Community College or University?

Is your mind stuck on choosing between going to a community college or university?

You aren’t the only one. Many students have the same problem and can’t decide.

Luckily by reading this article, you can get some great advice from someone who attended a local community college first before transferring to a big University. That would be me!

After graduating high school early I knew I wanted to go to college. I just wasn’t sure where.

I had different thoughts on if I should move away and go to a university or stay home and attend the community college in my hometown. I decided to stay and get my Associate’s Degree first at the community college.

I guess when you think of a community college you feel as if it is not good enough as attending a big university because it is just a small college. But there are both advantages and disadvantages of going to a community college first.

  • Advantages of Going to a Community College
  • Tuition Cost: So much cheaper then going to a university. Many community colleges cost less than $2,000 a semester compared to universities who charge double or triple that amount for full-time students.
  • Flexible Schedules: If you have a job and are going to school, many offer more night classes and have more schedule options for you.
  • Smaller Classes: WAY SMALLER! Most classes have an average of 20 to 25 students per class. Many students find that to be great because they can have more access to getting help from their professors if they have any questions or troubles in class.
  • Transferable Credits: Many community colleges offer transferable credits to universities.
  • Disadvantages of Going to a Community College
  • Campus Life: You don’t get the whole “campus life scene” at a community life compared to a university. No big social get togethers, sports games, sororities/fraternities, clubs, etc.
  • Uninvolved Students: Many students don’t get involved in lectures, projects, etc. Not as much communication among students in the classroom.
  • Degrees: Community colleges only offer Associate’s degrees. They don’t offer what universities have such as Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates.

For me, attending a community college first was the right choice. Yeah I missed out on a lot by going there first before transferring to the University of Iowa but that really doesn’t affect me. I saved A LOT of money by getting my associate’s degree first while working part-time. I was able to be around my family and friends still and I enjoyed my time going to a community college.

Plus I got my first opportunity to write for the school’s newspaper even though I wasn’t able to get a Journalism degree there. I was able to see if I would like it or not before transferring to a university and to go for my Bachelor’s degree.

Two years later I transferred to the University of Iowa and here I am now. I am a Journalism and English major and now I get the opportunity to attend a university as well! Both have been great experiences so far and I am looking forward to finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree and graduating from the University of Iowa next spring.

So yes, when deciding between a community college or university, going to a community college first isn’t a bad thing at all. If I were you, go there first. You eventually will have the opportunity to go to University. Just make sure your credits are transferable!

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Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism with a minor in English. She transferred to the University of Iowa from Scott Community College in Bettendorf Iowa. Outside of school she loves to exercise and stay fit. She is also a huge book nerd and loves to read. She also loves to cook and of course spend time with friends and family.
Cayla Gorsh

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