Speaking from experience, every undergrad should take advantage of their local community college, especially if they plan to take courses online. While this is not a call to acquire an associate’s degree, it is a call at least to take the 34 credit hours of general education courses at a community college. Even if a student plans to acquire his or her education online, most community colleges offer this as an option.
Regardless, here are five reasons undergrads should use their local community college, at least for the basics.
- The people. The diversity of folks at a community college is overwhelming. Given the cheapness of the school, you will find all ages, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds. You will find kids straight out of high school, as well as people in their fifties looking for an education. This is a superb experience for any student who needs to get out of his or her comfort zone.
- Money. Community colleges are just cheaper. While prices will vary, some community colleges are cheap enough to allow as many as three courses for the price of a single university course. Any student or parent that is concerned about student loan debt can alleviate much of the initial load by using a community college.
- Little quality difference. Paying the high price for a basic course at a university nets you little compared to paying for the same education at a third of the price at a community college. The basics from school to school are all the same, meaning you gain nothing by taking American Literature 101 at a university instead of most local community colleges.
- Easy credit transfer. With many universities, the process to transfer credit is simple, giving the student a jumpstart on their necessary credits at a university.
- Diversifying Education. Any student planning to move onto graduate school can immediately demonstrate a willingness to diversify education with community college and a university.