The Sage

Community College Vs Four Year Universities

Reilly Cornwall, Staff Writer

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With the end of the year coming very soon, many seniors and other upperclassmen are struggling to figure out what exactly they are doing after high school. May 1st recently passed and anyone planning on attending a four-year university next year had to officially commit to their school. While going to a big four-year university might seem like the only option, community college can offer many advantages over a four-year, especially for nontraditional students.

The biggest worry that every senior and parent has about college is, without a doubt, money. College costs keep rising and students are graduating with thousands of dollars owed in student loans every year. For California residents, UC schools have an average tuition of $13,900 per year, not including room and board and other fees. And that’s nothing compared to the average private or out of state school costs.

In comparison, our local community college, Miracosta only costs $46 per unit taken along with a few other fees and you can get just as valuable of an education by deciding to transfer to a university.

By transferring from a community college to a four-year university, you have the opportunity to receive the exact same degree as someone who came to that university as a freshman, at half the cost.

For students who didn’t get good grades in high school, community college can be a second chance at getting a degree or getting into your dream university. Miracosta college has very few admission requirements, and none of them are based on your high school grades. Miracosta also has a transfer agreement with many CSU and UC schools that can offer priority — or even guaranteed admission — for transfer students.

But even if you decide not to transfer, community college can still be a great option for nontraditional students looking to further their education. Most community colleges offer flexible schedules, night classes and part-time options, which can be more convenient for students who are working or have family or other obligations.

For students who still aren’t sure what they want to study after high school, community college can also offer the ability to take courses in many different fields without paying for the extra time at a pricey four-year university.

And for students who aren’t quite ready to leave home yet, attending community college is a great way to get started and get more support than a traditional college might offer.

While you can receive just as valuable as an education at a community college, the biggest disadvantage when compared to universities is often a lack of community on campus. Many students miss out on the classic “college experience” and, while community college can’t compare to the freshman dorm experience you’d get at a four-year university, there are still many opportunities to get involved on campus.

For example, Miracosta college has dozens of clubs on campus for students to work together and learn more about different career paths, get involved in student leadership or just bond over a common interest.  From Computer Science Club to Photography Club, there is a place for everyone on campus.

But whether you’re a graduating senior or a sophomore who just started thinking about the future, don’t forget that there are more options out there than just the traditional four-year university.

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Community College Vs Four Year Universities