2 Answers

Monica E. Randall, PhD Points0

One major benefit of attending a community college before transferring to a four-year college or university is cost. The American Association of Community Colleges, has information regarding the cost of community college vs. a four-year college, and shows that spending the first two years studying at a community college could yield a substantial savings. 

Another benefit to attending a community college before transferring is a chance to complete all your introductory level college courses so that when you arrive at a four-year college, you can focus immediately on courses for your specific major.

If you choose to attend a community college first, make sure that you work closely with your transfer advisor to choose the right classes. Also, study hard and earn good grades. Apply to schools that have strong transfer or ‘articulation’ programs with target universities. Many universities have developed guaranteed transfer agreements with selected community colleges, so become familiar with those universities. Remember, regardless of the choice that you make, in the long run, you will end up with a degree from the transfer university.

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro Points0
There is the financial consideration to keep in mind as stated above. Tuition, book, fees are much less expensive at the community college level. Many students are able to save so much their first two years of college the amount they need to finance their final two years is a good deal less. It isn't just the tuition, books and fees though. Community colleges cater to students from various age groups making the availability of courses throughout the day - morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, evening as opposed to four year schools which, although they offer classes throughout the day and evening are, a bit more limited. The advantage of attending a school which offers classes such as a community college does is that students which are struggling financially, have many more hours in the day to be employed - it affords more flexibility to fit both school and work into the day. Transfer agreements between schools is essential in order to be sure that what you take your first two years will carry over to your next school. If it does not, the money you saved, will need to be used to make up credits that are not transferable. Community colleges are also a great starting point for those students which, are a bit apprehensive to leave home. It allows them the challenge of college with the security of being home as they continue to mature. Community colleges in NJ have what is referred to as the STARS program which makes them even more interesting to students that are ranked in the top 15% of your class - covering all expenses the first two years. After those first two yrs., students can opt to participate in a competition to participate in the STARS 2 program at the four year school. Perhaps your state has a similar program. Details on STARS though, is listed below: http://www.njstars.net/

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