The Power of Attending Community College Is Underestimated

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Krisha Konchadi

Deciding which college to attend is a large milestone during high school. Although it is not the most common choice, choosing to attend community college can provide various benefits financially and mentally.

A stigma tends to surround students when first hearing that someone is going to community college, which can become overwhelming for seniors who are committing to colleges. However, students should give colleges value not based solely on ranking but the fit for a student’s needs.

According to Forbes, benefits of community college that many applicants consider are that part time classes allow for better work-life balance and more flexible schedules, the average cost per credit is about 50% of that of a four-year college and students face less financial risk when switching majors.

“I think community college is a great way to explore yourself because I definitely felt, as a junior, the pressure of deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life right now,” senior Faith DeNeve said. “As a 17, 18-year-old, I felt ‘Oh my gosh, I have to decide now?’ It’s kind of scary to think about that.”

I think community college is a great way to explore yourself because I definitely felt, as a junior, the pressure of deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life right now.”

— Faith DeNeve

Community college allows students to pursue a stable education while taking time for soul searching and self discovery. 

“Going to community college is a great way to still get your degree and transfer to a four year, especially maybe a four year of your dreams,” college and career specialist Nicole Rengifo said. “They also have new programs now that community college is essentially free if you complete the application and requirements on time. There are also so many resources like transfer centers, student services, financial aid, so it is a really great resource for any student.”

When most high school seniors graduate at the age of 17 or 18, it seems like all life decisions have to be made at such a young age. Most people do not know what they want to do and might end up spending a tremendous amount of money pursuing a path they do not even like. Community college is a great way to explore yourself as an adult, save money and then eventually transfer to a preferred school already knowing what you want to do in life. 

According to Santiago Canyon College freshman and Portola alumna Giselle Villegas, she pays much less each semester compared to her friends who attend four year universities. 

“There’s no shame behind going to community college. It’s a great thing. It feels the same besides the fact you are not living on campus. You will find yourself being just as happy there as you would at any other university,” Villegas said.