Choosing to attend a community college is often a wise move for many students. While there are exceptions, the benefits associated with this type of college can often allow the institutions to stand out from other colleges, making this option ideal for some students. There are a number of benefits associated with attendance at a community college, including the cost of tuition and fees, the size of classes, and the range of degree and certification programs that are available. In addition, entrance requirements at a community college may be less stringent than other institutions, making it ideal for students with lower grade point averages.
Cost is an important factor when considering different types of colleges. Even when the student has secured a scholarship or some type of financial aid, the out of pocket expenses can be significant. Since tuition, housing, and other types of fees are generally lower at a community college, people who are pursuing an education on a tight budget will want to consider this higher education option very closely. Since community colleges do also provide access to scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid offered at larger schools, the cost to attend can be kept at a minimum.
Along with costs, being accepted into a community college is easier, especially for students with lower grade point averages. This does not mean the standards set by the institution are necessarily lower in terms of the courses or the instructors. What it does mean is that students who choose to attend a community college are given the opportunity to improve their academic performance, allowing them to possibly transfer to other colleges or universities at a later date. From this perspective, the college can be seen as a means of eventually qualifying for admission at a school with more stringent entrance requirements, minimizing the impact of the lower grades earned during the high school years.
Another advantage of attending a community college is that the classes are usually smaller in terms of the number of students contained in any given class. This means more opportunities to interact with instructors and develop rapport that helps to aid the learning process. In addition, this environment increases the potential to actively participate in classroom discussions, a strategy that helps to promote retention of the information covered during the session. People who tend to be more auditory than visual in the way they assimilate new information would find the smaller classes more conducive to learning than the classes at larger schools using more of a lecture approach to learning.
Attending a community college can be a great experience in terms of pursuing career goals. Many will offer associate degrees and certification programs that may be ideal for certain career paths. This can allow the student to complete his or her studies and begin a career sooner rather than later, a factor that may be very appealing to people who are anxious to become established and begin to take advantage of career opportunities that are currently available in the wider community.