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Community College Vs Four Year College

Community College Vs Four Year College

Once you are near the end of your high school, you will be both thrilled at completing a commendable milestone in your journey of education and somewhat confused as to what is the next step.

For people wanting to go to college, two options emerge. They could either attend a community college for the first two years to get an associate degree and then make a choice later on for the balance two years or to go straight on to a four-year college for a complete undergraduate degree.

This article is dedicated to giving you some insights into community college vs four year college. So, here goes:

Community college

A two-year community college will get you an associate degree and will facilitate the completion of general education requirements of most 4-year colleges and universities. The subjects included in general education are college-level math, reading and writing, social sciences, and science.

Courses you can take - Community colleges offer subjects depending on your need. You could either take up general pre-requisites that are mandatory for transfer to a 4-year college or take up courses in a specific vocation. As community colleges cater to the local communities, these courses will help you gain skills that will help you get a job in the local industries.

The credits earned in community colleges are transferable as many of the community colleges have ensured that their standards match up to most of the universities and colleges especially the ones in the surrounding areas.

You can, of course, make sure that this is true with respect to the community college you are attending by speaking and clarifying this doubt with the student advisor. It is important that you plan ahead to ensure your education (provided this is what you want) after the 2-year stint at the community college is seamless and you should not be stuck with repeating some subjects unnecessarily.

Cost - Two-year community colleges are more economical and focus on vocational education and give the students the flexibility to start working sooner than the 4-year colleges. If, however, at the end of the two years, you wish to continue studying then you can transfer the credits to a 4-year college and complete your undergraduate degree.

Community colleges are cheaper than their 4-year course counterparts. Their tuition fee is far less than that charged in 4-year universities and since it is close to the students' home, these are commuter schools and the rather high cost associated with food and lodging is saved. So, the amount of money you save by going to a community college instead of the 4-year college is quite huge.

Connection to industries - Community colleges are invariably well-connected with the local industries and as a student of the community college, you will find opportunities to work as an apprentice or an intern so that by the time you complete your 2-year course, you will have the necessary skills and social connections to land you a good job in the community.

Academic quality – Till about a decade or two ago, most community colleges lacked credibility both in the academic field and in the industry. It was a general assumption that community colleges delivered low standards of academics and hence, the students from these colleges are not fit enough for the industry.

However, this perspective has changed for the positive. It is mandatory for most community colleges to recruit qualified professors. They offer jobs only to master or doctorate degree holders. The colleges are also reaching out to the best talents in the various industries to rope them in to enhance the value of their students' learning curve. This has automatically raised the academic standards of these colleges and the earlier stigma seems to be disappearing.

Cultural and extra-curricular activities – Community colleges have plenty of opportunities in terms of cultural and extra-curricular activities. However, since they are commuter colleges and since many students work part-time, participation is low. And, students who are not present in college while the event is happening really do not exert themselves to make a trip to college just for the event.

4-year colleges

Courses you can take – While the first two years consists of general education courses, the last two years are dedicated to the subject of interest that you will be majoring in. There are a wide variety of subjects you can major in including but not limited to math, science, social science, music, English, history, geography, etc.

Cost – You will have to be ready with a large amount of money to gain admission and to finish your 4-year undergraduate degree. The tuition fee is far more than that of community colleges and added to this, you will have to cough up money for your food and accommodation as these are not commuter colleges.

However, the job opportunities for students graduating from these colleges are much higher and their salaries are also of a higher range than those graduating from community colleges. These students will have access to a lot more industries spread across the country and even across the globe. You will definitely reap the benefits of investing the money towards studying in a 4-year college in the future.

Connection to industries – This is a huge advantage over community colleges. The cultural scene is great and you will have access to multiple learning opportunities both within the campus and outside the campus. Students from these 4-year colleges get opportunities to study overseas, to do internships in well-established organizations, to participate in cooperative education programs and in field trips. The learning opportunities are really varied and this aspect is lacking in community colleges.

Cultural and extra-curricular activities – In 4-year colleges, the cultural and extra-cultural activities scene is far more vibrant and varied than that offered in community colleges. And, moreover, as students live on the campus, participation in all the events organized by the clubs and societies is high.

Academic quality – Besides the usual classroom and other discussion formats of learning, 4-year colleges receive a lot of grants and money to conduct researches and hence the students get multiple opportunities to be part of these path-breaking research works

Final Notes

Finishing your general education course in a community college has a lot of advantages including getting an associate degree with little or no debt. They offer far more flexibility and these days the quality of academic has also got a boost.

The 4-year colleges can give you an amazing college experience that is difficult to expect and get in community colleges. You have to make your choice based on your individual situation and needs.

We at Prescott Papers are there to help you with all kinds of academic writing including custom essays, assignments, projects, and more. And we are happy to help irrespective of whether you a student of a community college or 4-year college.

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