Community College: Same Bang For Less Buck
April 14, 2016
College acceptances have come out and the seniors are choosing where they want to go. Understandably, they’re excited about their future beyond Presentation! We all are very proud of our seniors and know that Presentation has prepared them well to step beyond its walls. Four-year colleges are wonderful for finally allowing students to make both crucial and mundane decisions on a daily basis.
However, the cost and the benefit to immediately attend the traditional four-year college may not be the best route to a glowing future. We have amazing community colleges here in California that can offer students an outstanding education.
But, Pres culture has made many very hesitant to admit they are going to community college or are thinking about it. Admit it, when someone from Pres tells you they are attending community college, there is a long awkward pause. It is usually accompanied with you conjuring up a fake smile, as you tilt your head to the side, hesitantly saying “oh … that’s great?” Your mind is beginning to explode with assumptions:
- She must have an incredibly low GPA.
- No colleges accepted her.
- That’s not “real” college.
- She is doomed for life.
- I am clearly superior.
We have created huge, hurtful, and shameful stigmas on community college attendees. Those who choose to attend are thought to be unintelligent and inferior. Both of those assumptions are false. So, if someone tells you that they are thinking about community college, remember nothing gives you the right to judge her by thinking that she will never succeed. Just because we attend Pres, it doesn’t mean that we should overlook community colleges and consider them lesser schools because they provide lots of opportunities.
For starters, community colleges allow you to stay close to home and you start to gain independence more gradually. The lower cost to attend a community college means that you can save thousands of dollars and you won’t have to take out loans–or at least, they’ll be reduced. In most instances, you can also save money by living at home.
Community college gives you more of a chance to figure out what you want to do and you have less pressure from family members on what you should pursue. You have the opportunity to take classes from different majors, so you can figure it out. In the long run, you figure out your true passion, rather than having to pay a lot of money to change majors in a four-year college.
Community colleges give you a chance to grow in maturity, and as a person, before making any drastic life commitments. A person who may have not been strong academically in high school can find real academic growth in a community college. For many, a plan of approach is to save their money by getting their general education credits from there. The UC system, as well as the CSU schools, offer first priority to transfer students of California community colleges. In fact, 94 percent of transfers for the fall semester to UC Berkeley in 2015 were from California community colleges.
No matter what your college plans are and how great of a student you are, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits that community colleges can bring due to the false stigmas they have. If you choose to attend a four-year college, don’t assume that you are superior compared to someone who chooses community college. It is best for us to be genuinely elated and supportive to all of our fellow classmates, rather than shame them based off of the route they choose. Community colleges are able to bring great opportunities that can lead to the path of success.