As I ended my senior year of high school, I already knew that I planned on furthering my education. A question I heard a lot was if I was going to a university or a local community college. Well, what exactly is the difference? For a while I contemplated on which route was best for me. Many of my peers who graduated before me went the community college route and many went the university route as well. It seems that they are all doing well based of their respected decisions. Now I am interested in what each option brings to the table.
The biggest difference of going to a community college is the maximum education you will receive while attending. If you graduate from a community college the highest degree you can earn is an associates. A lot of students choose the route where they can transfer after their two years is over to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher. Another reason people may choose a community college is that it is a lot cheaper than any university. The classes taken in the first two years of a university are very similar to ones you can take at a CC (Community College). So, people feel as if it’s a smarter route financially. A downfall is that many students who choose to go to community college don’t get the full college experience. Majority of them are commuters so they don’t get to live in a dorm, enjoy their school’s homecoming events, and are not as involved with their campus as you would be at a university.
Furthermore, students who attend universities live the absolute college life. Once you step foot on a universities campus it feels like a community all by itself. It seems like you have no choice, but to make new friends. The diverse culture a university brings compared to a community college is unmatched. Constantly I hear that the four years spent in school are supposed to be the best four years of your life. You are exposed to so much during your time at a university that will prepare you the real world after you graduate. You would obtain lifelong friendships, memories that you will never forget, and a career once you graduate. The biggest downfall that will always reoccur in conversation is debt. College is expensive and unless you have a full ride you are most likely going to take out some type of loan. These loans will have to be paid off one day and that causes students to be in debt. Paying off these student loans can take from 10 years to 25. Once you graduate and begin your career you should be able to manage paying off those debts.
Although there are a lot of differences between colleges and universities there are a lot of similarities as well. Regardless what school you attend everyone enrolled to either one has the same goal at mind and that’s to receive a high level of education. Although 4-year colleges may be more competitive both colleges require the same things for a student out of high school. A diploma, SAT or ACT, transcripts, essays, recommendation letters, etc. Even though universities are a lot more expensive the classes are the same amount of work. School is School and whichever route you take you are still getting your education. They both have essays, projects, and assignments due on blackboard at 11:59. They both know how to stress the average college student out as well.
In conclusion, community colleges and universities are very different. Nevertheless, they share common goals. When deciding on which type of school you would rather attend It’s all about the lifestyle you want while you’re in school. The more conservative route is going the community way since it is cheaper. Not only is it cheaper you can go to school without really having to change your daily lifestyle. On that note if you want everything in a college and more you should consider going to a university. Keep in mind the price of college is very high, but as long as you work hard it’ll be worth every penny.
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