By Jasmine York
Today’s community colleges probably offer more than you think and here’s why you and your teen should at least give them some thought.
Have you looked at today’s community colleges? Below is a list of some distinct advantages community colleges have in comparison to a four-year university.
1. Save money!
The tuition at community colleges is nearly three times less the cost of four-year institutions. Students can take general courses at community colleges and then transfer to a four-year college to fulfill the requirements of the major they are pursuing.
2. Easier Acceptance
A minimum GPA is not required for admission into a community college and neither is an ACT/SAT score. Instead, some community colleges allow those who have taken the ACT/SAT to be exempt from any placement tests the institution administers.
3. Transferring Classes is Easy
With the Statewide Transfer & Articulation Reporting System (STARS) and 2-to-4 Transfer programs, it’s not the hassle you may imagine. STARS is used by public colleges, while private or independent colleges use the 2-to-4 Transfer program. Both programs offer a transfer guide that directs students to the courses that fit in their degree plan.
4. Campus Housing is Available
Some community colleges don’t have dorms, but there are many, especially in Alabama, that do! Among them are Jefferson Davis, Snead State, Alabama Southern, and Bevill State.
5. There’s Cool Stuff to Study
It’s not all vocational and technical training; there’s a wide range of programs for students. For example, Faulkner State Community College offers degrees and coursework in CGI animation and visual effects working with instructors from digital production studios.
6. Athletes Get Recruited
We talked to Brett Prichard, Sports Information Director at Central Alabama Community College, and he assured us that two-year colleges are as competitive as Division 1 schools, if not more, at their level. They recruit just like other schools; many players go on to become professional athletes. Many talented baseball players will choose to attend a community college to be eligible for the MLB draft after their freshman year. At a four year college, they must wait until their junior year.
7. Undeclared Majors Welcome
The more time it takes for a college student to declare their major, the more it delays their graduation date, which can quickly stack up the total cost of earning a degree. By attending a community college first, students focus on taking basic coursework until they declare a major. Plus, if they decide to transfer they can ensure that the next school they attend is the best choice for their newly decided major.
8. Be a Big Fish in a Little Pond
A smaller student body is great for some students, giving them a chance to blossom and truly shine. Famous people like Sarah Palin, Calvin Klein, George Lucas and Eddie Murphy all attended community colleges. According to Shondae Brown from Southern Union, “Navigating college is not always easy, but community colleges help students make the transition from high school less intimidating—the smaller class sizes help students succeed.”
Many four-year institutions offer specific scholarships to students transferring from community colleges. Community Colleges offer academic, leadership and athletic scholarships.
10. Gain a Degree
Associate Degrees, gained after two years, can only be earned at Community Colleges. Nearly 30 percent of Americans with associate’s degrees now make more than those with bachelor’s degrees (according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education & the Workforce).
Did you know? Famous people like Sarah Palin, Calvin Klein, George Lucas and Eddie Murphy all attended community colleges.
Annual Salaries with a Two-Year Community College Degree
• Air Traffic Controllers $63,300
• Radiation Therapists $78,514
• Dental Hygienists $69,036
• Nuclear Medicine Technologists $71,525
• Registered Nurses $69,289
• Fashion Designers $44,973
Nearly 30% of Americans with associates’ degrees now make more than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.