Should I go to community college? Or take out loans??

<p>I am so conflicted right now and need advice.. So I have a 4.04 overall gpa and a 1800 sat. I have taken 4 ap classes and am enrolled in 3 now and am almost positive I will pass all 3 since i received 4s and 5s on my last ones. Also I have taken 4 honors. I almost have my general Ed done and im a senior in high school but I still have 4 more courses.
My parents have no money to help and financial aid isn't great in California. Im in the top ten percent of students at my school so I may possibly get into a uc or two but I'm unsure of what I'm doing with my life and don't know if I should waste money trying to figure it out at an expensive uc. Any advice? I kind of want to be a lawyer and I know grad school is like 100 grand and want to save money where I can. Any answers are appreciated!!</p>

<p>If you live at home and go to a nearby CC, you will save a lot of money and learn more about which classes really interest you. You can get your general education classes out of the way, earn an Associate's degree, and then apply to UCs for your last 2 years. If you continue with the grades and class rigor that you accomplished in high school, it should be relatively easy to get into a UC, and you could possibly get some merit aid as well.</p>

<p>The only downside to this plan is that you will not get the classic, 'college experience' that students get when they move to a residential college. This can be very important for some students who have never had any independence before. So, if you go the CC route, make sure that you get involved on campus and make new college friends.</p>

<p>Yes. Get a part-time job that allows you to go to community college at the same time. If you take that route, you will be better in tune with the real world than most students at whichever UC you end up going to.</p>

<p>As ALF said, if the college experience is important than that would be the only downside.</p>

<p>I think that if you know you'll be going to grad school for sure, going to a CC for your first two years of undergrad studies would definitely save a lot of money.</p>

<p>My dad told me some stories from his co-workers. A lot of students want the recognition of going to a UC or other top-tier school right out of high school. They spent a lot of money for undergrad studies. When they wanted to go to grad school, they didn't have the funds. They already took out loans to pay for undergrad studies and didn't want to take out even more loans. They ended up settling for Cal States... and while there are very reputable Cal States, they couldn't apply for a grad program they really wanted to get into.</p>

<p>This economy and the status of the job market, especially in CA, is not helping either.</p>

<p>I was in the same situation as you not too long ago. I was in the top 10% and everyone was pushing for me to go to UCLA. When I was writing my personal statement, I didn't have a set career path and didn't want to "waste" my parents' hard-earned money at a UC either. I thought of my parents and how many people they have to support. </p>

<p>I realized I couldn't go through with attending a UC if I was having so many doubts. I looked up the CCs in my area. There was one I really liked and it had one of the highest transfer rates to UCs (like UCLA, UC Berkely, etc). </p>

<p>I'm attending that CC now. When I first went in to figure out what classes to take, the counselor looked at my AP scores and said that half of my transfer requirements were already done. I could apply to transfer right away, but now the problem is I don't know what to write for my essay about my intended major.</p>

<p>Like everyone else said, try a community college. Even if you want independence, you could try to rent a place with some friends, and you'd save money on tuition and food. Especially if you want to go into law, it doesn't matter as much as the medical field, since you don't need to know high level math/science not offered at a CC.</p>