A lot of people may turn their noses up at the idea of going to community college, but those people don’t know that it’s not just an option for those who don’t get admitted to a 4-year college. It’s also a great option for those who still aren’t sure where they want to go, what they want to study, or how they are going to pay for college. Here are 5 benefits of attending community college first.
1. Save Money
It doesn’t matter whether you plan to transfer to the University of Southern California or San Francisco State University, your tuition for community college is going to be a lot less than tuition at a 4-year college. So why not save some money while you’re completing all of your general education credits? Plus, most people are able to take on a part-time job, or even a full-time job more easily while they’re in community college, so you’ll be able to save up some money for the last few years of college.
2. Avoid the Dorms
Some people like living in a dormitory, or at least they make the best of it, but living in the dorms can be extremely difficult. You never know if you’re actually going to get along with your roommate, you may not be into a lot of the organized activities planned on your floor, and there are tons of distractions that may get in the way of your studying. Besides, does anyone actually enjoy using a public restroom and sharing a tiny bedroom for an extended period of time? By waiting to enroll in a four-year college you can more easily afford to live in an off-campus apartment instead of the dorms.
3. Ability to Transfer to Top Choice Schools
Depending on your GPA and your SAT scores when you finish high school, there may be a lot of schools that you weren’t eligible for when you applied during your senior year, but you may be eligible for them when you apply as a transfer student. This is because you have the opportunity to show those schools that you really do intend to finish your bachelor’s degree and that you were capable of taking on a full course load and managing decent grades during community college. You wouldn’t believe how many people drop out of college within their first year or two.
4. Weigh Options
Since there will be more schools that are willing to accept you after you’ve completed two years of community college, you will have more options to weigh. This means that you might not have to settle for that safety school that you applied to during your senior year, because some of the colleges that previously declined to accept you are now offering enrollment as a transfer student. Now that you get to weigh your options, you can look at more than just location, price and reputation. You can start really researching the programs that you want to major in and decide which one suits you best.
5. Improve Your GPA
If you didn’t have the most impressive GPA by the end of your senior year, now is your chance to improve that GPA and show colleges that you have the capacity to improve. The average course load per semester is 4-5 courses, which means that over two years, you could have about 16-20 courses under your belt, providing you the opportunity to prove that you’re capable of doing better.