As a high school freshman or sophomore it is time to make a list of places you might like to attend for college. Like all your friends, you may have a mental list of the colleges you want to attend after high school graduation. However, it might be time to grow your list of possibilities and put in on paper.
For the college bound student who wants to attend a large state college just for the experience, grades may suffer because of the “experience”. What about the local community college? The advantages of a smaller more intimate community college, in most cases, are a better value. Attending a community college is by far much less expensive saving the college student tens of thousands of dollars. However, there may be more important advantages that many don’t consider.
Most community colleges likely have some type of articulation agreement with the large four-year colleges in your state. This will allow the community college student to easily transfer their two-year degree to the state school without loosing any of their credits.
To be in an environment with smaller classes that are taught by the faculty rather than teaching assistants, is certainly a better value for your money. These professors at community colleges have so much to offer the college freshman or sophomore, and chances are your student will thrive in this type of environment.
If you are a strong student who does well in school, you have a chance to be asked to join the community colleges’ Phi Beta Kappa Society, a national honor society. This honor society will give you rewards and money available for your last two years at the four-year college. Most colleges have a scholarship for those students transferring in that are a member of Phi Beta Kappa. These scholarships are usually in the thousands of dollars and could make a sizable impact on tuition costs.
Finally, the community college environment is probably more like your student’s high school experience than the large four-year college. This college setting tends to give many students more confidence as they venture into the larger state college in their last two years of their bachelor’s degree. The advantages they will encounter are many and should be considered as a part of your student’s college plan.