The community college experience

Jules Cisco, Reporter

Community college used to be known as the lesser of the two, the lazy way out, the unbeneficial one. But times change and the way community college is now viewed is way different than it used to be. The main difference between the two is that a community college is two years long, where you will earn an Associates degree, while a university is four years long which you can earn a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorates degree. 

A big perk of community college is the price. In the state of California, students enrolled in community college pay $46 per unit, totaling around $552 per semester as a full time student. Many students live at home while they go to community college, which is very beneficial as they can save up money and not have to worry about paying for things such as dorms, meal plans, etc. If you plan on going to a 4-year university, getting the first two years done at a community college for a fraction of the price is really helpful as your credits will still be transferred over.

Many students will take their general education classes at a community college so that when they enter a university, they will already have it done and can focus more on their career based opportunities. Community colleges have worked to make sure that their general education classes such as science, math, English and history match the requirements of most universities so students can transfer their credits with no problem. Before beginning your community college, make sure that the credits you will be getting are transferrable.

A big reason many students pick community college over university is the amount of freedom allowed. You can choose to be a full time or part time student and essentially choose what days and time you go to school. If you have a job or plan on getting one while you’re enrolled in school, you have the ability to work around that schedule, making everything a little less stressful. Since class attendance is not a requirement, what you get out of it as a student is on you.

Both community colleges and universities are great options for graduated students, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that will ultimately be a test as to whether you wish to continue your education or not, community college is the best route. One is not better than the other but once you take the cost, flexibility, learning environment and your desired career path into consideration, you can find the best route for you.