Community Colleges Are Great Options!!

Why Community College Is a Better Option Than You Think

Avoiding paying room and board for college (if you live at home instead of renting an apartment since there usually aren’t dorms at community colleges) is another cost-saving measure.

In 2017-18, the average tuition and fees for a full-time student at public two-year institutions nationally was $3,570, compared with $9,970 (in-state) at public four-year colleges and $34,740 at private universities, according to the College Board. After federal financial aid, 71 percent of community college students pay less than $1,000. Some states are beginning to make community college free through specific scholarship programs: New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and most recently, Rhode Island.

You could be one of millions of students attending college practically for free, if you consider attending a community college.

A Good Option for Exploring Different Majors or Choosing a Career Off the Bat

Community college can be an especially good fit if you don’t know what career you want to pursue. At a community college, you can take a variety of courses at a low cost in different academic disciplines to help you figure out what you want to ultimately major in, if you plan to transfer.

What community colleges are known for is offering programs that are connected to the needs of the local economy. Associate degrees can be earned to enter the workforce right away after two years of study. Popular degrees like dental hygiene ($72,910 average salary), diagnostic medical sonography ($68,970 average salary), nursing (to become a registered nurse at an average starting salary of $66,640) are all available. If you want to start a career sooner than the average college graduate, a community college may be a good fit.

Guaranteed Admission and Seamless Transfer to Four-Year Colleges

Don’t like taking tests? Community colleges don’t require entrance exams like the SAT. Nearly anyone can take a class at a community college simply by registering for class.

If you know you may want to transfer to a state university, you can take many of the four-year required courses at a community college cheaper than at a state university. Most community colleges have agreements with state universities to help make a transfer seamless and not lose college credits in the process.

A great advantage of attending some community colleges is guaranteed transfer to a state university when certain requirements are met (usually a GPA requirement). States like Arizona, California, Hawaii, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Virginia have agreements in which community college students are guaranteed admission to state universities, if they meet the requirements.

For example, Northern Virginia Community College has a guaranteed admission agreement to 40 universities, if a certain GPA and other requirements are met. To show how this is advantageous, here is a scenario: say you want to attend the University of Virginia(UVA), one of the top public universities in the country. If you attended a community college for the first two years and earned a certain GPA, you would be automatically guaranteed admission to UVA, but you would pay $5,497 per year for the first two years of college instead of $30,490 per year for the same first two years. You’ve just saved nearly $50,000 ($49,986 to be exact)!

And you might not even have to leave your community college campus to transfer to another institution to earn your bachelor’s degree. FSU@Mass Bay — a partnership between Framingham State University (FSU) and Massachusetts Bay Community College, both in the Boston area — enables students to stay at the community college to finish a bachelor’s degree with FSU professors who come to the Mass Bay campus. In Texas, the Lone Star College System has agreements with several universities that offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs on two of their community college campuses designated as Learning Centers — so you could “transfer” and stay in the local area or even the same campus to earn a bachelor’s degree. Innovative programs like these are popping up, so pay attention to the local degree programs in your area.

You can also potentially transfer to a private college or university — even an Ivy League institution like Yale or Harvard — after attending a community college. Did you know that Eileen Collins, the first woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission, attended a community college? The sky is the limit!

A Solid Education — and Often Flexible Scheduling

Community college courses are taught by professors who have the same educational background as professors who teach at four-year colleges and universities. In fact, at many universities, students are taught by teaching assistants who are graduate students rather than professors with graduate degrees. The rigor in a community college class is oftentimes the same as another nearby institution. What is attractive to many students is that many community colleges have classes at more flexible times than a typical college. In addition to daytime classes, community colleges usually offer many evening classes as well as classes on weekends and online and sometimes hybrid classes in which you take part of the course in a classroom and part of the course online.

Services Comparable to a Typical College

Just like a four-year college, community college has services to help students succeed, including career services, academic assistance like tutoring and writing centers, clubs, honors program, specialized internships with local employers, and even study abroad.

Student life on a community college can be bustling despite not living on campus like at a four-year college. For instance, in South Florida, Miami Dade College, the country’s largest community college, manages the Miami International Film Festival. And in California, RCC Marching Tigers or “Hollywood’s Band” is the marching band of Riverside City College that has appeared in parades such as the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as in movies and on television.

Get a Jump Start on College in High School with Dual Enrollment

Did you know that you can earn college credits while you are still in high school? Nationwide 15% of all community college students are still in high school, according to a recent report.

Dual enrollment, or taking college classes while still in high school, can save you money if credits are transferred when you enroll in college. It can also allow you to decide whether or not you would like to attend a community college or apply to four-year colleges. Whatever you decide, consider your local college options—including community colleges—in your college search. You may find the right place for you and pay a lot less!

Find a community college in your state.

THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO CRUSH #COLLEGEAPPMONTH

When the President of the United States announces a National College Application Month, it’s time to step up and make things happen. Here’s a collection of tips, gathered by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, for high school students and community college students looking to transfer.

Starting Strategically in High School:

Understanding Your Needs:

Narrowing Your College List:

Attention-Grabbing Application Advice:

Funding College & Financial Aid Basics:

College Night

College Night, hosted by Spotsylvania Towne Centre will be next Wednesday, October 16, from 6:30-8:30PM. There will be representatives from colleges and universities from all over the East Coast, including Germanna Community College! Germanna’s Recruiter, Kim Viarella, and Brian Ogale will be at the GCC table to answer all your questions about GCC programs, including opportunities for transfer and guaranteed admissions to many four-year colleges and universities, as well as how current high school students can take advantage of Dual Enrollment courses in their high schools to get an early start on their college education. See you there!!!!

Early College Pathways

Are you rising high school junior planning to start on one of the Early College Pathways this summer, don’t forget to register for one of the upcoming Early College Pathways Orientations!

The orientation will cover all the information you will need to get started–how to register for courses and pay tuition, how and where to buy books, transfer and career information and resources, how to use your MyGCC account to make the most of your online resources and student e-mail, and a tour of campus. Students who have their completed High School Permission to Enroll Form and a copy of their high school transcript may be able to meet with a counselor and be registered as well!
Orientation dates, times, and locations:

  • Thursday, May 23, 6-8PM @ Fredericksburg Area Campus, Dickinson Building, Room 212
  • Thursday, May 30, 6-8PM @ Daniel Technology Center (Culpeper site), Room 104C

Register for one of these sessions by visiting the Germanna Community College homepage, and on the left side of the page under “Upcoming Events” click the link to the date you prefer. On the next page, click the button “Register” at the top right to complete your registration for these events.
If you are unfamiliar with the Early College Pathways opportunities, please visit the website for more information.