality education and often, at competitive prices.

To summarize, you should consider all aspects of the learning process when choosing between a local community college or a four-year university. What’s best for the career you have chosen? What can you or your parents afford? Are you prepared to live on your own or would you prefer to live at home? And, do you have a major in mind? If not, attending a community college will give you some extra time to decide what you would like to do with your future. Best of luck to you!


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