What About Community College?

With college acceptance news flooding all of your social media outlets, it’s hard not to have college on the brain. The big question of where you’ll go is a haunting one, and can quickly become overwhelming. The prospect of attending a four-year university straight out of high school may feel unattainable, whether it’s due to financial reasons, unsurety when it comes to your major or career, or simply not feeling ready to jump into the competitive world of a four-year. However, your options aren’t as limited as you think: starting first at a community college is a completely valid option. Our college adviser, Ms. Stacey, answered a few of our questions about community college to help give students a better idea of what the JC (junior college, or community college) experience is really like:

Q: Who should consider attending community college? Why might it be more beneficial in the long run?

Students who should consider community college are the ones who maybe didn’t get into the four-year university that they wanted to, or have not finished their A-G requirements, or maybe just do not feel ready to attend a four-year university quite yet. Attending community college might be more beneficial to students in the long run because it is a lot less expensive than a four-year university, and it can be a place to explore your interests if you do not know what you want to do just yet.

Q: When are community college applications due? Do they require SAT/ACT scores?

Community college applications do not technically have a due date, but they should be done sooner rather than later since there are a list of items that students need to complete before they enroll. Applications do not require the SAT/ACT, so there’s no need to panic if you did not do well on those exams.  

Q: What are placement tests? Why are they important?

Placement tests are the tests students take to determine which levels of English and math they should be in when they begin classes in the fall. They are important because they are going to provide the basis of the rest of the student’s classes. If you end up in remedial English and math, you may have to stay an extra semester in order to catch up, so it is important to do the best you can.

Q: What are your academic options when attending a JC?

When a student attends a Community College they are able to receive their associate’s degree, or a certificate. An associate’s degree is usually the two-year degree you get before transferring to a four-year university, and a certificate is what you get when getting certified for a career. Usually someone with a certificate does not transfer to a university.

Q: Can you still apply for scholarships if you are attending community college?

You can definitely apply for scholarships if you are going to a community college, and some community colleges offer them directly to students. When applying for outside scholarships, however, look carefully at their requirements, as they may only go towards a four-year.

Q: What is the most important thing students should know about attending community college?

Students should know that when they attend community college, it might take more than two years to transfer. The schools are impacted, so getting classes you need can be tricky. The best way to stay on top of things is to make sure that you are making appointments with your academic advisors. You cannot be afraid to ask for help because that is what is going to get you to a four-year university.