Community colleges have bad reputations. Many times they are seen as back-up plans or last resorts for students, or only for parents to go back to school. However, they serve a greater purpose and should be seen as contenders while applying for college. Attending a community college can a be helpful stepping stone to get you a job or into a university.
You can boost your GPA.
Strive to achieve the highest grade point average you can while in high school. If circumstances are out of your hands and you don't receive a high enough GPA for the university you want to go to, you can use community college as a way to improve your grades. You may need to change the way you study and work hard on your projects, but if you really want to go to a university, it will be worth it.
Some have programs to help get you into a university.
Just like how major league sports have training camps and recruiting teams, so do universities with community colleges. Also, some will have college credit courses available to take while in high school. These classes will be much cheaper by taking them in high school rather than at a university. Research if your local community college can be a gateway into your state universities.
They are close to home.
Community is in the name for a reason. You don't need to worry about moving expenses, living in a big city, or being away from family. Since they are smaller schools, they also are great places to find free classes for learning a new language, beginning art, or how to change a tire. Generally, community college classes are going to cost less than a university too. You can save some money by living at home and finding a part-time job with a schedule that will work with your classes.
They offer certifications for trade jobs.
Becoming certified in a trade is a very successful career path. The jobs are always in demand, and the pay is better than what most people think. Trades are careers such as electricians, welders, machinists, plumbers, or any service that most people seek a professional to do. Many community colleges offer affordable two-year programs and you could be in the workforce before you know it.
They have flexible schedules.
Community colleges understand that not everyone can dedicate 8am-5pm to take classes. Many will offer night classes and could even offer daycare services. If you have family obligations, a crazy work schedule, or other obstacles that make going to a university a challenge, community college could be your solution.
Community colleges should not be seen as “Junior Varsity” when compared to universities. They have merit and serve those who are on their way to a job or university. Research the community colleges near you and see what they can do for you and your future.