A community college provides students an affordable option that places students on a path towards a 4-year undergraduate degree and when pursuing post-secondary education. Though it has gained popularity throughout the world in recent years and this structure used to be unique in the United States.
Currently enrolling students in the US are more than 1, 100 community colleges. Each year more than 12 million students take classes at community colleges which is about 50 percent of all undergraduate students in the country. In this article, there exist many pros and cons of community college programs worth examining to determine if this educational option is right for you. Here exist some key points of community colleges.
Pros of Community College
First of all, let’s have a look at the most cited pros of community college and these are as under.
1) Usually Close to Home
One of the biggest advantages about attending a community college is that they are closer to home and also it becomes easier for working adults to fit classes within their schedule. It provides you an opportunity to stay at home with your parents instead and it is also a way for high school graduates to save on room and board.
You can also save further if you try to eat most of your meals at home. You can also take care of your laundry at home and other tasks of daily living that push the cost of traditional college or university even higher.
2) Offers Opportunities for the Development of Teaching
The benefits of community school do not only belong to students and professionals who are trying to break into a teaching profession need to start somewhere. A community college is a perfect choice for those who just graduated with a degree. They also need part-time work or trying to carve out personalized career goals outside of the educational institution.
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3) Much Cheaper to Attend a Community College
The average cost is less than $4000 per year in tuition if you are attending a community college full time over two semesters. Students can also save 50 percent or more on their educational costs for the first two years of undergraduate degree as compared to the price of tuition at state public universities.
Students in community college might save up to 90 percent of their tuition fees when compared with private colleges or universities.
The average cost of tuition fees at a 4-year private university in the United States is about $`130,000 and if you spend 2 years at community college then the cost of your 4-year tuition will be under $80,000.
4) Gives Amazing Chance to Students to Explore Other Options
Before they even graduate from high school some students know what career they wish to pursue and then some students are not sure which career is suitable for them even after a full year of college. There is more of an opportunity to explore different career options because classes are far cheaper than they are at comparable institutions being enrolling in a community college program.
A community college is your best bet if you are not sure what your major should be yet.
5) Have Flexible Opportunities and Schedules
Your class schedule typically follows 9 to 5 a day just like a job would if you attend a standard college or university. Students who are trying to get through college without debt make it to class and that can make it difficult for parents and working adults.
Most of the community colleges offer many night class options in multiple degree pathways. They are also able to make it easier to earn the credits each semester within a schedule that works.
6) Students are Provided with Extra Time to Choose the Right College
Some students may have their choice of college or university dictated to them by scholarship and others may have multiple options. They are also unsure of which institution they need to attend and instead of forcing the choice and potential going somewhere, that does not meet their needs. On the other hand, a student can choose to go the community college and that gives them time to select the school that meets their expectations without worrying about whether or not their credits will transition with them.
7) Option for Your 529 Plan
A 529 plan is structured like an IRA except that the account is used to pay for educational costs instead of retirement and community colleges are a qualified expense to withdraw funds from this plan which means that you would not face tax penalties for accessing this money.
Cons of Community College
Now it’s time to switch towards the cons of community college and these are as follows:
1) Usually Paid for Directly
Community colleges offer rare scholarships to offset the costs of tuition and most do not offer work-study programs that can offset some of the tuition cost. That means a majority of students are on pay with their community college and there is flexibility in that where you can take as many classes as one can afford.
It can also be difficult for some families it also means that you must budget at least $4000 per year in tuition costs which can be difficult for some families.
2) Limited Degree Options to Choose From
You may find options for your major which may be limited if you are pursuing a 2-year path at a community college that will lead to an eventual bachelor’s degree. Most of the local community colleges offer a handful of degree options which are usually in the most popular occupations and if you are interested in a specialized major, then you may find out that there are not any classes available at your local college.
3) Difficult to Stay Invested in the Program
There exists some negatives about going to college that are universal to all institutions and some students are not invested in their education. They are co-placement about where they are in life and have no desire to use the credits earned for anything beyond the community college and that can be difficult for invested students to work on group projects.
It also requires them to do all the work to earn the necessary grade and when that happens consistently, it can be difficult to stay interested or invested in what is being taught.
Listed below are the pros and cons of community college which you need to keep in mind.