Your thoughts on community college?

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ssc0n

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#1 ssc0n
Member since 2006 • 3110 Posts

Well guys, my plans to go to a great 4-year university had to change. It feels like all the hard work I did in high school was pointless, but I'll keep hoping that it'll pay off, just not right now. So now I'll be attending a local community college until I'm able to transfer somewhere else... everything happens for a reason, right?

To anyone who has attended/is attending a community college: What do you think of it? Of course, every school is different. But how would you describe the process of transferring to a university (assuming thats what most people's goal is)

Thanks OT.

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CongressManStan

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#2 CongressManStan
Member since 2010 • 918 Posts
I have no experience with community college but when you say those plans changed about going to a 4 year university, does that mean you did not have the money to pay for it?
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ssc0n

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#3 ssc0n
Member since 2006 • 3110 Posts
I have no experience with community college but when you say those plans changed about going to a 4 year university, does that mean you did not have the money to pay for it?CongressManStan
No, it was another reason. In fact, I was supposed to receive over $20,000 in scholarships and grants from the school alone.
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KHAndAnime

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#4 KHAndAnime
Member since 2009 • 17565 Posts

I'll be going to community college as well. My friend's older brother went to my high school, had a high GPA ( ~3.8 ), went to community college, transferred to U of Washington, and everything is going well for him. The plan is to save money and that's what he did.

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JIT93

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#6 JIT93
Member since 2007 • 5590 Posts
A last resort for me Although there's a state college that I'll automatically get accepted into because of the school I go to now :D
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wstfld

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#7 wstfld
Member since 2008 • 6375 Posts
I wish I did that. It would have saved me $20,000 if I spent two years at community college first.
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clayron

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#8 clayron
Member since 2003 • 10121 Posts
Went to community college > Transferred to a 4 year > Got a degree > Saved ass loads of cash and avoided some major loans.
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ssc0n

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#9 ssc0n
Member since 2006 • 3110 Posts

I'll be going to community college as well. My friend's older brother went to my high school, had a high GPA (~3.8), when to community college, transferred to U of Washington, and everything is going well for him. The plan is to save money and that's what he did.KHAndAnime

Thats good news. Yeah, I'm still sure I'll be able to work my way back up. The saving money aspect sounds pretty good too. (I still get to live with my family now, so no bills to pay haha)

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worthyofnote

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#10 worthyofnote
Member since 2007 • 21896 Posts

It's good for when it comes to saving money. And if the courses transfer, you can even knock out most if not all of your general education requirements (liberal arts: English, Math, Sciences, etc).

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auron_16

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#11 auron_16
Member since 2008 • 4062 Posts
It's a smart decision.
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needled24-7

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#12 needled24-7
Member since 2007 • 15902 Posts

i kinda wish i had started out going to a community college. now i'm taking out loans and stuff -_- and i'm only going to be a sophomore this year.

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UnknownSniper65

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#13 UnknownSniper65
Member since 2004 • 9238 Posts

Its a good idea for saving money. I know a lot of people who wish they had done the same. Personally, I decided against it because I wasn't patient enough to wait a couple years to transfer to a bigger college.

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bruinfan617

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#14 bruinfan617
Member since 2010 • 3767 Posts

I plan on going to a community college for two years and transferrring. I'm starting in Spring though. I took last year off and wish I didn't.

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Judo_boy

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#15 Judo_boy
Member since 2003 • 6063 Posts

I think it's the smartest thing to do. There's no reason why you should paythousands of dollars more at a 4 year school for the samegeneral ed credits. And I've found that even if you were a fantastic student in high school if you get a high GPA at a 2 year you can prob even get accepted to a better 4 year than out of high school.

