How Community College Differs From Four Year College
February 04, 2019
When graduating from high school, students have two main options to continue their education: a traditional four-year university or a two-year community college. For many students, community colleges are the right fit because they offer affordable tuition, personalized attention and diverse student populations.
As you consider your options for a higher education, here are the key differences between a community college and a four-year college.
Community colleges are usually less expensive.
Finding affordable education is a concern for most students and families. Americans already have over $1 trillion in student loan debt, which affects our economy as a whole. By attending a community college, you can save thousands on education costs and room and board.
During your time at a community college, you can focus on prerequisite courses and complete them at a fraction of the price of a four-year university. Plus, you can still graduate in four years with a degree from your preferred university. Using the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS) guide, a web-accessible database system, students can be sure credits taken at a community college in Alabama can transfer to their four-year university of choice.
Community colleges tend to have diverse student populations.
Two-year colleges tend to have more diverse student populations. Many students are older, have families or work full-time jobs. This diversity can be a huge asset to the typical academic experience where most students eat, sleep and breathe the college life.
Consider that a community college exposes you to different cultures, age groups and backgrounds. You can learn a lot from the people you take classes with, including how to balance work and school and the importance of continuing your education in your area of expertise.
Community colleges reflect their local communities.
Community colleges tend to be heavily influenced by their local communities. They often cater to non-traditional students as well as students entering certain job fields. For example, many community colleges offer classes on nights and weekends because their students are older and working full-time jobs.
Extracurricular activities also reflect the local community. For example, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College has the Saints’ Angels organization that sponsors and participates in various events such as bake sales, charity work and auctions. All work supports the local community and the college’s athletic programs.
Community colleges offer more transitional support.
If you’re not quite ready to live on your own, a two-year school is an excellent choice. It serves as a stepping stone to a four-year institution and helps you make the transition when you’re ready.
During your first two years, you can experience taking college courses while returning to the comfort of home. You can also receive help with classes that you struggled with in high school. By the time you’re ready to move onto a four-year institution, you should be confident and well-equipped.
At LBWCC, Saints Hall offers student housing apartments at an affordable rate. Because it is located adjacent to the Andalusia campus, walking to class takes less than five minutes. Those attending classes in Opp have a very short drive to class.
A two-year school isn’t better than a four-year school, or vice versa. You must weigh the pros and cons to each and consider which option provides the environment that is best for your learning style and desired career path. For more information about Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and any of our academic and technical programs, contact us today.