2 answers

Is it better to go to community college for my first two years and then trasfer to a university, or is it better to go straight to uni?

Asked Conroe, Texas

#cost #community college

2 answers

Darryl’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Hi Mia,

Great question! I think the answer depends on how strong of a student you are, and how well you adapt to change.


If new environments, new people, and new routines are no problem, then you can probably head straight to the university with little difficulty. Of course, part of that equation depends on how large your destination university is, what classes you will be taking, and how many classes you will have each semester.


I graduated from high school well within the top 10% of my class and started classes at The University of Texas in Austin that Fall. Even though the expanse of the university and number of students (one of my history classes was bigger than my entire Senior class) took some getting used to, overall the transition was fairly painless.


I'm glad that I went directly to UT. I also took some classes during the summer at UT Arlington, and the differences were pretty astonishing. UTA felt a lot more like High School, Part 2 to me than attending class at UT. For some, that would have made for a better transition after high school. For me, I preferred getting thrown right into the mix at a major university. When I returned to Austin for my sophomore year, I felt much more at ease with making my way around campus and with handling my class assignments.


Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide how much of a transition you want or need. You can always pick up core classes at a community college during the summer (much more affordably than at your university) while attending major-specific classes at your chosen university.


Good luck with whatever path you choose to follow. I hope you have a great experience either way!

Timothy’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

I like the answer above and have some additional considerations. If you are a social person and want to be involved in student activities at a 4 years school like joining fraternities, sororities, and attending sporting events, you may want to start at a 4 year school. For me, it was about cost. I attended Eastfield Junior College for 2 years and transferred to Baylor. I was in the top 10% of my class in high school, but found the Eastfield experience did not impact me at Baylor. I graduated from Baylor with a 3.9 and went on to obtain 2 master's degrees. My two daughters went to a 4 year university. One because she wanted to play soccer and the other daughter was more of social thing. My son went to Eastfield College and has transferred to a 4 year university.

Timothy recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about the activities you are involved in high school. If you participate in social clubs and are involved in activities like the student council, you would probably like the 4 year college approach. If you are not, then maybe 2 years at a junior college first.
  • Also, look at the scholarships. If you get a good scholarship offer at a 4 year university, don't pass that up. Note that many universities offer transfer scholarships to students who attended a junior college.
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