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ferrari2001

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#16 ferrari2001
Member since 2008 • 17772 Posts
Community colleges are like 10x cheaper so if you don't have a lot of money go there for 2 years get your pre-reques then finish off at a 4 year college. The classes are essentially the same. So I think it's actually smart to go community than large university. It will definitely save you money in the long run.
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mrbojangles25

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#17 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 56778 Posts

my thoughts are this:

4-year colleges/universities are rarely four years anymore; we are talking five years, plus summer school on occasion.

this is a hidden cost, making people pay more, etc.

junior college is incredibly inexpensive, and generally easier (though still serious and challenging at times). Also, there is no hurry to be out of school in this job market lol.

My advice is to go to a JC; get your grades up, and transfer. You will save tens of thousands of dollars.

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mattbbpl

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#18 mattbbpl
Member since 2006 • 22695 Posts
It's the smart thing to do, honestly.
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ssc0n

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#19 ssc0n
Member since 2006 • 3110 Posts
Thanks for all the input guys.

I think it's the smartest thing to do. There's no reason why you should paythousands of dollars more at a 4 year school for the samegeneral ed credits. And I've found that even if you were a fantastic student in high school if you get a high GPA at a 2 year you can prob even get accepted to a better 4 year than out of high school.

Judo_boy
This is what I'm starting to realize. The first two years are mostly general education. My girlfriend won't even be really studying her major until her junior year (we were supposed to go to the same college).
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KidCudi37

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#20 KidCudi37
Member since 2010 • 3535 Posts
I wish I did that. It would have saved me $20,000 if I spent two years at community college first. wstfld
Lots of people say it is better to go to a community college because it saves a lot of money. So I'll go with this. I'm actually not in college yet.
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bruinfan617

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#21 bruinfan617
Member since 2010 • 3767 Posts

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

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ssc0n

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#22 ssc0n
Member since 2006 • 3110 Posts

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

bruinfan617
I'm sure that's one major reason, whether people want to admit it or not. Even when I was in high school, there seemed to be a stereotype that people who went to community colleges were unsuccessful or stupid.
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Wilfred_Owen

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#23 Wilfred_Owen
Member since 2005 • 20964 Posts
Once again....why would you want to miss crap like this?
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KidCudi37

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#24 KidCudi37
Member since 2010 • 3535 Posts
Once again....why would you want to miss crap like this?Wilfred_Owen
That was the awesomest thing ever. I thank you for posting that.:shock::lol:
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TaCoDuDe

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#25 TaCoDuDe
Member since 2006 • 3239 Posts

Since I have all of my college education paid for, there was no reason for me to even consider community college. Universities are more fun anyway. :P

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vidplayer8

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#26 vidplayer8
Member since 2006 • 18549 Posts

Nothing wrong with community college. Very smart if you are thinking ahead and need to save money. Probably something I should've done.

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gameguy6700

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#27 gameguy6700
Member since 2004 • 12197 Posts

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

bruinfan617
Transferring to another school usually means you lose credits for classes in the process, and this is especially true for classes taken at a community or junior college. I've heard of people losing over half their credits when they transferred from a two year to a four university. Also, if you're planning on going to a professional or graduate school after undergrad it's in your best interests to go to a four year university as they offer a lot more opportunities for people on those tracks. For example, if you want to pursue a PhD in science (or an MD, PharmD, PsyD, etc.) you need to have meaningful research experience which you're not going to get at most community colleges. While you certainly can get experience after you transfer to a four year research university you're still not in an ideal position since a guy who's been working in a lab since freshman year will have twice as much experience when applying to grad school and likely much more impressive achievements (takes a long time to do research that results in a thesis, much less a journal article). Then there's the issue of getting to know faculty well enough for recommendation letters (most grad/professional schools want something like 3-5 letters). Also, four year state universities are always an option too and they're usually better than a community college. They're also usually pretty cheap if you go in-state, and a lot of states have scholarships that let you attend any university in the state for free as long as you got a good GPA in high school and keep it up in college. So going to a community college just to pay less money doesn't make much sense when you consider that state universities aren't much more expensive, if they're even more expensive at all.
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moccassins

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#28 moccassins
Member since 2010 • 326 Posts

It's the smart thing to do, honestly.mattbbpl

Yes. There it is.

