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Chronicle of Higher Ed News
Get More, Spend Less – Benefits of Starting at a Transfer College
With more than 12 million students taking classes at community colleges each year1, it’s a wonder anyone needs to be convinced about the benefits. Nonetheless, millions of Americans continue to cling to myths and worry what their friends will think rather than decide what’s best for them.
With only 55.5% of bachelor’s degree-seeking students earning any type of degree within six years2, the need to start small and figure out your educational goals is all the more pressing. Plus with the bad economy and the money you could be saving – well, maybe it’s time to take another look at the transfer approach.
Take a look at these often overlooked or undervalued benefits:
This one’s a no-brainer. The average yearly cost of a two-year college is $2,713 compared to $7,605 for in-state tuition at a public four-year college and $27,293 at a private one3. Grab a calculator, and you’ll find $10,000-$60,000 in savings with the transfer approach.
Get an Extra Degree
While you don’t need to earn a certificate or associate’s degree to transfer, it’s certainly an option and having one is nothing to scoff at. Those with an associate’s degree, on average, earn $7,900 more than those with only a high school diploma. Even more impressive, a majority of firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs and healthcare workers received credentials from community colleges1.
A Second Chance
So you screwed up royally in the past – so what? Whether you blew off high school or flunked out of college on your first try, when it comes to transfer colleges you get a chance to show that you’re not the student you used to be.
More Opportunities to Shine
Even if you don’t need a second chance, starting at a transfer-oriented college generally means less competition and more opportunities to stand out.
Test the Waters
Not sure about the whole college thing? With a community college, it’s easy to start part-time and see how it goes.
Recently California passed The Student Transfer Agreement Reform Act, which gives local community college graduates #1 priority admission into California State Universities. Check out our state resources directory to see if your state has a similar program.
The average community college class size is 25-35 students4, while many universities offer equivalent credits in a lecture format with 150-300 students. How would you rather learn?
Instructors Concentrate on Teaching
All colleges have good teachers, but at two-year schools the instructors face less pressure to do research and publish, which frees up their time so they can concentrate on their students. Community colleges also generally lack elitist professorial attitudes, so they tend to attract faculty whose primary goal is student success.
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