Can't decide whether you're going to spend your first year of higher education at community college or university? You know that community college can be a smart option, but you might be concerned about giving up a great college experience because of the idea that community college will not have the same social life and party scene as a university. You might think that you will get stuck at community college forever. And you might wonder what else you will be missing out on by attending community college first instead of university.
Let me address all these concerns and show you why community college is the better option. Everything I explain will be valid unless you have over $200,000 already saved up for your college education. In that case, community college or university might be a tougher choice, but I can still argue that community colleges are the better option. So are your ready? Here we go!
What Are Your Goals?
Your decision should be heavily dependent on what you wish to achieve. Regardless of the industry that you would like to enter, I think we can all agree that Ivy League and Tier 1 schools offer the best opportunities in almost every industry. Why? Quite simply, it is because they offer the highest quality education of all colleges and cream of the crop professors, so students graduate with the best connections.
Keeping this in mind, let's make it your goal to get into the best university for your field, an Ivy League or Tier 1 university. Relax, just go with me, even if you never received an A in high school. Your goal is to create the best opportunities for yourself.
Right Now: Community College or University?
Let's say that you are an average student in high school. You can get into a decent 4-year state university or you can go to community college. Now, lets consider what happens...
If you go to university, you will definitely be paying more than community college tuition. Plus, your opportunities to transfer are lessened because community colleges are more geared towards transferring. There is more support there because the majority of students want to transfer to university, whereas at university you may be discouraged from leaving. So, by transferring from another 4-year college, you are going to pay more and have less opportunity.
Also, many university students have some difficulties adjusting to handling the increased workload, overwhelming social life of freshman year, and the stress of learning to live on their own. As a result it's very common for students who were used to doing very in high school to get lower grades freshman year than they expected, and have to work twice as hard for the next few years semesters to make up for it and raise their GPA. This is definitely not the end of the world if you plan to graduate from that university because freshman year will have little or no effect on your life if you did the work to raise your accumulative GPA by senior year. However, if you were planning to transfer to an Ivy League university after freshman year, you will probably not be able to anymore because your acceptance will be heavily based on your freshman GPA.
On the other hand, if you go to community college first, you can transfer to that same 4-year state university after 2 years. And better yet, you will also have the chance to transfer to a better university. It's more likely this way because community college is a way to raise your GPA without all the distractions of living on campus and away from home. If you are willing to work hard, you can only increase your opportunity while paying just a fraction of the cost!
But I Know The Concerns
Will you make friends at community college? Yes! I have made friends of a lifetime at community college and you can too. When you are working hard and stay focused on transferring to an Ivy League or Tier 1 school, you tend to attract the same people around you, especially if you get into a community college honors program.
Will you miss out on the real college experience? No way! In fact, I think you will have better college experience. You will still have two years after community college to experience being away from home and living at a 4-year university. If you ask most people, they will tell you that is more than enough time to do it all.
Will you get stuck at community college? Oh come on! Don't give into the usual community college stigmas. They are a great opportunity and you can easily grab a community college guide to help you succeed.
Remember, you are paying for college in REAL MONEY. Why should you pay more for less opportunity? Going to a community college first, you will pay less (which means more money in your pocket) and have more opportunities to transfer to Ivy League and Tier 1 universities.
Do you have any other concerns? Please leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to address them for you. Or, just send me an email which can be found in the contact us page.