Everything happens for a reason, whether you want to believe that or not....


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cybrcatter

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#29 cybrcatter
Member since 2003 • 16210 Posts

I plan on going to a community college for two years and transferrring. I'm starting in Spring though. I took last year off and wish I didn't.

bruinfan617
I wish I would have done that. It makes sense, and saves you money.
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UnknownSniper65

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#30 UnknownSniper65
Member since 2004 • 9238 Posts

[QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I plan on going to a community college for two years and transferrring. I'm starting in Spring though. I took last year off and wish I didn't.

cybrcatter

I wish I would have done that. It makes sense, and saves you money.

Assuming that most of your credits will be transferred.

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LostProphetFLCL

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#31 LostProphetFLCL
Member since 2006 • 18526 Posts

Going to be graduating through a Community College actually.

They say it is the smart move to at least go to community college first then to regular college. Thing is my local community college happens to have a badass nursing program so there is no need for me to switch.

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cybrcatter

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#32 cybrcatter
Member since 2003 • 16210 Posts

[QUOTE="cybrcatter"][QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I plan on going to a community college for two years and transferrring. I'm starting in Spring though. I took last year off and wish I didn't.

UnknownSniper65

I wish I would have done that. It makes sense, and saves you money.

Assumeing that most of your credits will be transferred.

Of course. I suppose it's more viable if you plan on going to a state college than a private institution.
In Wisconsin, just about everything counted if you went to a state college afterwords.

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Loco_Live

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#33 Loco_Live
Member since 2010 • 3147 Posts

▲ I wish I could go striaght to a 4 year college but my grades simply werent good enough. CC is good for people like me. ▲

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gamingqueen

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#34 gamingqueen
Member since 2004 • 31076 Posts

If you can afford tuition fees then it's best to join a university. Community college grants you diploma and and other small degrees . It'll be hard to look for a job when everyone else has a bachelor degree because academic qualifications always come first in CVs.

I for one have a bachelor in law however, I intend to further my studies and earn a master degree in Intl. law because that will increase job oppertunities for me let alone the bonuses the gov. gives incase I were to work in the public sector.

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clayron

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#35 clayron
Member since 2003 • 10121 Posts

[QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

gameguy6700

Transferring to another school usually means you lose credits for classes in the process, and this is especially true for classes taken at a community or junior college. I've heard of people losing over half their credits when they transferred from a two year to a four university.

Also, if you're planning on going to a professional or graduate school after undergrad it's in your best interests to go to a four year university as they offer a lot more opportunities for people on those tracks. For example, if you want to pursue a PhD in science (or an MD, PharmD, PsyD, etc.) you need to have meaningful research experience which you're not going to get at most community colleges. While you certainly can get experience after you transfer to a four year research university you're still not in an ideal position since a guy who's been working in a lab since freshman year will have twice as much experience when applying to grad school and likely much more impressive achievements (takes a long time to do research that results in a thesis, much less a journal article). Then there's the issue of getting to know faculty well enough for recommendation letters (most grad/professional schools want something like 3-5 letters).

Also, four year state universities are always an option too and they're usually better than a community college. They're also usually pretty cheap if you go in-state, and a lot of states have scholarships that let you attend any university in the state for free as long as you got a good GPA in high school and keep it up in college. So going to a community college just to pay less money doesn't make much sense when you consider that state universities aren't much more expensive, if they're even more expensive at all.

Your first paragraph is not true at all. It depends on the school's articulation's agreement with the college s/he is transferring to. If you are choosing to go to a school that your community college does not have an articulation agreement with then, yes, you will lose your credits. At the same time that is not the fault of the school or the transfer process its the fault of the student for not checking the feasibility of the transfer. Certain schools accept certain classes from certain schools - this is even true for classes that are transferred from one 4-year to another.

