What do you want to be when you grow up? Most likely, you have heard this question many times, and yet, do you know at this point what you want your future to be? Sure, you might have some desires and some ideas based on what you have seen around you and what your parents want for you, but do you know what makes your heart sing?
The laws of society dictate that most people should have college degrees. However, based on current economic trends, going straight from high school to a four-year university can cost you an arm and a leg. As a result, there are countless students losing sleep over where to go to college.
Choosing your next step after high school is a big decision, one that should not be taken lightly.
Imagine that you have the power to control time for one year. What would you choose to do with that power? In real life, you do have the power to control where to spend your time. Attending a two-year college grant more flexibility for students unsure of which major they would like to choose and for students with full-time jobs and children. Another great flexibility with a two-year college is that for some, you do not need to take the SATs.
“If you are raising children or work more than a part-time job, then community college is far and away the best option for you. The flexibility of the schedule cannot be found in traditional schools. Community colleges offer many more night classes and, unlike most universities, class attendance is not a requirement. Your level of participation and what you get out of it are up to you.” - Education Corner
One of the cons of choosing a two-year college is that most top employers go to four-year colleges first to hire students because they want students with a Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, some students prefer to start at a four-year college to begin familiarizing themselves with their future employer. Furthermore, the opportunity to meet fellow students who might someday help you get a job is far better at a four-year college due to a stronger alumni network
Many variables go into choosing where to start off one’s education. Several main ones being: potential monetary support from parents, what a prospective student wants to study, if they value a private education over a public one, going to one’s dream school, scholarship offerings, etc.
If you are a student, who will more than likely have to pay most of your way through school, and you:
- Come from a middle- or lower-class family,
- Do not have a large scholarship,
- Are seeking the best value for the least amount of cost/debt,
Then starting off at a community college is the way to go.
Yes, you, as a student, will have to give up more “fun” for the first two years. But what you gain in the end is the same level of education, significantly lower comparable debt once you graduate, while still being able to gain social value during your last two years of college at a four-year institution.
Many students do not realize just how much damage student loan debt can do to one’s livelihood after they graduate. It is essential for the prospective student to take in to account their future position and not give in to the immediate gratification of being able to “party it up” their first two years of college. Is two extra years’ worth of social experience worth the potential for over tens of thousands of dollars worth of additional debt?