Everyone’s path in life is different. For some, attending university as a full time student is not the next step after high school. Community college is a great way to ease into the traditional college experience while also allowing you to save money and explore your interests. So how do you decide whether or not community college is the right fit for your education?
Just like any other college, you need to visit the campus before you make any decisions. While the property may be small, you still need to check out the classrooms, look into the courses they offer, check out the library, and any other important landmarks on campus.
Deciding how many hours you want to take is also important. If you are thinking about community college you are probably also thinking about getting a job and saving some money. Check with the school to see what kind of financial aid they offer and see if there are any scholarships you can apply for. If you are planning on working, you will want to live and work close to school to minimize travel and hassle getting from place to place.
Another good reason to attend community college is if you don’t get accepted to school you are set on attending. If you attend the community college near by the university, you have a better chance of being accepted, even after one year. You just have to keep your grades up and try to take a full time class schedule to prove you are ready for the real deal when you have the opportunity. For example, the community college basically next door to Florida State University is called Tallahassee Community College, and they have a partnership where TCC works as a feeder for FSU. They call it the “guaranteed transfer program” and it is something to consider, even with other schools.
Community college lets you ease into your education at your own pace and on your own time. These things can be a real luxury if you have learning disabilities or tend to process things differently than others. If you go right into a big classroom where you are essentially just a number filling a seat, you could fall behind or flunk out.
If you are unsure about what you want to major in, community college could be the right choice to start your academic career. It is a way to knock out all of the core classes that are required at any school before you can even start taking classes you are actually interested in. By the time you enroll in a traditional university after community college, you will have all those classes out of the way an a better understanding of what you are passionate about. You get to go right to the good stuff.
After taking classes at a community college you may also realize that getting a bachelor’s degree isn’t for you, and that’s fine. School isn’t for everybody. It is better to realize it before you pay the big bucks and make a big commitment to school.
No matter where you decide to further your education, it is best to look at all your options. Maybe community college is the best choice for you, maybe it’s not. However, you shouldn’t just ignore that it could be a way to save money and eventually get into the college of your dreams.