Also, there are very, very, very few freshmen who get real lab experience in their first few semesters. In that time most students are doing nothing more than entry level or general education work. In addition to that, community college offer the same lab prep work. Most "meaningful" lab experience comes from upper division work which a person would reason in their last 2 years at university - not in the first two. Also, many, if not all, professors from a community college have a PhD and relevant work experience - many choose to teach at smaller schools due to class sizes, interactions with student and staff, and time constraints. So receiving a recommendation letter from a professor of a field, regardless of the institute, is always an excellent thing. I have a professor from my 4-year university that teaches community college during the summer. It doesn't reduce the quality of the professor.

The argument that 4-years aren't much more expensive than a community college is a joke. I went to a community college where it was $21/unit, the university I transferred to was $1100+/unit. That is a substantial difference. I went to an instate college.

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gameguy6700

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#36 gameguy6700
Member since 2004 • 12197 Posts
[QUOTE="clayron"]

[QUOTE="gameguy6700"][QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

Transferring to another school usually means you lose credits for classes in the process, and this is especially true for classes taken at a community or junior college. I've heard of people losing over half their credits when they transferred from a two year to a four university.

Also, if you're planning on going to a professional or graduate school after undergrad it's in your best interests to go to a four year university as they offer a lot more opportunities for people on those tracks. For example, if you want to pursue a PhD in science (or an MD, PharmD, PsyD, etc.) you need to have meaningful research experience which you're not going to get at most community colleges. While you certainly can get experience after you transfer to a four year research university you're still not in an ideal position since a guy who's been working in a lab since freshman year will have twice as much experience when applying to grad school and likely much more impressive achievements (takes a long time to do research that results in a thesis, much less a journal article). Then there's the issue of getting to know faculty well enough for recommendation letters (most grad/professional schools want something like 3-5 letters).

Also, four year state universities are always an option too and they're usually better than a community college. They're also usually pretty cheap if you go in-state, and a lot of states have scholarships that let you attend any university in the state for free as long as you got a good GPA in high school and keep it up in college. So going to a community college just to pay less money doesn't make much sense when you consider that state universities aren't much more expensive, if they're even more expensive at all.

Your first paragraph is not true at all. It depends on the school's articulation's agreement with the college s/he is transferring to. If you are choosing to go to a school that your community college does not have an articulation agreement with then, yes, you will lose your credits. At the same time that is not the fault of the school or the transfer process its the fault of the student for not checking the feasibility of the transfer. Certain schools accept certain classes from certain schools - this is even true for classes that are transferred from one 4-year to another.

Also, there are very, very, very few freshmen who get real lab experience in their first few semesters. In that time most students are doing nothing more than entry level or general education work. In addition to that, community college offer the same lab prep work. Most "meaningful" lab experience comes from upper division work which a person would reason in their last 2 years at university - not in the first two. Also, many, if not all, professors from a community college have a PhD and relevant work experience - many choose to teach at smaller schools due to class sizes, interactions with student and staff, and time constraints. So receiving a recommendation letter from a professor of a field, regardless of the institute, is always an excellent thing. I have a professor from my 4-year university that teaches community college during the summer. It doesn't reduce the quality of the professor.

The argument that 4-years aren't much more expensive than a community college is a joke. I went to a community college where it was $21/unit, the university I transferred to was $1100+/unit. That is a substantial difference. I went to an instate college.

