Community College vs. University: What is Better

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It’s a societal assumption to think that going to a state university is better than a community college, but is that always the case? Perhaps going with the bigger option isn’t always the best way to go. There are many differences between going to a community college and going to a higher education college such as a state university. They both have good and bad qualities and features them. But which one would suit you best? When graduating from high school and planning a career, it’s a tough decision for most people on what type of schooling would suit them best. Many reasons may affect a person’s decision. It may be a small factor such as location or something big, such as the cost. For many students who are trying to decide between community college vs University College, attending a large university compared to attending a community college is drastically different. There are significant differences between starting the higher education journey at a community college and beginning at a large state university, including cost considerations, the quality of the learning atmosphere, and having easy access to a personal support network. 

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The most evident point between beginning advanced education at a state college and a community college includes the expenses. For instance, in 2016 the average cost of a year at San Diego State University, by simply taking a look at the educational costs, is roughly $7,000 excluding the required expense of $752. With a drastic difference, a full-time educational cost per annum at Imperial Valley College is under $ 1,500, and the expenses are extremely low when contrasted with SDSU’s. For those whose automatic mindset is greater is better, precisely how is swimming in debt upon graduating a superior situation when a youthful late college alumnus is likely only to be troubled with the difficulties of beginning their new life? No big surprise as to why the normal student debt amount averages to be is $35,000. By extraordinary difference, if an undergraduate was to begin at a community college and move after two years to a state school, thousands of dollars would be spared, possibly even more than that. A big problem that occurs in many people’s college experience according to Gary Robbins, a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune says “any of those who go on to college are being slowed by everything from soaring tuition to a shortage of high-demand classes.” 

Savings can be a deal-breaker when taking a look at what number of students go to a college to which they cannot drive to daily. This can add another eight to twelve thousand dollars that you would have to pay off per school year when adding those costs. At a large state university, the learning environment frequently contrasts markedly with that of a community college. Countless enthusiastic students initially delighted to be on such a massive campus, will soon find that they don’t matter, but are virtually invisible or nonexistent on a large campus. It feels that while walking across campus for 30 minutes feels like you’re walking through a sea of humanity. Often you feel so distant that it may seem like you’re in another country, then the reality finally dawns on you when you excitedly throw open the doors of the classroom on the first day of classes only to discover a packed room filled with hundreds of classmates in the same class section, students who are unable to accept what they have been told of what will happen before their eyes for every day of the 16-week semester. 

Students coming into the classroom only to learn that a teacher is not teaching the class during the first five minutes of class, but that it is a teaching assistant who is also a student is handling the chalkboard. How is someone going to learn in an atmosphere like that? In sharp contrast, most classes at a community college are considered complete at about thirty students per class. The community college is very likely to have the same considerable teaching experience at one or more of the same big universities. The faculty-to-student ratio is one of many factors related to student success, for example, according to Travis Mitchell and Emma Kerr “Many community colleges offer smaller class sizes than larger schools, meaning students can find more personal attention and one-on-one time with instructors. This can be a plus for students who like to learn at their own pace and ask plenty of questions as they go.” Once again, community colleges keep the less-is-more advantage at a ratio of 1:30 instead of maybe 1:600. Universities used to boast tens of thousands of books they had in their libraries on their websites. Now with the vast majority of research materials that are now online, the question of scale is a complete non-factor. At a community college, a one-or two-minute walk from the parking lot to classes would probably make new students feel more relaxed and comfortable talking to people, rather than feeling stressed and invisible. Making friendships that can evolve into lasting relationships occurs more in smaller, less stressful environments and can more easily happen among the less populated classrooms, too. For some people, they may think that community college is for people who cannot make it into a state university. However, the majority of the time, that is not the case. 

Most people that are trying to get into a university or a state school has a hard time getting in. This is mainly due to their high school grades or because some schools don’t let students without experience in. Therefore community college is a great way to get into a university or state school. Although there are ways to make it so that you can get into a state school as a freshman, it is quite difficult. In fact, according to Brain Thevenot, a writer for The Texas Tribune “Texas community colleges enroll 54 percent of the state’s college students, 75 percent of freshmen and sophomores, and 78 percent of all Texas minority students. By having a college background more schools will accept you if you apply, according to Justin Ortagus and Xiaodan Hu, writers for Chicago Tribune “We found that students who transferred from a community college were 24% more likely to attend a selective university than students with similar background characteristics who began at a four-year institution.”  State schools are fast and there is no time in a class for you to get a more individual experience which makes it much harder to learn in the class. Big state universities may be a location where fewer members of a student’s support network are to be found, relative to if the student had enrolled in a community college. As teenagers in high school grow up into young adults, they face challenges that they never experienced before when they start living an increasingly independent life. To keep in touch in high school with family and friends, there are plenty of ways of keeping linked with them like technology, but it’s not the same as being in their company.

 There is often a serious problem when we’re far from home, like a blown tire on the interstate in a city where no one knows you or you or you find your bank account empty all of a sudden. Very differently, the first several years of pursuing a community college in the familiarity of one’s social circle, with family and friends supporting from the sidelines and then graduating from the school’s gym, could provide an emotional health experience that helps students focus on their studies. Many students suffer for a year from their first year of study away from home in an unfamiliar setting, with a feeling of feeling extreme loneliness, according to Keith Eddings in the words of Kiley Broadhurst “[S]he felt lost among the hundreds of students in UConn’s lecture halls. She said she felt further disconnected by the long waiting lists for office visits taped to her professors’ doors and by professors who didn’t know her name even at the end of a semester.” 

To obtain an average high cumulative GPA which can not be good. Receiving a bachelor’s degree takes most full-time students four to five years and they are often interrupted in the first or two semesters. When students think about everything, putting oneself in the best position to excel day one right off the bat, keeping their support system close at hand, and finding it all the easier to begin college experience at a community college, will prove helpful. In summary, when comparing the costs of higher education, the academic environment, and the importance of having a support network near, there could not be different choices to attend a large state university or a community college at the beginning of your education. There are many factors as to why you could choose either a community college or a state university. By going to a community college there are better benefits. Several thousands of dollars can be saved easily in the first two years before transferring from a community college, the better and more the personal learning experience can be obtained, and the advantages of a private, local support network may be accessed by beginning at a community college. 

So what will you choose? Community college or a state university to put your life into motion?                    

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