Community college beats universities when it comes down to the factors that matter most, and they provide the best options for people seeking a higher education in America.
Universities put most of their students in instant debt. They may receive a four-year degree, but spend decades making payments on their student loans. “At a public university, tuition can be upwards of $8,000. The average tuition [at a community college] is half that of a public university” (EducationCorner). Community colleges allow for students to save money, and typically graduate with little-to-no debt.
“Several [community colleges] have certificate and degree programs and are continuously searching to fill any workforce needs in their communities” (EducationCorner). Not only will students be better off financially but they will be assisted in finding careers locally. If they wish to pursue a four-year degree, most community colleges have focused transfer programs. This will transfer credits over to their university of choice, and let students finish the remainder of their education.
There is a belief that employers would rather hire people who attended a major university but this just isn’t valid. The quality of education isn’t drastically different between these institutions, and these employers will likely base their decision off other factors. “The curriculum is on par with universities and the classes can be just as challenging. There is still plenty of variety in the industry, but dozens of studies have shown that students transferring from a community college outperform their university counterparts” (EducationCorner).
Universities do have community colleges beat when it comes to life on campus. This will make students decide: Are they going to college for a better future or to just have fun? This isn’t to say that students must sacrifice their social life, there are still plenty of opportunities to join clubs and meet new people. It’s just on a much smaller scale. Think of it this way, with fewer students, classes will feel more connected and everybody’s voice can be heard.
I know this from experience. I am currently attending Kirkwood Community College, and I don’t regret my decision at all. I will have enough credits to transfer to the University of Iowa for my next semester and got them without going into debt. It is time to eliminate the stigma against community colleges. Most first-year students are coming straight out of high school. Logically, the best option for them is to choose a community college. Their pockets will thank them later.