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Is going to community college and transferring to a university a good option?

I want to become a graphic designer but I also do not want to spend too much money on college and education. #graphic-design #college #design

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Darryl’s Answer

Going to a community college or other less expensive school, then transferring to a four-year university is a great plan!
Just make sure those acquired credits will be accepted at your destination college.

I took Freshman and Sophomore classes during the summers that I was home and not living on campus.
It not only saved on tuition and living expenses, but it also kept me in "school mode" while I worked a part-time job and took a break from art projects.

Darryl recommends the following next steps:

Figure out which general courses have equivalent offerings at both schools. Typically, these are things like English, math, history, etc. depending on your degree plan.
Plan to take most (if not all) of your Upper Division classes at the four-year university.
Don't shy away from Summer School offerings, either. Summer is a great time to knock out required subjects that you may not necessarily enjoy or do well in.
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Steve’s Answer

Starting at a community college can definitely offer financial advantages. If you choose this route you want to make sure to discuss with an advisor which courses are transferable and to which other colleges or universities. Often you may be able to complete the basic curriculum prior to transferring to do your specialty classes.
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Sabrina’s Answer

As stated in the previous answers, utilizing a community college and transferring is a great way to confirm your career goals and is certainly the more affordable route. One position I did want to mention however, is that college can be more than just the classes you study. Moving away from home and immersing yourself in a school for four years is a life-changing experience. It is not for everyone, but does deserve consideration from that point of view.

I did attend community college and then transfer to a 4-year university to complete my degree. Transferring in as a junior was a much different experience from people I met who attended as a freshman. Most of the differences were social, but it also made it more difficult to get involved and develop closer ties to the professors. In the end I accomplished the same degree, but had a much different experience.

Just a small piece of the puzzle to considering while evaluating your plans! Good luck!
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Jordan’s Answer

Hey Bryan and Other Fellow Graphic Design Hopefuls!

So in my personal experience, I have been doing graphic design work for my company for both marketing and training materials for the last 4 years - and I did NOT go to college for it. I actually got my major in Change Management and the only graphic design classes I ever took was in high school (2 years). With that being said, going to school for it is 100% a benefit. I have a friend who went to a smaller school (Sacramento State) for design and marketing and he swears by the concepts, styles, and overall history he learned during his time there. He's also an incredibly talented graphic designer and artist - no doubt because of his time spent in school.

I can only speak for what I've experienced - I truly love designing things. That's what drives my passion to learn more about graphic design every day. The majority of my learning has honestly been online tutorials. LinkedIn is always a great resource for things like that as well as Lynda.com. The tools I tend to use are Illustrator, inDesign, and Powerpoint. With the topic of college, I say go where you can afford first. You'd be surprised how much you can learn at a community college and also how many job opportunities can come from a small school. If - while you're there - you want to expand on your graphic design (like pairing it with a marketing approach, or tying it with education) then you could look into going to a larger university with a focus on designing for a specific field or industry. One thing is don't be afraid to ask for internships or some type of apprentice-type work! Experience in the design world is so important and it gives designers who are incredibly talented but who aren't college professors a chance to pass on the knowledge that they have to others like you.

That's my answer! I hope it helps you and anyone else who comes across it. God bless and good luck!
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Michelle’s Answer

HI Brian,

Starting at a community college (CC) is a great way affordability, basics and if you're not sure of your path. Most CCs if you speak w/ a counselor have a guaranteed transfer program with many larger 4 year universities if you follow the guidelines.

I've always done the CC route and night school at a Univ so the social aspects were much different than on campus immersion as others have mentioned.

Having said that many jobs don't require degrees, many Universities you can just take classes without 'their plan'. Best though if you have a plan, speaking to the counselors can definitely help, even if you are a 'off campus' or part time student there.

Note: so long as you stay in your home state tuition will be more affordable than any out of state University or CC due to residency

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

talk with counselors at CC and University
define your path
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Pam’s Answer

Yes, going to a community college can be a good option to save money. Make sure that you thoroughly research which colleges and universities have transfer agreements with the community college you will attend. Usually it is best to earn your complete Associates degree at the community college before transferring to a 4-year college or university to complete your Bachelor's degree. If you attend the community college for only one year and/or until you earn a certificate, it isn't as easy to transfer.

With an Associates degree in Graphic Design, you could transfer into Bachelor's programs in:
- Graphic Design
- Digital Cinema
- Digital Media
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media

Good luck with your future plans!
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Bryan,

I do believe that going to community college first and then transferring to a 4-year university will save you money. Your challenge here is this - you need to check that all the credits from your community college will transfer to your chosen university. Transferring credits out of state do not guarantee that the credits will be accepted. This research upfront will save you a lot of money and frustration. The second part of this process is to know where you want to go as a 4-year university student. Some universities, even in state, may not accept community college credits in certain subjects. Transferring from community to a 4-year university can save you money only if you have done your research in advance.

Gloria
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Natalie’s Answer

Hi Bryan!

As a community college graduate myself I always highly recommend it to people. I really enjoyed my time there and it is much more affordable than a university. I didn't know what I wanted to do yet when I graduated high school, so I took general studies in community college. But now I'm at another school for graphic design, and because I took all of the general education courses already I was able to transfer those credits to my new school. So I get to take solely graphic design related courses which has been awesome! Starting out at a community college is a great option if you're looking to save money.
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