Is Community College the Right Place to Start?
Many students choose to start their college careers at a two-year community college. Is it right for you or your student? Compare options below.
|Two-Year Community College||Four-Year College or University|
|Annual in-state tuition and fees*
Costs are typically lower at two-year colleges.
• National average: $3,347
• National average (public four-year): $9,139
|Annual room and board*
Many students at two-year colleges choose to live at home and commute.
• National average: $7,705
• National average (public four-year): $9,804
|Type of degree
If you plan to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year institution, you should first check how and if specific credits will transfer.
|• Associate degrees and certifications for trade-related careers
• Transferrable general education requirements
• Post-graduate degrees
|Hands-on experience||• Close association with area industries
• Often offer local apprenticeships and internships
|• Can be limited for undergraduate students
• Opportunities for local, national and international internship, cooperative education and study-abroad programs
|Campus experience||• Traditional to commuter campus
• More limited campus activities
• Extensive campus activities and clubs
|Confidence in major or career choice||• Little opportunity to explore variety of majors
• Opportunity to achieve a two-year degree, work and then re-evaluate
|• More opportunity to explore before declaring a major
• Changing majors and five- or six-year graduation rates are common
|Classroom instruction||• Career professionals
• Nontenured instructors
|• Tenured professors
• Nontenured professors
• Other instructors
• Graduate students
|Admission requirements||• High school graduate
• Placement test may be required
• ACT or SAT may be required for specific degrees
|• High school graduate
• ACT or SAT usually required
• Minimum high school grade point average
• Essay, interview or other requirement may be needed
Do you need to work around a work or family schedule?
|• Daytime and evening classes
• Some weekend classes
• Online classes
|• Mostly daytime classes
• Some evening and online classes
*2014–2015 Trends in College Pricing, College Board