Choosing a Community College for You

by Chad Agrawal

Choosing a Community CollegeThe benefits of attending community college cannot be overestimated; you'll not only have the opportunity to save some money on tuition and living expenses, but you'll also get to set a flexible schedule that allows you to take on part-time work in the meantime.

That means, you can set aside some money for your continuing education while you work on getting the grades that will earn you admission at your 4-year college or university of choice down the line - including transferring from community college to Ivy League.

In short, there's a lot to love about the community college experience.

And if there is more than one community college in your area you are doubly lucky because you have a choice about which institution to attend.

Or perhaps, you're looking for some general criteria to help you in choosing a community college that's best for you.

Two Community Colleges Close to Home: Which Do You Choose?

But how can you select the one that's right for you? What criteria should you base your decision on?

Here are just a few guidelines that will help to ensure you choose the community college to get the education you seek...

Check Out The Campus

You're going to be attending the school you choose for at least the next couple of years, so you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the campus environment.

If one campus is closer to your home and work, it may be more desirable.

And you might prefer the aesthetic of one campus over another incase some community colleges with housing appeal to you.

If, for example, one has newer facilities, more parking, and greater attention to landscaping, it might appeal to you on several levels.

This shouldn't be your main criteria for selection, but it could definitely play a role in your final decision, all things being equal.

View Each Community College's Course Listings

The main goal of attending community college is to prepare for the next level of education.

So while all such institutions will feature the general education classes needed to move you along, many will also provide prerequisite courses for a variety of disciplines.

If you already happen to have an intended major in mind, as well as a 4-year college picked out, you can find out what the prerequisites are for entrance into the program and see if there are transferable classes at the community college level that will qualify, allowing you to save time and money when you eventually transfer to university.

Look Into Specialties At Community College

Even at 2 year community colleges, you will find that certain schools specialize in certain areas.

For example, one campus may have a stellar music or arts program while the other is renowned for their sports, their forensics team, or their science department.

You can talk to administrators, teachers, and students to find out which campus is better suited to your particular interests.

Consider Scholarship Opportunities

It's not always easy to find community college transfer scholarships since these schools tend to receive less funding than their more prestigious, 4-year counterparts.

However, some institutions may be better endowed than others, and you'll most certainly want to consider your odds of gaining a scholarship when it comes to the school you choose to attend.

Ask About Community College Transfer Agreements

Because community colleges are built to prepare students for community college transfer to university, many make deals with area colleges and universities to gain preferential treatment when it comes to admission of students to certain programs.

So whether you're interested in the English program at a nearby university or you've got your sights set on a health management MBA at some point, the community college you choose could give you a greater chance for success if they have transfer agreements in place that fit with your plans.

Choosing A Community College Is Only The First Step

After choosing a community college, you'll want to make sure you're ready to make the most of your community college experience.

To learn more, read about how to be a top student at community college.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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