I have read that the more elite colleges are making efforts to recruit students from community colleges, as part of the movement toward economic diversity.
Many kids in our high school go to community college for two years to save money, not only through lower tuition but because they can still live at home. Of course, Harvard's impressive financial aid may make this a moot point for students like the one described above. (Maybe she wanted to work on music and the lower stress academics suited her, until she decided on a science major, who knows?)
Our tour guide at New England Conservatory had gone to community college first. She was immensely talented, and the most articulate, pleasant tour guide we had ever had.