Community College vs. Four-Year College
Article Type: Fight Club
- There are probably a few community colleges near you. If you don't know where to look, we suggest looking on Google Maps for the closest community colleges. That's what these schools are all about: offering local students the opportunity to study in a way that's accessible to them.
- Community colleges are cheap. According to U.S. News, they're about $9,000 a year for full-time tuition (source). Okay, not super cheap, but it's cheap compared to the costs of a four-year college, which can get super pricey (some are over $60,000 a year). Most people tend to live at home when attending community colleges, so the easy commute can help you save big bucks on room and board as well.
- Attending community college can set you up to transfer to a four-year program if you rock the GPA.
- Some careers don't require a Bachelor's degree, so an Associate's degree is the smarter choice.
- Lack of mobility. An Associate's degree tends to prepare students for a very specific career, which may limit options after graduation if you decide that particular career isn't for you.
Bet on a community college if...
1. You plan to eventually earn a Bachelor's degree, but want to
save money and/or raise your GPA before attending a four-year college.
2. You have a specific career in mind and a community college
Associate's degree is the way to get there.
- When you hear "college," it's these bad boys you think of. The four-year school can offer the quintessential college experience of crazy parties, cramming for exams, late-night roommate talks, and Frisbee in the quad.
- The important point to remember is that these schools come in a huge variety of flavors, so be sure to find the one that fits before investing your time and money.
- Career mobility. A four-year Bachelor's degree prepares you for a more specialized professional career and is a prerequisite for many jobs and graduate school.
- Four-year colleges can be a great return on investment. They're more prestigious than two-year colleges, and they look good on your resume—which could mean getting a higher-paying job.
- Money and time. You need to be sure that your plans for the future require a four-year degree, and that the cost of your education is worth the cost.
Bet on a four-year college if...
your plans include a professional-level career that requires
a Bachelor's degree or graduate school, and the finances make sense.
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