My first two years I went to a decent public university that cost $4000 a semester (or maybe it was $4000 per year. I do remember that for out-of-state tuition you had to pay $16,000 so there was quite a discrepancy between the two). Not that I ever paid a penny of that since I had a full ride scholarship from the state that made it free (and all I had to do to get said scholarship was get at least a 3.5 GPA in high school, although I believe there was a smaller scholarship also available for people who got at least a 3.0 so it's not like it was difficult to get). The top 20 private university I go to now costs about $900 per credit (assuming you take a full load which here is 22 hours or about five classes since here most classes get you 4 credit hours; at 18 hours it comes out to $1100), so congrats on managing to find and attend a public university that cost as much as, if not more than, one of the most expensive and top ranked private universities in the country. And extra congrats for somehow managing to fail to get in-state tuition at said in-state public university (or at least I would hope you failed to get in-state tuition since if that truly was in-state tuition then the out-of-state tuition must have been criminal). As for the part about lab experience, no one cares about the "lab experience" you do in intro science courses. I'm talking about independent, project-oriented research. The kind I was doing my first semester of sophomore year (would have started the second semester of freshman year but decided that the project I would have done wouldn't have really related to my major so I opted not to do it). Like you say, most people wait until their last year of university to do that sort of thing. By no coincidence, most people also don't get into grad school. Starting in junior year is alright, and obviously a person coming in from a CC would be starting then, but they'd have to get into a lab at their university ASAP so that combined with the lost two years would make things harder. Not impossible, but harder. Why make things more difficult for yourself if you don't have to? My point about recommendation letters wasn't that a CC professor is a bad reference to get, but rather that splitting your education up between two institutions makes it difficult to interact with the same professors long enough to get more than a generic rec letter from them. I'm speaking from personal experience here as someone who transferred schools. Really the only thing that's going to save my ass is the fact that I can make my honor's thesis committee as large as I want which is pretty much a "write down how many rec letters you want here" ticket. As for transferring credits, yes, if your CC has a deal set up with other colleges in the state the credits should transfer easily (although this is usually only true for public universities). But if you want to go to a private university or a university located outside of the state you could run into some issues. Yes, this is true for any transfer, but people coming from CC's and junior colleges tend to have more credit loss than those coming from other four year institutions.
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QuistisTrepe_

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#37 QuistisTrepe_
Member since 2010 • 4121 Posts

Unless you have a scholarship, there's no point in going to a university for all four years, none. Community college is the way to go. Classes are scheduled to meet the needs of working people, you'll never have to take the ACT or SAT, and most CC systems allow for automatic transfers to universities within its respective state making the transition smooth.

Oh yeah, and not being swamped in debt isn't bad either.

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rawsavon

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#38 rawsavon
Member since 2004 • 40001 Posts
It felt like a bigger version of HS to me (I did some classes there while working on my third degree) There is a negative stereotype about it...some warranted, some not But it is a cheap way to get the basics out of the way Or it can also serve as a place to teach a trade/skill
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QuistisTrepe_

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#39 QuistisTrepe_
Member since 2010 • 4121 Posts

[QUOTE="cybrcatter"][QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I plan on going to a community college for two years and transferrring. I'm starting in Spring though. I took last year off and wish I didn't.

UnknownSniper65

I wish I would have done that. It makes sense, and saves you money.

Assuming that most of your credits will be transferred.

Most of the time, this isn't a problem. I went to a CC in California and transferred to an out of state private university with my transcript left nearly intact.

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MrLions

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#40 MrLions
Member since 2007 • 9833 Posts
Be sure to sign up for classes the first day they are available....for JC
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yabbicoke

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#41 yabbicoke
Member since 2007 • 4069 Posts
For the past two years I've gone to CC. I actually just found out today that I got into a university, and I couldn't be more excited. Community college wasn't bad, it just wasn't challenging... at all. In fact, most of the time that I was there I was simply bored out of my mind. But hey, it was still a great way to get core classes out of the way (and on the cheap).
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QuistisTrepe_

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#42 QuistisTrepe_
Member since 2010 • 4121 Posts

[QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

ssc0n

I'm sure that's one major reason, whether people want to admit it or not. Even when I was in high school, there seemed to be a stereotype that people who went to community colleges were unsuccessful or stupid.

What's funny is that I recall more and more these high school gods from my high school graduating class showing up on campus during my second or third semesters in community college because they just washed out. They couldn't handle the freedom I suppose.

