Community colleges offer many advantages

By TAYLOR JONES

 Community college is not what it used to be. With so many advantages financially and almost all of the same experiences, it is hard to justify starting off at a university.

Students who want to graduate from a university can knock out their general courses at a community college, with a lower work load.

 In my own experience, going straight from high school to the University of Arizona was an extreme and overwhelming change.

If I had attended a community college for two years, I would have been better prepared for the amount of work and stress that was coming my way.

When applying for a university, the college expects you to pick your major before coming to school. I felt pressured and very unsure of exactly what I wanted to do.

At a community college, your interests are more important and exploration is a big part of the process.

Of course there are perks to being at a university, such as big football games, Greek life and a larger curriculum to choose from.

However, community college offer many perks that a university does not. The smaller class sizes provide a more personal feeling. You are closer to your classmates and your instructors.

At a university, it is very common to never exchange one word with a professor for the entire semester. I’d rather know my professors so maybe they can help me decide what it is I want to do in life.

In both cases, you must take prerequisites classes. Why not take them at half the cost and focus on what you really want to do?

After I chose my major at UA, I not only had to take those generic classes but also required classes that had nothing to do with my major. That would be OK if you knew exactly what you wanted to do, but for most of us, that isn’t the case.

Financial aid is given to those in need both at a community college and a university, so that’s not a factor.

It is important to research your options before you make a decision for your future.

I would never take back my early experience at UA but I am now more aware of the benefits of community college.

I’ve had great experiences at both types of schools and am an advocate of each, depending on the incoming student. For many students, though, I would recommend the community college option.

Jones has attended both the University of Arizona and several community colleges throughout the state in order to knock credits out.

Taylor

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