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This Student Explains Why Community College Is the Right Choice for Him

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 216 Editor
Find out what led this student to his decision to attend community college: https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/my-experience-why-im-choosing-community-college/

Replies to: This Student Explains Why Community College Is the Right Choice for Him

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    Summary:

    Student applied to four colleges (none safeties). After three rejections, looked at some late deadline safeties and did not like them. Got a fourth rejection for a shutout. So the student goes to the default safety of community college.
  • btween46btween46 Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    I wish I could follow this student's story and check in with him in 6 months, and 12 months, and so forth. His story is similar to my son's with regards to living in the same state, stats, right down to applying to NC State and Elon, and pursuing engineering. My son didn't get into NC State, but did get into Elon and ECU, plus some others out of state that we could not afford. At Elon, he got scholarships, grants, and with the max amount of loans students can take out, that brought the cost down to $33k per year, down from $50k per year. (Still about $11k more than in state tuition, might be more since federal work study he qualified for at Elon might or might not pan out, we've been advised.) My son has decided to attend ECU after touring and having a good feeling. The students were friendly, used nice manners overall, and were easy to engage with. The community college avenue crossed our minds though. All these sliding doors - which one is right? I'm starting to believe the right path is the one you choose and go all in, take advantage of what's available, and don't look back. Best wishes to this student.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 34,017 Senior Member
    One of my relatives attended CC because she was asked to leave HS right after JR year due to excessive absences caused by chronic health conditions. She passed the GED exam and started CC that fall and then transferred to the competitive private U that she applied to, where she got her BA. It saved her and the family 3 terms of tuition and all but one of the courses she took transferred and applied toward her degree.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 3,253 Senior Member
    I took a few classes at the local California community college when I was in the Air Force, and thought they were as good as the classes I took at four-year universities. In fact, probably the most important college class I ever took was an Applied Calculus class in community college because it taught me there were actual uses for math, which motivated me enough to get me past the math phobia I'd had all through high school. And I don't think any of the classes had more than 25 students.
  • VaDad2023VaDad2023 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    The average in-state cost for a public university in VA is probably around $30K for tuition, housing, and food. The average cost for CC tuition in VA is around $5K. Many schools have guaranteed acceptance for students from CC's as long as they take specific courses and maintain a high enough GPA. CC transfers to four-year schools have about a 60 percent graduation rate which is higher than the average college rate. I have an AS, a BS and an MS and my CC courses were as good or better than any of the courses I took at my other school.

    If someone gave you $120K when you graduated HS to get an education and start your life, would you spend it all attending a four-year school, or would you go to a CC for two years, transfer to the same four-year school, get the same degree, and use the $50K you saved to start a business, make a down payment on a house, or invest in an IRA?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    VaDad2023 wrote:
    The average in-state cost for a public university in VA is probably around $30K for tuition, housing, and food. The average cost for CC tuition in VA is around $5K.

    That cost comparison presumes that the parents will continue to subsidize the student living at home while attending CC, but that the public university is too far to commute to, right?
  • buckeyeinbamabuckeyeinbama Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    This student definitely didn't have any safeties on his list, and it's so painful to see good students get stuck with options they may not like but ultimately have to accept. For one reason or another. He sounds as though he'll be okay, and I sure hope he will be. He sounds as though he has a good plan now, and let's face it, the bulk of the first two years are spent knocking out general requirements. He'll be able to do that for a fraction of the cost.

    That said, hopefully someone has explained to him how to make sure his CC course selections transfer to his 4-year school of choice AND count toward his intended major. That can trip up a lot of transfer students..
  • natty1988natty1988 Registered User Posts: 460 Member
    @ucbalumnus if the kid goes away to college..many parents will be subsidizing that too..unless the student moves out and is entirely self supporting. Dorms are expensive
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 3,242 Senior Member
    often in California, you have quite a few "Berkeley or bust" kids, who even with high scores and grades, will opt to go to CC rather than a school "lower" than Berkeley if they didn't get in out of HS. Taking classes for 2 years saves approximately $13K a year, not to mention close to $20K in living expenses by (most likely) staying at home. Depending on how many AP credits and/or dual enrollment credits one had previously, they could reapply again in 1 year, and/or 2 years, so they essentially have 3 cracks at a school like UC-Berkeley. So going to CC can be a really good deal.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    natty1988 wrote:
    if the kid goes away to college..many parents will be subsidizing that too

    Although living with parents and commuting is typically much less expensive than living in the dorm or on one's own near campus, it is not zero cost like is often assumed (like in the comparison in reply #5). The student living with parents still consumes food and utilities at home, and has commuting costs.

    I.e. living in the dorm is not $dorm_cost more expensive than living with parents; it is $dorm_cost - ($living_with_parents_cost + $commuting_cost) more expensive.
  • waverlywizzardwaverlywizzard Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    My local CC has unbelievable transfer agreements with two local private well known 1. engineering school 2. business school The agreement keeps tuition at the CC rate for duration of the transfer and the final degree earned is from the institution accepting the transfer. Strict GPA needed to apply as a CC freshman, but I feel like its the best kept secret. Best of luck!
  • jpm50jpm50 Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    I started out at a local community college, and a few years later ended up graduating from MIT.

    I learned that if you work really hard and excel in a CC, then four year colleges will look at your transfer application seriously.
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