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Should I go to a community college or a University?

I’m graduating soon, so thoughts on my future become more relevant and I’m stuck on what could be best for me. I have a 2.5 GPA at the moment. #general

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Xochitl the cost of higher education continues to rise — and financial aid isn’t keeping pace. You might be surprised at how helpful it can be to “start small.” Saving money is one of the biggest reasons to consider community college, but there are other advantages as well. The biggest advantage to starting at a two-year college is the fact that you pay much less as compared to other institutions. The average per-credit cost at a two-year public school is $135 — less than half the $395 per credit at a four-year public school. If you start at a two-year school, earning your general education credits or getting an associate’s degree, and completing half the credits usually needed for a four-year degree, you could save $15,000 or more, depending on where you attend school.

If you want a chance to boost your grades, it’s possible to do so at a community college. Standardized tests and your high school GPA don’t matter as much if you have a new track record from a two-year school. Prove yourself, and you have an opportunity to get scholarships and meet other requirements to transfer to a university. When you apply to college as a transfer student, the college authorities generally look at your transfer application and college scores. Your high school test scores are less important. Working hard during those two years in community college will help to strengthen your college application. It also boosts your chances of getting admission into a college of your choice. When you're struggling with a class, don't be afraid to let your professor or teacher know that you're frustrated. Most instructors truly care about their students' success, and they appreciate the maturity and initiative it takes to admit you need help. Faculty members might help you find a tutor, offer one-on-one help or give you advice on how to improve your performance. Having an honest conversation with your teacher might also help you feel more at ease in the classroom. If you have personal issues going on, teachers are usually very understanding and can work with you to ensure you're successful.

Hope this is helpful Xochitl

Thank you comment icon Thank You Xochitl. Whatever you conceive and believe, you can achieve. John Frick
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Romy’s Answer

Taking the community college or two-year college path for then transferring to a four year college or university is a great and viable option, depending on your personal goals, financial situation, and much more. The first two years of college, whether at a community college or at a typical university, usually encompass taking very similar courses; importantly, classes at a community college may be of the same quality but can come at a much cheaper price, which is great. Community colleges also allow you to explore what interests you the most in terms of ultimate degree and career path and provides a great path to obtaining a Bachelor's degree or higher.

The most important thing, like anything else in life, would be to plan ahead, including:
- talking with your high school counselor and exploring college options
- creating lists of target interest subjects (business, nursing, aerospace engineering, etc) and identifying target schools with good programs for those subjects
- thinking through course requirements and what types of credits/GPA would be needed to transfer

Good luck and, regardless which path you take, I hope you find your way to achieving your goals!
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Brandon’s Answer

For me, I went to community college first before going to a University. In my case, I was short on money and didn't know what career path I wanted to go to. By going to community college first, it was a cheaper option and gave me time to rethink what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, so that when I got to University, which is expensive, I knew what I wanted to do and did not waste my time taking classes that did not benefit my goals.

I would actually suggest going to recruiting or informational events that are sometimes offered by colleges. There you would have experts that can advise you on what you should be doing and the steps to get to whichever option you choose. Talking to a school counselor would probably be a good idea too, giving you the private one on one time to discuss what steps you should take.
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RAVI’s Answer

Xochitl, I do not think any one of us can answer your question without knowing more details. However I think you can answer it yourself.
I am sure it will lead to you the right answer for the current situation. It may look very confusing at the beginning. But you will do just fine.
There is no perfect answer or there may not be a right answer.

Here are some questions you may want to answer and figure it out for yourself.

1. Financial - Can you afford a 4 year degree, at the college of your interest, and in the field you are interested in? If so may be going to a college directly is the right approach.
2. What are you interested to become? You want to become a doctor, and then I think a college route is required and a community college may not help. If you want to become a cosmetologist, dental hygenist or other things, then community college will save you a lot or money and might get you there efficiently.
3. You do not want to go too far from home or need to maintain a part time job to help with the family and such. Community college will be a good option.
4. You can start with community college and transfer lot of the credits over to state universities and other universities. State universities usually let you transfer all credits from a community college in your state. This will help you get your college degree eventually for lot less.
5. Your GPA. Many state universities most likely give you admission with your GPA, but probably not to all the majors you might be interested in. You may be better off starting with community college and get the feel of your major studies, for a lot less and can change the major without breaking the bank. You may also be able to get better grades studying locally, commuting from home, and have that support structure.
6. College education is a bit harder than compared to the community college. CCs let you get your feet wet and ease into the water so you can start swimming in the university comfortably.

Hope this helps.
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Lovelace’s Answer

It is usually much cheaper to do the Gen Ed requirements at a community college. If you have a specific school in mind for your degree, check with that school or schools to get the degree requirements so you can take classes that will then transfer should you decide to go on to a university.
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