Community Colleges: Ignore the Stigma and Save Your Money
The cost of a college education has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past two decades. College tuition has risen 8% each year since the early 1980s and the average debt of a graduate of a four year university was $25,250 in 2010. These numbers are staggering and may be some students are deciding to attend community colleges for a much cheaper price while still receiving a quality education.
If you look at the numbers, the tuition and fees for four year public and private universities are $8,244 and $28,500 per year respectively. In comparison, community colleges average $2,963 per year in tuition. If you also take into account the fact that most community college students stay home with their parents then the savings are tremendous.
Many states are very generous when it comes to awarding these students with financial aid. In the state of Florida students who have a 3.0 GPA and 990 on the math and critical reading section of the SAT will have 100% of their tuition covered at any two year public institution.
Students at these two year institutions also have the ability to transfer after they receive their associates of arts degree to a four year university and graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Also, in USA there are a lot of possibilities of earning extra money by working at part-time jobs, etc.
Community colleges offer so many advantages to students that it seems strange that more students do not decide to attend them. Personally, I believe that this stems from the stigma that students receive who decide to attend these institutions. When I was a senior in high school, students who decided to attend community college were seen as academically inferior. They were told that they should go to a four year university even if they had to take out student loans because they would learn more or their degree would hold more value. They were also told that they would miss out on the college experience if they commuted from home.
In my opinion it is not worth it to pay thousands of dollars to party or receive a bachelor’s degree that you would have gotten anyway if you transferred with your associates of arts degree from a community college. Ignore the stigma and save as much money as you can while receiving your bachelor’s degree. I can assure you that you will have the last laugh when your classmates that looked down on you have four times as much debt as you do.