The Reality of Community College
Community college definitely serves a purpose. The students who go to community college from high school go for several reasons. One is financial. This is the least expensive alternative. Another reason is because somewhere along the way, the student messed up his/her grade point average. We know that once you mess it up, it’s very hard to “come back.” Low SAT or ACT scores are another reason some students turn to community college. Not everyone tests well. Even though your GPA may be high, SAT/ACT scores don’t always coincide. This is also true of some students who live in homes where English is not their first language.
Sometimes, community college is the best choice because a student wants to be closer to home or just isn't ready for a four-year university. Not everyone matures at the same rate or wants to immediately leave home. Please take all of this into account when you decide on a school.
Here’s a question - if you have a four-year school that is your “dream school,” but you can’t get in, is it better to go to another four-year school for two years and transfer, or is it better to go to a community college for two years and transfer?
The answer is the community college! If you have an Associate’s Degree from a community college, you usually get priority at four-year state schools. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone who goes to a community college is going to get accepted to the “best” school in the state. You still have to do well. However, it is definitely easier to get into the school of your choice as a “transfer” student from a community college than right out of high school. Community college is a great “stepping stone” to where you want to go. Like all schools, it is not for everyone. However, it does seem to be a good “fit” for a number of students.
The best advice I can give you if you are starting at a community college is to take it seriously! A lot of students think that community college is 13th grade. This is absolutely not true! From the first day you step foot on campus, everything counts to get to the next step.
Barbara DiAlberto has been a College Advisor and Consultant for 18 years, both in the school system and privately. She has helped thousands of students get into college. As the Territory Manager for The Princeton Review, Mrs. DiAlberto is still helping students get into college.