DUGGER: Community college dilutes post-HS experience




Ever since last year, all I’ve been hearing from my parents, relatives, coaches, and many teachers and administrators is that I  need to start deciding where I want to go to college, what I want to major in, and basically what my plan is for the rest of my life. I know I can speak on behalf of many students, because we all have a remarkable amount of pressure on us, are absolutely stressed out, and terrified to think that as a 16-year-old we are deciding our entire future and how the rest of our lives will play out after high school.

Now that most state colleges and universities have increased tuition prices, community college is becoming more and more popular and becoming a more practical option for most students. Community college allows the student to pay less, stay close to home, and still get their general education class requirements met before they transfer to a college after two years.

But since more students are choosing the community college route due to the inflation of tuition prices at four-year colleges and universities, there has been an increase in the student population, causing many difficulties with getting general education classes because they are so full. Due to the overcrowding in the classroom, many students cannot complete their classes on time, falling into the “trap” of staying at a community college for more than two years, which most students did not plan on doing.

Honestly, I  have nothing against community college and I believe it could be a good thing for certain types of people, depending on what your degree is, what your learning style is, and how well you can handle going to school and be in large classes with possibly 15,000-30,000 students attending that school.

Community colleges do cut the cost in half and since you are close to home you also don’t have to worry about the cost of room and board, which accounts for the majority of costs for tuition. This does allow you to have less student debt when you graduate from college, but many will still have to transfer to a four year to complete their bachelor’s degree and end up paying the full college tuition price, but only for two years.

The credit from the classes you take at a community college does transfer to your university, but since the level of teaching and classes differ in both size and difficulty at a university, it could cause problems with you adjusting to the different teaching styles.

Not only will each student then have to worry about credit, but you will have to worry about whether you can then get accepted into an university, whether you can afford to now live on your own and whether you can maintain the university or state college lifestyle.

The overall environment of a community college is much smaller and not as intense, which is fine. But personally, I feel that community college is just a baby step up from high school. And now most high school students are fine with just settling for community college.

Like I said, community college is great for some students, but I  believe most students that I  have talked to about college have worked too hard throughout high school to be content with attending a community college, even for just two years.

As a student who has to balance out sports, a job, and difficult AP classes, I feel like going to a university is very rewarding because I finally get to forget about high school and go to school for something I want to accomplish further on in life, making me more driven to go to a top university with classes that will benefit my future.