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Upasana Gupta -

Why Community College?

5 Reasons Why Community College Makes More Sense

While looking for colleges, parents should consider community college education as an option for their kids. Expensive four-year colleges aren't the best choice for everyone. Here are 5 reasons why community college makes more sense than attending a four-year college for some students'.

(See our listing of all Technical and Community Colleges within U.S. and Internationally)

1. Not-So- Stellar Grades: If you do not have a very good GPA or SAT/ACT score, community college is the place to start, that's for sure. You can use community college to build your academic skills for two years and then transfer to a four-year college. The first two years of college EVERYWHERE including four-year colleges consist of general education classes. This way you can get the basic subjects out of the way, like english, math, science, etc, and then transfer those credits to a university so you only have to take your core classes for your major. Again, for students' with low GPA community colleges are an easier transition right out of high school because these two-year institutions are usually less challenging, offer more personal time with professors, and allow you to have more free time to study. If you then transfer to a four-year school, the transfer admissions office will consider your college grades much more than your high school record.

2. Undecided Students: Many students' declare majors out of high school, but there are few who remain undecided about their major or career path. For such students', it makes sense to attend community college in order to save money during this period. Itís better that they take the time to discover their real passion in an environment that wonít cost them thousands of dollars annually. This way, they can complete all of their general education requirements in the first two years, so that they are covered no matter what major they apply for when transferring.

(Suggested Read: Does College Major Matter?; Selecting the Right College; What's Your College Major?)

3. Tight Budget: If money or family obligations is an issue for college education, community colleges can help. Community college costs just a fraction of the total price tag for public or private four-year colleges. When youíre at a community college, you should be able to take classes for two years to fulfill general requirements before graduating, saving you time and money. Community college can save you thousands. But donít make your decision based entirely on money - many four-year colleges offer excellent financial aid for those with serious need.

4. Not Sure About Going to College: A lot of high school students' are not sure why they should be going to college and at times are not prepared for this undertaking. In such cases, community college can be a good option. You can use a two-year college as a launching point to start your career. You can try out some college-level courses without committing years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars toward college education. Community colleges offer many certification and associate degree programs that can provide you with specialized training and prepare you for a career. Since community colleges are closely linked to area industries, students' will find a wide array of courses that cater directly to the local job market.

5.  For Those Preferring a High School Type Environment:  Community colleges are a notch above high school, and they provide great learning and social atmospheres on a smaller scale. Most community college campuses are small compared to universities, which means that class sizes are typically smaller as well. Many students' who attend a university after high school have trouble keeping up with the academic pace, and large class sizes made up of hundreds of students. At a community college, professors are much more accessible and can provide the personal time students are accustomed to.

In the end, it is a matter of preference. Whichever college you choose, you must be happy with your school, its offerings, the services provided, and environment. If you're not happy, you will not fair as well.