I mentioned in a couple of posts back about the cost of college, and I made the argument that private schools simply were not worth the cost. I want to take that argument one step further today and make the case for junior college. Even for a four-year public in-state institution, tuition alone will still cost over $30,000 to get to graduation. Further, there are some students that aren’t ready for college academically, and may not be ready from a maturity standpoint to handle college and live away from home. Since only one third of students who start college actually graduate, junior or community college may be an answer to find out if you’re college material.
Most in-state public schools have an arrangement with the two-year schools to ensure that their programs and credits transfer into the four-year school without penalty. Since junior college tuition is often one-half to one-third the cost of the four-year school, your educational dollar goes a lot further by starting at the two-year school. Also, part of the benefit that the two-year schools sell is that they prepare students to finish their four-year degree, so they have a vested interest in the success of all their students and their ability to transfer to a university. Be sure that you’re working with the university to ensure that the curriculum you’re following will transfer as expected to meet your degree/major goal.
A student can also stay at home and go to a two-year college. These schools typically don’t have dorms, dining centers, or the distractions of university life, so the student can focus on their education without the worry of living away from home. It’s cheaper for the student and it gives them time to mature before moving out on their own. Also, some of the programs at a two-year school are sufficient to prepare the student for entry into the workplace without finishing that university degree. Remember that employers aren’t paying for the degree that the student has, they are paying for the skills that they can bring to the workplace.
Consider a two-year school for these and many other reasons. The experience and education that you take away from the program will definitely be worth it. Plus, all of the things you’re wanting to get from the college experience will still be there when you transfer to the university in a couple of years.