Making a college decision is hard. Lots of deciding factors go into the decision. For instance, choosing a major, worrying about costs, location, school atmosphere, extracurricular activities and athletics, and if you want to attend a university or a community college.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both a university and a community college. Sometimes, community colleges get the short end of the stick by being labeled junior colleges. Some people believe that the education received from a community college is not as high quality as what is received from universities. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Community college education is just as valuable and hard earned as university education. Community colleges are great for people who want to enter the workforce after graduation and for those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree. Many community colleges make it easy to transition to a university by partnering with several four-year colleges. I have compiled a short list on why community college is a great choice for higher education.
- AFFORDABLE QUALITY EDUCATION
Community colleges are a great and affordable option. They strive to give a high-quality education at an affordable cost. Most offer several financial aid opportunities such as scholarships, grants, student employment, and loans. Eligible Missouri resident students can use their A+ scholarship at community colleges. High school students can save money and take dual-credit courses through most community colleges. Some colleges offer the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant which helps adults pursue high-need certificate and degrees. As you can see, there are many options available to make it easy to graduate debt-free from a community college.
- WIDE RANGE OF DEGREE OPTIONS
Contrary to the popular belief, many community colleges offer more than a general education. Several have certificate and degree programs and are continuously searching to fill any workforce needs in their communities. Community colleges make it easy to transition into the workforce or go on to earn a bachelor’s degree after graduation. Community college education can range from health sciences, agriculture, automotive technology, welding, engineering, music and art, and much more. Do your research on areas of study when making a college decision.
- ON-CAMPUS HOUSING
Many people choose to go the university route “to get the full college experience” which entails living on campus. However, community colleges want to give you the best college experience possible, so many of them offer on-campus housing. On-campus living is great because it allows you to meet new people, make new friends, and stay connected with activities happening on campus.
- ATHLETIC PROGRAMS
Several community colleges have athletic programs. This is great for those who want to continue their passion for sports past high school and for those who hope to play for a university. What makes community college athletics unique, is that the programs have coaches and staff that care about their players and want the best for their athletic career. It’s common for community college coaches to stay in touch with athletes after they graduate, another special perk of attending a community college; staff and faculty that truly care!
- STAFF AND FACULTY WHO CARE
Community college education is special because they have faculty and staff who truly care about each and every student. Community college faculty and staff want to help you along your college journey and even keep up with you after you graduate. It brings them joy to see you thrive and grow throughout your time at college. During your college journey, never hesitate to ask staff and faculty any questions you have as I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help.
- HIGH QUALITY TECHNOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT
A huge perk of community colleges is that you get to jump right into the hands-on learning instead of having to sit in a huge lecture hall before getting to learn the skill you’re interested in. The hands-on learning that community colleges offer require up-to-date equipment in order to fully prepare their students to enter the workforce after graduation. Most campuses will have student accessible computer labs and study spots for students. Community colleges stay active in their communities and work with local businesses to make sure to stay up to date in each industry.
- SMALL CLASS SIZE
A huge advantage to community college education is that it offers small class sizes. Small classes are beneficial to students as it allows for a one-on-one relationship with instructors, which in turn makes it easier to get help on assignments and in-class projects. Small class sizes make it easier to interact with peers and instructors during class, which helps students soak in and comprehend information each class period. In a small class, you’ll be able to engage with all classmates which will make it easier to reach out for further help on assignments and studying.
- CAMPUS LOCATION OPTIONS
A lot of community colleges have many locations as a way to make higher education geographically accessible at an affordable cost. Most have online options as well.
Make sure to do your research on every college you’re interested in when making a college choice. Don’t forget to schedule tours and step foot on the campuses you’re interested in. You’ll know without a doubt which college will be your perfect future home. Community colleges are there to help give you a quality education at an affordable cost, all while giving you a full college experience.
Written by Megan Spencer, Social Media and Digital Communications Coordinator at State Fair Community College.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Megan! I run State Fair Community College’s social media. I grew up with a creative passion and have always loved drawing, painting, and crafting. My educational background is in graphic design and marketing. I love to help people, which is one of the reasons I started writing these blogs for SFCC’s students. It’s about community!
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