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6 Benefits of Attending a Community College

6 Benefits of Attending a Community College
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Posted in category Learners by

In today’s blog, we’re outlining some of the many reasons you may want to attend a community college instead of or before transferring to a four-year university. Keep reading to see if attending a community college seems like the right fit for you!

1. Save on Tuition & Fees

In 2020-2021 the average published prices for tuition and fees for full-time students varied greatly depending on the type of institution, as reported in the “Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2020” report from the College Board and shown below:

  • $3,770 for a public two-year college, in-district
  • $10,560 for a public four-year college, in-state
  • $27,020 for a public four-year college, out-of-state
  • $37,650 for a private, nonprofit four-year college

Keep in mind that many courses taken during the first two years of college are introductory and very comparable between colleges, so it can be helpful to get those core course credits at a community college at a much more affordable rate. The lower sticker price of courses may also enable you to explore various career pathways more easily than at a university, where costs may stand in the way of adventuring into new topics that may help you decide on the right career for you.

2. Smaller Classes

Community colleges often have smaller class sizes than four-year colleges, especially for those core courses you’ll take the first couple of years. This can mean more individual support from professors, which can help you understand the material better and succeed in your courses.

3. Schedule Flexibility

Course schedules at many community colleges are more flexible than at four-year universities to accommodate students who work during the day, are raising children, or both. You’ll find more courses offered in the evening or even on weekends at community colleges and many also offer online course options.

4. Save Time

Community colleges offer many shorter degree programs for those who want to start working in their chosen career sooner. Many positions in skilled trades and healthcare only require an associate degree or an even shorter-term certificate. With programs like these and others, you can start working and earning in your chosen field much quicker than you could if pursuing a four-year program. If you are interested in a four-year program, investigate your options for taking as many required courses at a community college as possible before transferring to a four-year college to save on cost (see our blog on how to transfer from one college to another here).

5. Quality Instructors

Instructors at community colleges live up to the same rigorous standards as those at other colleges. Some community college instructors may have chosen to work at a community college specifically because of the flexibility in scheduling and the additional time they’re able to spend with each student.

6. Vibrant Social Life

Some students worry that community colleges don’t offer as many social activities and opportunities as four-year colleges. In fact, many community colleges offer the same types of clubs, social activities, performing and visual arts events, and even programs like alternative spring breaks, as four-year universities.

Worried about transferring?

If you want to attend a community college then transfer to a four-year college but are worried about transfer issues, we have a whole blog on how the transfer process works. Hint: look for transfer agreements that the community college you want to attend may have with universities. Some offer guaranteed transfer agreements or credit transfers if certain conditions are met.

Lord Fairfax Community College, for example, offers over 40 guaranteed transfer agreements with colleges and universities.

Choosing a Community College

As mentioned above, we think our partner institution Lord Fairfax Community College is a great choice for your higher education. You can read more about why we think LFCC is a great community college here (one reason is its extensive online program offerings so you can take courses from anywhere – see LFCC’s online course offerings here).

If you want to explore other options, Knowledge to Work offers a Services Search tool that allows you to explore community college options in your area and filter those options by specific services you want your community college to offer, such as career counseling, tutoring services, veterans counseling, transfer agreements and more. Search to find the right community college for you and sign up for your free account to keep track of your favorites.

Related Posts

Discover the benefits attending a community college might offer you in today’s blog.

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