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Community Colleges Have Pluses In Cost, Support

Tera Schultz, art educator at Allen Community College, sits down one-on-one with a student to help edit a photo in graphic design class.

Gage Rourk

Tera Schultz, art educator at Allen Community College, sits down one-on-one with a student to help edit a photo in graphic design class.

Gage Rourk, Activities Editor

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Deciding between colleges can be difficult because there are many factors that play into choosing one, like the school’s location and the cost. However there are many other things that can affect students’ decisions.

While looking at colleges, there are plenty of options for one’s educational goals. Some may want to jump right into a four-year university; however, students should explore theiroptions before making a final decision. Community college is one of those options that should taken into consideration.

Community colleges have continued to grow over the years, as more and more students have started attending them nationwide. Although they are traditionally smaller schools, they are cost-effective, help prepare people for a university, and, many believe, give support to students from teachers and staff at a much greater level compared to a four-year school.

Attending a four year is much more expensive. That isn’t the only thing; community colleges have the ability to give students more of a family feel than the feeling of being just a number.”

— Ryan Bilderback, director of student life and housing

Cost can play a significant role in deciding between the two types of colleges. According to Student Loan Hero, the average cost for the 2017-18 year for attending a community college was about $3,600 while the cost for a university sits at about $10,000. These numbers differ depending on state, but there is still quite a big difference in price between the two types of schools.

“Attending a four year is much more expensive,” Allen Community College’s Director of Student Life and Housing Ryan Bilderback said. “That isn’t the only thing; community colleges have the ability to give students more of a family feel than the feeling of being just a number.”

Support may not be the first thing being thought of while looking for a perfect college, but it is something that should be put into consideration. Community colleges are similar to a high school in class sizes, having between 20 to 25 students per class. At a university, some classes may have over 200 students in them.

However this isn’t the case for every class. Imagine how difficult it would be to try and receive help from a teacher who has 150 other students in his or her class. Community colleges excel at providing one-on-one support to students. While a university might also be able to provide that communication, a community college has more accessibility because of the small population on campus.

“Choosing a college isn’t always the easiest,” said Bilderback. “My advice is to look for a school that offers diversity, both in the classroom as well as on campus. Also take more than one visit to a college, which can help give you a feel for how welcoming the campus and people will be.”

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Community Colleges Have Pluses In Cost, Support