What’s wrong with community college?


Students learning about Glendale Community College at a college fair in 2013.

Trisha Gomez, Photo Editor

Because of the intense pressure put on students during high school, they are expected to have perfect grades and know what they want by the time college rolls around. Then, their families and even peers may pressure them into attending a four-year university.

However, many can’t live up to these expectations. Some may still make it into their dream schools by chance, but many consider community college as an option – a choice that not only saves money, but can also keep one close to home while requiring fewer academic requirements.

One of the biggest factors when choosing where to attend college is cost. Community college is known for its lower tuition. Tuition for universities can be costly. For example, the cost to attend a University of California campus averages to about $34,700 per year. This takes into account the attendance cost, books and supplies, health insurance/allowance, room and board and transportation fees.

Attending a school like this can definitely add up, which is why community college is viable option. According U.S. News & World Report, the average tuition for attending a community college was $3,260 per year in 2013-14, which is a tenth of the price of a four-year university.

Another factor that comes into play when choosing any college is location. Nowadays, the cost of living is high. Although living away from home can bring one new life experiences, this can be costly. Renting a place in California can cost up to $1,900 monthly according to USA Today (and that’s without paying for other necessities such as utilities and food).

This is can serve as one of the pros for other students may not be ready to leave the area in which they grew up and want to be close to family. Because community colleges are local, the room and board fee is eliminated from tuition. If a student were to live at home, it would be fewer expenses to pay for.

In addition, admission requirements are also something that should be taken into account. For many universities, there are loads of courses that need to be completed during high school. Not only that, but SAT and ACT scores are required for some schools, which can be expensive. For example, the University of California’s A-G requirements are popular among California students. This serves as a guideline for the courses students need to take throughout high school. Plus, it’s required to report either an SAT or ACT score.

In turn, many students will spend years fulfilling these requirements instead of taking classes that truly attract their interests. With many creative restrictions, a person can be thrown off when choosing a major because they don’t know what they truly enjoy. On the other hand, all one needs to attend community college is a high school diploma. With this, it makes taking the classes one wants in high school the priority.

Attending community college is not all bad. Community college is just a way to save some money while getting the education one needs to follow one’s aspirations. Whatever the next step may be for high school seniors, community college or a university, neither should be looked down upon.