Four years of stress, anxiety and pressure followed by the depression of a large financial burden. Sadly, that's the story for many college graduates. But, going to community college for two years and then transferring may prove to be a worthwhile experience.
Is Going To Community College Worth It?
At the end of what is, in most cases, a 4 year experience, community college transfer students come out of university with an associates and a bachelors degree as well as some debt – attributed to tuition fees, maintenance loans and accommodation costs. Furthermore, there is no fairytale dream job at the end of it all for the vast majority of graduates.
The knock-on effect of the United States’ recession also means that there are fewer jobs to apply for. Not only that, but businesses are now more unwilling than ever to take perceived risks on young graduates at the preference of those who have more experience – while not necessarily the same amount of talent of their younger adversaries.
From this year, new university entrants will be required to pay tuition fees of up to $9,000 a year – nearly treble what applicants had to part with in recent years. The effect of the government’s new measures has been substantial. Figures show that there has been a 12 per cent drop in people applying for university for 2012/13 after numbers had been increasing year on year from 2008 to 2011.
The measures, introduced by the coalition government, are surely only beneficial to the upper class and disengaging for the lower and middle classes who are being priced out of continuing their education.
By inadvertently reducing the numbers who attend university, the government could be doing more to damage the existing economy rather than recovering it. There will be a smaller pool of graduates to hand pick from for specialist roles and those who are driven away from education could end up unemployed.
The chief executive of education charity Brightside, Tessa Stone, seems to concur with this view. While acknowledging that the UCAS-based figures aren’t disaggregated by income, she claimed that “the most disadvantaged” would be those affected by the government’s decision to pump-up tuition fees.
There are of course cheaper alternatives to furthering your education away from university. The most popular of which are apprenticeships. These usually offer a qualification – typically an NVQ – at the end of the process and also pay you while you train and work. There is also the possibility of earning a permanent full-time job at the end of the apprenticeship. The benefits of apprenticeships are clear – there is no debt and you start earning almost immediately.
Why Go To Community College Then Transfer Anyways?
Well, according to these statistics, over a lifetime graduates earn an average of $80,000 more than school leavers – although this figure is believed to be slightly distorted by the top band of occupations such as dentists, brain surgeons and performing artists. Not to mention, in theory, if there are less people attending university then there are unquestionably more opportunities to land the top jobs that require degree-educated employees.
Additionally, there are the social and independence incentives that university offers. For many, transferring to university is the chance to live away from parents for the first time and to be integrated into an environment with a broad range of people from varying backgrounds.
While the government’s decision to increase tuition fees is probably a tick in the “con” box, the decision remains up to the individual and whether they want to continue their learning at a price. Some will feel the education, independence and experience are worth it. Some won’t. Following this community college guide, you'll have the tools you need to succeed at community college and transfer to Ivy League and other top universities.
About The Author:
Matthew Wood is a talented copywriter, SEO technician and marketing expert. Matthew contributes to a number of online publications, developing SEO-related content for a range of web projects. Matthew's latest venture involves writing informative and engaging articles on the subjects of Graduation Gifts and Gifts for the distinguished online agency Evie Darling.