Should You Consider Community College?

CommunityCommunity colleges can provide a good chance for students who wish to start off their college career. The also have a reputation, unfortunately, of being “second-rate” schools,” which is not necessarily the case. Lets take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of community colleges.

One advantage that community colleges have over other schools is cost. They are often significantly less expensive than other institutions. This is not necessarily true in all cases, however, so make sure to research actual costs before assuming the community college option is less expensive.

Community colleges can also act as stepping-stone to other schools, if you have trouble with admissions. They often offer individual classes, which you can attend to show your commitment to college life. However, make sure that the courses you plan to take are able to count for credit at another school. That is not always the case.

At many larger, more prestigious schools, students, rather than the professor, sometimes teach the actual courses. This is not the case with community colleges.

Although a community college may not offer the types of advanced courses that may be offered at other schools, they can change their curriculum more quickly, to adapt to changing technologies. This can make them a better choice for vocational degrees.

As you apply to your list of schools, It is always good to have a few “safe” colleges on your list, and community colleges can provide that insurance.
Consider community colleges as you apply to schools!

Bobby Touran is the founder and CEO of ApplyKit. ApplyKit helps students manage their entire college application process and also provides key resources to help them excel every step of the way.

  • Paul Hemphill

    Sound advice.

    In my book, How To Win The College Game, my chapter on community colleges is titled, “The Best Kept Secret In America.”

    Admission directors at 4-yr colleges LOVE grads of community colleges for 2 reasons:

    1. They have demonstrated that they can achieve something – at least a 2-yr degree. By contrast, sophomores at 4-yr colleges don’t have a degree yet;

    2. They have not been tainted or distracted by the negatives of 4-yr colleges: on- or off-campus parties and drug abuse.

    Talented professors who hate the grind of the “publish or perish” culture of top universities often end up teaching where they can teach without restrictions – community colleges.

    Perhaps another benefit is that the student spends another 2 years at home bonding with mom and dad. Nah!

    The cost/savings is terrific. I would advise anyone serious about containing college costs to send their kids to community colleges.