Community college vs. four-year universities: which is the better option?

The hardest decision towards the end of a high school career: community college or a four-year university? Many students feel a lot of pressure to decide what fits their needs best.

Years ago, community colleges were looked down upon while four-year universities were seen as the only way to go.

Recently, many students have attended both a community college and a four-year university. They finish their general education their first two years at community then transfer into a four-year university to get their degree.

Community colleges are very affordable; they tend to have smaller class sizes and more flexibility for students' schedules. Senior Jennifer Diaz is looking into joining a community college.

“If four-year fails, or my family runs into money problems, I will definitely consider going into community college,” said Diaz.

Community college is a great option for someone who doesn't get accepted into their desired university. Transfering from a community college to a four-year university after getting an associates degree, or finishing the required general education courses is always a practical option.

In contrast, four-year universities tend to have a variety of more opportunities to socialize and gain new experiences than community colleges. They offer more clubs, on-campus living, and host bigger school related events. Graduate programs are also given as the next step to obtain a master's degree or even a PhD. Four-year universities are a good option for students who know what they want to major in.

Senior Luke Reece stated, “I want to go to a four-year because I plan on getting a bachelor's degree in political science and I want to go to a school that has a good social environment and that has a lot of students that I can interact with and have fun.” Reece doesn't know exactly where he is going to apply yet.

Mr. Cotner recommends either option depending on certain qualifications. “I recommend a university if you have the means, the ability and the money to get in to one. They are very challenging, but you get a rigorous education.” He also recommends community college for different reasons. “For community college, it might be for people who need a little more time to get better as a student. Community colleges are free; all you have to pay for is your books and it is a good way to get started.”

Many successful students go to a university, a community college, or a mix of both. The most important thing is that students’ paths suit them and their needs.

#college #university #communitycollege

     Serra High News is an open forum. Serra High News is a digital version of Serrandiptiy, the official newspaper of Junipero Serra High School of San Diego. Views, editorials, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Serrandipity staff, nor the opinions of the entire Serra High School administration.

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