With the dramatically rising costs of tuition, many families are turning towards the financially-savvy decision of starting on the higher education path first at a two-year community college. Many universities, both public and private, have articulation agreements with local community colleges. Therefore, attending a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year institution can save significant amounts of money – while still providing you with an excellent bachelor’s degree from the university of your choice.
According to the College Board, for the 2007 – 2008 school year, community college’s average tuition and fees are $2,360. This is in contrast to $6,185 at a public four-year institution, or $23,712 for a private four year institution.
Calculating the specific academic savings
For example, let us calculate the savings if you begin your academic career at Pasadena City College
, which has articulation transfer agreements with the public UC campuses and the private University of Southern California.
If you are a resident of California and attend Pasadena City College
full-time, which is based upon 12 units, then you have the following annual academic costs:
- Tuition and Fees: $508
- Books and school supplies: $1500
In contrast, at the private University of Southern California, you have the following full-time annual academic costs:
- Tuition and fees: $30,850
- Books: $1,000
At a public, University of California campus, the annual full-time academic costs for a California resident are:
- Tuition and Fees: $8,385
- Books: 1,300
If you attended Pasadena Community College for the first two years, your tuition and books would only cost $4,016. At a
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