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Aquat1cF1sh

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#43 Aquat1cF1sh
Member since 2006 • 11096 Posts
It's usually cheaper. Usually. I got a huge scholarship to the four year college I now attend, so I'm not sure CC would have been cheaper for me. The reason I didn't think about going to a community college was because I didn't want to know people for two years, leave, go to a four year college for two years, have to meet new people again, and then leave again in two years. It also doesn't help that I wanted to do competitive swimming in college, and I especially didn't want to have to switch teams. Also, I wouldn't trade my experiences of living on campus away from home for anything, they've been great. :)
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lamprey263

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#44 lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 43593 Posts
I did community college for two years, liked it, not as many resources of some universities though, up to you to make the most of it
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flazzle

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#45 flazzle
Member since 2007 • 6507 Posts

Went to community college > Transferred to a 4 year > Got a degree > Saved ass loads of cash and avoided some major loans.clayron

that's what I did.

Saved a ton a cash.

I mean, if I could have afforded it ,I would have loved to been at one college the whole time, but I couldn't. Just do your best and finish.

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SilentSoprano

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#46 SilentSoprano
Member since 2007 • 4446 Posts

Community College is becoming the norm now. Anyone who makes fun of you for going to one is either spoiled or just an idiot. Just don't make the mistake of going to somewhere like USC afterwards and paying ~$40,000 for one year of classes. Talk about a waste of money.

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MaddenBowler10

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#47 MaddenBowler10
Member since 2005 • 8999 Posts
It's the best option money wise for sure. however, for the most part, it's a boring as all hell experience..no life in those schools.
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psychobrew

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#48 psychobrew
Member since 2008 • 8888 Posts

Thanks for all the input guys. [QUOTE="Judo_boy"]

I think it's the smartest thing to do. There's no reason why you should paythousands of dollars more at a 4 year school for the samegeneral ed credits. And I've found that even if you were a fantastic student in high school if you get a high GPA at a 2 year you can prob even get accepted to a better 4 year than out of high school.

ssc0n

This is what I'm starting to realize. The first two years are mostly general education. My girlfriend won't even be really studying her major until her junior year (we were supposed to go to the same college).

Especially since it might take 7 more years for the economy to recover.

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mrbojangles25

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#49 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 56778 Posts

[QUOTE="bruinfan617"]

I don't get why more people don't do this. Is it pride?

ssc0n

I'm sure that's one major reason, whether people want to admit it or not. Even when I was in high school, there seemed to be a stereotype that people who went to community colleges were unsuccessful or stupid.

pretty much:

the way of thinking is like this: if you can go to college, and your middle-class or higher, then you go to college. if you don't, youre doomed to fail. And only idiots go to junior college.

waaaaaaay too many kids get pressured into college, and it not only ruins the experience for them, but it also sets them on a path they likely dont want to pursue (seriously, do that many people really want business degrees?) and devalues the worth of a BS degree. Honestly, a BS degree seems just a tiny bit better than an AS or even high school diploma lol

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Ghost_702

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#50 Ghost_702
Member since 2006 • 7405 Posts

Well, if you plan on transferring to a university in the same state as your community college, they more than likely have a transfer program whereby the time you complete your associates degree (2 years), you transfer to the in-state university. I went to comm college to take my general ed because it was cheaper and now I'm majoring in Architecture at a university. You really shouldn't worry about it though. You can't get as far education wise when going to JUST a community college, but since you seem to be transferring to a university later, it's all good. I was accepted to universities during high school but opted for comm college instead for the first couple of semesters because it was cheaper and I had to pay for it myself.

Also, it depends on what you want to major in that makes this a good choice or not. If you're dead set on a major, check with universities to see their degree program for that major. Reason being is that some programs have a strict class schedule that you really just cannot modify because classes are either: A) offered only one semester out of the whole year (fall or spring) or B) need pre-requisites in order to take. So really, depending on the program, it doesn't matter whether or not all of your general eds are done, you may still spend 4 years going for your bachelors, even though you spent 2 years at comm college, due to the degree program offered at the university.