The Pros and Cons of Community College Education

August 22, 2014

I'm entering my last semester of community college, and it's had me thinking, "did I make the right choice?" "Am I having a real college experience?" Granted, my college experience is a lot different than others may have, but I've realized it's just as authentic as any college student on any university campus. I've learned a lot of (sometimes really hard) life lessons, earned my grades, and had a great time in my 2 years at community college.

So, if you choose the community college route, here's what you'll be looking at:

The Pros:

Saving Money - Obviously the biggest pro when it comes to community college is the money you'll save. Tens of thousands of dollars to be exact. For 98% of us, tens of thousands of dollars are kind of a big deal. A HUGE deal. Community college is a great way to save money your education, especially if you're not sure exactly what you'll be doing straight out of high school. I sure didn't.

Flexibility - In community college, you aren't required to live on campus (like many universities require in the first year), it's easier and cheaper to be a "part time" student, and you can take your time without worrying about a ridiculous tuition bill.

Classes Are Debatably "Easier" - I've heard that community college is like an extension of high school and that many of the classes will be more lenient or even easier than regular University classes. There's no proof of this, but I'm sure it's not hard to find "Easy A" professors at any school you attend. In saying this, community college is not a free pass. It can still be challenging and frustrating at times, like any school. You'll likely shine in your best classes, and have to try your best in the not-so-shiny ones.

Buffer Period - With community college, there's kind of a buffer period. Of course, you should take all of your classes seriously, but if something happens, you're not messing up quite as badly as you could at a 4 year school. An education is never something to blow off, but community college gives you extra time to, for lack of better words, get your shit together. I feel so much more prepared for university life than I did when I first started college, and I'm really thankful for that.

The Cons:

You Won't Live in a Dorm - This could be a pro or a con, actually, depending on how you look at it. I moved away from home and lived with roommates my entire college career, but many community college kids opt to stay living with their parents. Either way, you won't have campus housing, which means rules, chores, and curfews OR bills, sometimes weird or stressful living conditions, and nosy neighbors.

There's Not Much School Spirit - There aren't many sports teams at community college, and / or nobody really cares about them. I'm not nearly as excited to wear my 'NOVA' shirt as I am to wear the hoodie I'll get once transferring to university. There's no real campus pride in community college, it's kind of like the express lanes. Everyone wants to get in, get out, and get on with their lives.

There Are Few "Campus Life" Choices - You'll likely have to wait until you transfer to a 4 year school to join special interest clubs like a Quidditch team or an intramural sport. Another thing that community colleges don't have are Fraternities and Sororities. Many frats and srats are only looking for freshmen or sophomores, so by the time you transfer as a junior, you may be considered "too old" to join. Not that it's set in stone, of course, but if Greek life is something you're really passionate about getting involved with, a 4 year school might be your best bet.

Less Social Opportunities - Community college can get lonely. You don't have the roommate you meet on the first day of school, there aren't a ton of events or welcoming committees, you're kind of on your own. Granted, you can make lifelong friends at community college, but other than classes, there usually won't be many things going on just to get out and meet people.

Overall, communtiy college was a great choice for me, and I'm glad I took that route. I saved some money, gained some time management skills, and prepared myself to wear the awesome hoodie I'll be sporting next semester. I can't wait for the next chapter.

What is your opinion on community college?
What is / was your favorite thing about school?


  1. Great post! I did my first two years of school at community college, got my associates degree then transferred to a four year school. It was kind of a big adjustment when I finally got to a four year school, the classes were definitely tougher and the teachers expected a lot out of us compared to the ones at community college. In a way I felt kind a little un-prepared, but I still think it was the best route, because not only did I save money, I also saved time because having my associates degree meant I didn't have to take any more gen. ed. classes, even if I hadn't taken them before! So I ended up never having to take classes I was dreading, like public speaking, hehe. Good luck with your last semester!

  2. Loved your post! I also did my first two years out of high school at community college. I graduated a year early from high school, at 16, and was no way ready to go away to a big university. I was only 16! Community College was great. I was able to get all of my general requirements out of the way and got an associates degree along with it. I recommend community college to a lot of people. No, you're not going to get the same experience as a four year university. But if you have no clue as to what you want to major in, then this is a great way to go at first. Thanks for your post!


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