7 Benefits of going to community college

Community college has its perks

As the ticket price of college is going up, more people are choosing community college. If you’re thinking about becoming a community college student, here are 7 pros you can look forward to.

#1: It can be more affordable

Community college is known for being cheaper than a traditional college, especially when it comes to tuition. College Board reported that the annual tuition for community college is about 1/3 the tuition for a four-year college.footnote 1 However, tuition isn’t the only thing that’s less expensive. Going to community college can mean that you’re saving on books, transportation & travel, housing, food, dorm supplies, and so many extra expenses that typically add up when you go to a traditional school.

#2: You’ve got flexibility

A huge perk of going to community college is that they understand students have all kinds of things going on outside of the classroom—their classes accommodate student needs. They can make schedules that include anything from night classes to asynchronous online courses. For busy students, being able to pick when and where to take classes is a major plus that isn’t always possible at a traditional college.

#3: Ability to transfer

Community colleges often have agreements with local two- and four-year colleges and universities that allow for students to transfer their credits over to complete a bachelor’s degree program. This can make a student’s time in school shorter and overall cost much less. This is also a popular reason to go to community college, with nearly 80% of students planning on transferring to a four-year school.footnote 2

#4: Stay close to home

These schools can be very accessible and comfortable for students. They’re typically in your area, so there’s no need to attend a community college far away. It also may be easier to maintain relationships with family and friends by staying in town.

#5: More career training options to choose from

Community colleges have a lot of the same majors you may find at a traditional college, but they’re more likely to have courses that teach various trades than a traditional college. Areas of focus like construction, culinary arts, and so many more are sometimes offered at community colleges and can be a big selling point if you’re interested in going the vocational route.

#6: Smaller class sizes

Classes in community colleges are often much smaller than a traditional college classroom. This can lead to a more supportive learning environment that allows for more personal, one-on-one time with professors. You can also get to know your peers better and form deeper networking connections and relationships.

#7: Suitable for many ages

High school students take advantage of community college courses through dual enrollment programs. But not every student is fresh out of high school. The average community college student is 27 years old, and 43% of students are over the age of 22.footnote 1

Pick the best school for you

Getting a good education is never a waste of time—but make sure the school you go to has everything you need . If you’re looking for a quality learning experience with flexibility and options at a much lower cost than a traditional school, community college might be for you. 

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

footnote External links and third-party references are provided for informational purposes only. Sallie Mae cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by any third parties and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions contained therein. Any copyrights, trademarks, and/or service marks used in these materials are the property of their respective owners.

footnote Sallie Mae, the Sallie Mae logo, and other Sallie Mae names and logos are service marks or registered service marks of Sallie Mae Bank. All other names and logos used are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. 

footnote 1. https://www.aacc.nche.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/AACC2023_FastFacts.pdf

footnote 2. https://blog.ed.gov/2023/11/new-measures-of-postsecondary-education-transfer-performance-transfer-out-rates-for-community-colleges-transfer-student-graduation-rates-at-four-year-colleges-and-the-institutional-dyads-contributi/

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