The choice between going off to community college or university can be a difficult one. It's easy to ride the wave and follow whatever path your peers are making, but it most certainly doesn't mean that it's the right path for you. Here are some major deciding factors that could help a student decide whether they should start off at a community college and become a transfer student.
1. The university you want to attend is too expensive.
Four year colleges tend to be more expensive than community colleges. Not only are you paying more for each credit hour, but you're also paying for room and board amongst various other living expenses you may not have dealt with yet. Ask yourself the obvious questions: Are you in the position to fork over this amount of money in college? Are you willing to take out loans? There’s no shame in getting your basics done at a junior college for roughly $500-$1,000 a semester to conserve money for later semesters at your preferred university.
2. You don't have the credentials straight out of high school.
Whether you don't have the GPA they're looking for or if your application is denied, it's not the end of the world. You have more chances to make it in! Where you start off in college isn't what matters, it's where you graduate . Consider allowing yourself time to build your resume and GPA in community college so you can qualify for your dream school.
3. You’re not emotionally ready to leave home.
It’s 100% okay to still need that tether to home. Chances are you’re still a teenager and have just graduated high school so you haven’t had much experience taking care of yourself. Use a few semesters to explore your freedom and mentally prepare yourself for going off to another city or state! This includes learning important life skills such as car care and simple housekeeping tasks that will be needed for when you move on to your own space.
4. You haven’t decided on your major.
Deciding on what subject you’d like to pursue for your major can be timely and frustrating. Even if you have an idea of what you’d like to major in, you may not be convinced. Universities tend to have niches in what majors they teach: liberal arts, engineering, technology and so on. Having a major change while at university can lead to an eventual transfer. If you’re unsure what you’d like to do, it’s better to explore your interests and take it slow so that you have the opportunity to start university off at the best institute for your major.
5. There are other circumstances.
Certain circumstances such as moving may affect your choices. For instance, if you move within a year of college to a new state, you’ll be paying out-of-state tuition. Out-of-state students at community college do pay a higher fee, but it’s nowhere near the price of paying out of state at a university. If there's any situation that’s leaving you confused or stressed as to where you’re going to university, community college is probably the right choice for you.
Taking time to adjust to the freedom that being out of high school is extremely beneficial. The community college environment tends to be academically centered, leading to students being more focused on getting through their required courses in preparation to transfer. This results in not worrying about adjusting to an unfamiliar environment straight out of high school or partying. Always consider all of your options!
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