HELP- Community college or SJSU

Hi guys,

So recently I’ve been deciding between commuting to San Jose State Uni or go to De Anza/ community college and transfer to a UC (preferably one in SoCal such as UCI, UCLA or UCSD)

As of now I intend to major in Computer Science because my parents say I’ll be stable with this & can get a lot of jobs in the future. I’m still somewhat iffy with this major because I’m scared it’s going to be too hard but I’ve heard SJSU is good for computer science and has a lot connections

Now the real issues are: I don’t want to miss out on the college experience by transferring from a community college but also don’t know if commuting is the move either since I live relatively close to SJSU. As a person who hasn’t had the most freedom in high school, dorming does appeal to me in that sense.

  1. Can you study abroad after transferring from a community college at a UC or is that even recommended? That is something I have looked into but advice would be much appreciated. And is studying abroad even worth it ??

That is all. Thank you !!

I’m worried this doesn’t end well. CS is a challenging major, certainly very time consuming. And it doesn’t sound like you want this. Without the motivation to want to do it, you may find yourself behind in class and since each semester builds on the previous… And when you have a programming assignment due and there’s some obscure error somewhere in the hundreds and hundreds of lines of code you’ve written, with calls to packages that aren’t working the way you need, you can be up to 2am trying to get the darn thing to work. Kids that excel in CS not only have a drive to succeed, they are often spending their free time on programming projects for play because they enjoy it. I know your parents mean well, but you need to find something that is right for you. Maybe you’ll find you really like CS as you start studying it, but maybe not.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but since you’ve asked for advice I’ll give mine. The CC is preferable for a few reasons. First, Foothill/DeAnza is a good CC system so you will be well prepared for a 4-year if you work hard there. Second, classes are likely going to be smaller at CC then at SJSU for lower-division which means more personal attention. Third, it gives you margin to change your mind. If you spend a year at CC in CS and then decide it’s not right for you then you might need to spend another 2 years in another major taking the prereqs in order to apply to xfer. If you want to go to a UC then you can never have too many units to xfer if they are all from a CC. However if instead you were at SJSU then you may exceed the xfer unit cap if you’ve taken upper-division classes. Fourth, 3 years at a CC is less expensive than at SJSU.

You will likely be able to study abroad, that sounds like something you actually want compared to CS. It may be a bit more challenging to work into your schedule if you want to finish the UC in 2 years and you may have to do it for just a quarter/semester and the summer instead of a full academic year. But it should be possible, although I don’t work for UC so don’t take my word for it. Browse thru the info at About UCEAP | UCEAP and I also suggest calling them to ask.

As for missing out on the college experience, it would be different if you were considering Chico vs CC. Since SJSU is primarily a commuter campus there will be clubs and so on, but they are probably not going to be that different than at a CC given people commute to both schools.

Best of luck to you; let us know where you decide to go.


No question SJ has a good program but, It sounds like you want the freshman dorm experience which neither of the paths laid out. Do you have any other options? Can you dorm at SJSU?

I agree, success in CS (anywhere) requires dedicated, motivated and serious student. Your comments don’t reflect that level of passion. If commuting to SJ and commuting to De Anza,are the only 2 choices, I’d probably go to the CC where you can dip your toe in CS and a few other majors while you do your GE.

Congratulations on getting into SJSU CS, the most selective major there. (However, if you got into SJSU but not the CS major, it will require a high college GPA to switch into the CS major.)

SJSU was probably about half residential and half commuter before COVID-19, based on percentage of frosh living in the dorms before COVID-19.

Would it be possible (i.e. affordable) to live in the dorm first year at SJSU?

it sounds like youre not sure what you want yet. I suggest going to CC and take a CS classes and some that you think you might be interested in (bio, business, whatever you think you might like better then CS) and discover what you want first. even if its just for a year, maybe 2. the last thing you want is to get half way through a degree you hate and change you mind. plus the money youll save at cc will set you up better and if you do well you could get your degree from a higher ranked school ( not that rank really matters) and if you want to study abroad I think youll be able too. its would be something that you would have to discuss with your advisor when you transfer and save classes for that trip. there are also some CC’s that have study abroad programs so you could look into that. some CC’s aslo have dorms or apartments near by so if you want more freedom you could always look into those options.

Or if you want the best of both worlds you could go to SJ for a year and then transfer but then that will cost more. It sounds like you have a lot to consider. Im graduating from CC this year and Im transferring so lmk if you have any more questions!

Regarding cost, SJSU tuition is about $6.5k more per year than community college tuition. If the student lives with parents and has similar commuting costs for each, that would be the cost difference (obviously, if one has a less expensive commute than the other, that would affect the difference).

Living on campus is estimated by SJSU as being about $7k more than living with parents, though that is based on a fairly high cost ($10k) of living with parents and commuting offsetting the dorm cost ($17k). Since students’ living-with-parents costs can vary widely, the cost difference to live in the dorm can vary widely.