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Consider community college before university

Students should leave general education courses for community college instead of university.   |   Alondra Urizar/ THE CHIMES

 

With graduation looming over me in exactly a year’s time, I have had time to look back at my university track record and make adjustments namely, leaving my general education requirements for community colleges during winter and summer break to save time and money while at a private university.

A cheaper option

If I could go back and change how I would take my courses, I would have taken more of my major and Bible classes during my freshmen and sophomore year at Biola as compared to focusing on my general education courses.

From high school, I took four years of French and passed both the Spanish and French advanced placement exams, waiving any foreign language requirements needed at Biola. With those out of the way, I figured I would be ahead a semester and could take my time through my four years.

While I still will graduate a semester early, I would have preferred to have graduated an entire year earlier to minimize loans. Taking three courses for a total of nine units at a community college for a cost of approximately $409 would have helped me save money in the long run since I could have paid that amount off with about two paychecks from a simple part-time job or from the birthday and Christmas money I have saved over the years.

Residents of the state of California may attend community college classes for $46 a credit, creating a cheaper option for any four-year university students, private or public.

Do not overlook this option

Students also have the option of completing their general education courses first before attending university, cutting back on the time spent at university or wasted time by neither working nor advancing their academic career over winter or summer breaks.

Before taking courses at any community college, a student must make sure course requirements align with their university’s standards. Biola has a pre-approved list of transfer courses organizing not only community colleges but other four-year colleges that will accept transfer credits from each state. If the preferred school or class outside of Biola is not found, one can submit a form to the Office of the Registrar to allow them to consider accepting the transfer of credits. Once accepted, students may complete the courses and request a transfer form to ensure courses are transferred to the university of choice.

Community colleges have a bad reputation for not being prestigious enough or being a high schooler’s lazy or indecisive way out of attending college. However, community colleges are an excellent and inexpensive resource to students who need to make up courses or get ahead with their credit requirements. Students should not overlook this option since it can help cut back on costs, as well as time, spent at university.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Steve Smith

    It can certainly be cheaper this way. December 8, 2016

  2. Niveditha

    Thank you sharing your thoughts on this. I completely agree that the community college is often overlooked when it shouldn't be. There are a lot of advantages of studying in a community college. If you're looking to tackle your first two years of college at a lower cost, learn a skilled trade, train for a specific career or ease back into school after some time away, community colleges will help you do that. If you're looking for a community college, this site ranks them by state: http://www.schools.com/community-colleges

    June 27, 2017

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