Sarah is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Ohio. She has a B.A. with a major in English and a minor in Theater. She also has her Associates degree. In her spare time Sarah, reads, writes, tap dances, tutors, interns and works.
Picking a college can be scary and stressful; there are so many options. Some students know right away where they want to go, and that’s great. Others are more indecisive. This article is about some of the pros and cons of community college and university to help decide which (maybe both) might be best for you.
Let’s face it. The number one pro of a community college is price. They’re cheaper than a university. Community colleges typically don’t offer the same degrees that universities do, but that’s ok because most students who attend community college intend to transfer to university at some point. A lot of universities comply with community colleges and allow credits to be transferred. This saves a lot of money. You can take general education classes at a community college for a cheaper price, and then transfer to a university to study in your desired field.
Universities vary greatly in prices. The more prestigious colleges are going to cost more, but it is possible to find a great school at an affordable price. Scholarships and grants can help.
Community colleges are diverse in age group. Universities are usually intended for students fresh out of high school. A lot of universities have schools of community education where they offer classes to the general public. However, at a community college anyone can attend. You will find students still in high school trying to jump the gun, and you will find students in their 60s and 70s who just want to go back to school and learn something new.
Community colleges are probably in your back yard. Chances are there is a community college in or near your town. This offers you the option to live at home. This will save money that you otherwise would have spent living on campus. If you eventually transfer to a college that is not so close you will, of course , pay for campus living. If there is a university that you can attend in your hometown you double win.
The students at a community college are eager and willing to learn. A vast majority of the students are adult students. They have been out of school for a large portion of their life and they are making the conscious decision to return. They choose to be there and they don’t want to waste any time. That’s not to say that students at university are not eager and willing to learn. Sometimes at a university you will find students who do not want to be there. They are there on their parent’s money, or they are there because they believe “C’s get degrees” and degrees will get you money.
At a university, if you’re aged 18ish-25ish, you will have classmates you can relate with. Generally, they will be of your generation and age group. This can be great, but it’s also nice to have some older students in the classroom for a variety of perspectives.
Universities offer the total college experience. If you live on campus, you will be completely immersed in college culture. You can get to your classes quickly by walking or riding a bike. You can eat on campus, study on campus, etc. Universities have their own little communities within.
The professors at a university are just plain awesome. There are great teachers/professors at community colleges, too! However, at a university the professors are more like your friends, and they are completely invested in your well-being and education. As always there will be rotten eggs at a university. Not all teachers are saints.
Community college and university are both great, yet, they both have their ups and downs. It’s possible to do both and save time and money. It’s also possible to go straight to university with no problems. There are many options to choose from. There is no option that is better than another. Make the decision that is best for you, and you will be ok.