This spring, millions of high school graduates will be making that final, all too important choice of which college or university they will attend. Granted, some have already begun packing for their journey to parent-free bliss,while many have known for some time what institution they will be attending, many more remain undecided as to where they should begin their post-high school educations. Many may have a hard time choosing between four year universities and community colleges. Maybe some helpful insight into the world of community college can offer some assistance to students and parents.
To begin, the typical community college is much more cost efficient than the the four year university. In most cases, one can attend junior college for a year at half the cost of attending a university for the same period of time. In addition, community colleges are generally more prone to finding ways of providing students with the financial aid they need. This is not to say that one will not find the assistance they need at an university, however, there are fewer students enrolled at community colleges. This allows for more flexibility in the distribution of funds. Also, local scholarship donors are plentiful on the junior college level; this means more personalized scholarships.
Next, we should take a look at the faculty to student ratio. At a junior college professors and instructors come to know students by their names. At an university, chances are students will simply be identified by their social security number. At a junior college, the student is somebody. At the university, the student is a number. In addition, because there are fewer students, they generally get more one-on-one assistance from their instructors. In fact, many community colleges actually provide designated tutors for students seeking extra assistance in particular content areas. At a university, the responsibility of finding a tutor would be solely up to the student and his or her family and tutoring can be expensive.
In all, I recommend that when choosing between a junior college or a four year university, college freshmen should seriously consider the junior college. The perks of attending these smaller institutions are worthy of that consideration. These schools are wonderful in helping high school graduates to make the transition to college.