Should You Stay Close to Home for Community College?

by Chad Agrawal

Stay Home At Community CollegeOne of the main benefits of attending community college before university, for most students, is the ability to save some money on tuition and living expenses by selecting an institution that caters to their locale (hence the "community" part of the college equation).

In most cases this is a cost-effective way for students that might not otherwise have the funds to continue their education to secure transfer to a four-year institution of their choosing.

However, not every high-school grad is keen to continue living with their parents once they've passed the age barrier and entered the adult world.

You might want to get out on your own and seize your independence by finding a school a bit further away.

Although you'll incur more expense for necessities, you can still save on your tuition by selecting a community college in another city or state.

But how can you decide if you should stick it out in your childhood home or head off to parts unknown?

Extra Money & Support

The first and most obvious consideration is financial.

If you want to live away from home during your time at community college you need to think about whether or not you can afford it.

At your parents' house you not only live rent-free; you also get free food (not to mention a mom to cook it), you won't have to cover utilities (gas, electric, water, and so on), and you'll get extras like cable, phone, and internet, as well.

Of course, you'll also have the comforts of home.

You can stay in your old, familiar room, do your laundry in the basement instead of at a Laundromat, and never have to worry that turning up the heat will break your budget.

And since the number of community colleges with housing is slim, you're looking at paying for the whole enchilada.

On the other hand, you might be willing to go without a lot if it means you don't have to deal with curfew and your mom nagging you to clean your room.

Is Going Away Worth It?

This brings us to our next point of contention: how valuable is your freedom?

Are you willing to give up a sure thing and bet that you can get a job and support yourself in a strange city?

Even if your parents are willing to help you out in this endeavor, they might not have a lot to donate to your cause since they are supporting their own household in the meantime.

Whether you're on your own financially or not you'll be far away from family and friends.

So you need to think about how badly you really want it.

If you stay home, community college can act as a sort of bridge between your time in high school and your college career, giving you the opportunity to save some money for two years of major study somewhere else, perhaps at an Ivy League university.

But if you just can't stand the thought of two more years under your parents' roof, you'd better buckle down and prepare to work for it.

You don't need the computing power of a nurse informatics program to tell you that you're going to have to work extra hard to hold and job, pay the bills, and ace your classes at the same time.

But for the right community college transfer student, the cost of independence could be worth every penny (and every hardship).

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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