Expensive four-year residential colleges aren't the best choice for everyone. Below are five reasons why community college
is sometimes the better option. Before making a final decision, however, prospective students should be aware of the possible hidden costs of community college
1. MoneyCommunity college costs just a fraction of the total price tag for public or private four-year residential colleges. If you’re short on cash and don’t have the test scores to win a merit scholarship, community college can save you thousands. But don’t make your decision based entirely on money -- many four-year colleges offer excellent financial aid for those with serious need.
2. Weak Grades or Test ScoresIf you don’t have the GPA or test scores to get into a decent four-year college, don’t fret. Community colleges are open-admissions. You can use community college to build your academic skills and prove that you can be a serious student. If you then transfer to a four-year school, the transfer admissions office will consider your college grades much more than your high school record.
3. Work or Family ObligationsMost community colleges offer weekend and evening courses, so you can take classes while juggling other obligations in your life. Four-year colleges rarely offer this type of flexibility -- classes meet throughout the day, and college needs to be your full-time employment.
4. Your Career Choice Doesn’t Require a Bachelor’s DegreeCommunity colleges offer many certification and associate degree programs that you won’t find at four-year schools. Many technology and service careers do not require a four-year degree, and the type of specialized training you need is available only at community college.
5. You’re Not Sure About Going to CollegeA lot of high school students have a sense that they should go to college, but they aren’t sure why and aren’t really fond of school. If this describes you, community college can be a good option. You can try out some college-level courses without committing years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars to the experiment.