A Nontraditional Student’s Guide to Community College

Updated |
A Nontraditional Student’s Guide to Community College
Going to college is hard work but it’s even more challenging for nontraditional students who are working or raising a family at the same time. If you’re considering community college to improve your life or further your career, here’s everything you need to know.

In the movies, the typical college classroom is full of young, bright-eyed students who have just made the move from high school. They’re excited about being on their own for the first time and ready to take on the world. In reality, every college classroom looks different – especially community college classrooms. Community college students come from all walks of life, including those who went to work right out of high school and those working full-time jobs or raising a family.

Community college is where many nontraditional students go to obtain and education. The flexibility and affordability of community college compared to traditional four-year schools is a major draw, but there are still plenty of challenges to overcome. Read on to learn everything you need to know about succeeding in community college as a nontraditional student.

What is a Nontraditional Student?

When you think of the average college student, you probably picture someone 18 to 22 years old balancing their time between classes, the dorm room, and the student center.

Picture this instead: a 38-year-old single mother who works days at a restaurant, attending classes at night and on her days off. Or a military veteran attending classes online with the hopes of starting a new career after completing his service. The truth is that 38% of undergrads are older than 25. Over 25% are parents and 58% are working while attending classes.

Students like these are considered “nontraditional” but what exactly does that mean? Nontraditional students typically meet one or more

. . .read more
Updated |
What is an Articulation Agreement and Why Should You Care?
Many students enter community college with the intent of transferring to a four-year college or university. Unfortunately, the path can be fraught with challenges. Articulation agreements between schools help students navigate the pitfalls to ensure an easier, more successful transition.

If you were to ask any admissions counsellor or community college administrator what an articulation agreement is, they wouldn’t hesitate to tell you. Ask any student on a community college campus, however, and you might not get the same response. Articulation agreements exist between many colleges, yet the majority of community college students have no idea what they are.

An articulation agreement is designed to create a seamless transfer experience for students moving from community college to four-year institutions. Not every community college has them, but most do, and they are an invaluable resource for transfer students. Read on to learn more about what an articulation agreement is and how it can benefit you as a community college student.

The Trouble with Transferring

According to the Community College Research Center, roughly 40% of undergraduates in the United States start their higher education at community college. Of those, 80% intend to earn at least a bachelor’s degree and about 20% end up transferring to a four-year college or university.

In the eyes of an incoming community college student, the future is bright and community college is a steppingstone on the path to four-year school. Unfortunately, that path is not as easy to navigate as one would hope. Between the challenges of completing prerequisites and paying for tuition, many students take longer than anticipated to make the transfer, if they make it at all. Even then, the average transfer student loses over 40% of their credits which can set them back even further.

Community

. . .read more
Updated |
Why Don’t More Community College Students Transfer to Four-Year Schools?
Many students enroll in community college with the intent of transferring to a four-year school. Of those who do, many succeed, and yet traditional colleges and universities continue to overlook them. Read on to learn more about why more community college students don’t transfer schools and to receive some tips for making the transfer yourself.

Nearly six million students are enrolled in community college each year, many with the intent of eventually transferring to a traditional four-year university. That transfer is not without challenges, however, as many schools don’t accept all community college credits and transfer acceptance rates remain fairly low. Those who do make the transfer tend to succeed, however, which begs the question why colleges and universities continue to overlook community college students and why more community college students don’t make the transfer.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the statistics for how many community college students move on to four-year colleges and universities. We’ll also explore the data on how well they perform and provide some tips for community college students thinking about making the transfer.

How Many Community College Students Transfer?

As college tuitions costs continue to rise and more families struggle to make ends meet, the number of students who choose to start their college education at community college continues to grow. Community college appeals to many because the tuition is typically more affordable and other costs can be kept low by living at home versus living on campus. Community colleges also offer more flexible scheduling for non-traditional students including single parents and adults returning to school.

According to an article published by the National Student Clearinghouse, about 80% of entering community college students indicate that they want to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, making them likely to transfer to a four-year college at some point. However,

. . .read more
Updated |
What Can Community Colleges Learn from this Year’s Aspen Prize Winners?
Community college is the only option for many students who either can’t afford a traditional four-year university or who need a more flexible school environment. Just because community college is different, however, doesn’t mean that its students matter any less. The Aspen Prize exists to encourage community colleges to do more for their students and to continually strive for improvement.

Community college is the only option for many students who either can’t afford a traditional four-year university or who need a more flexible school environment. Just because community college is different, however, doesn’t mean that its students matter any less. The Aspen Prize exists to encourage community colleges to do more for their students and to continually strive for improvement.

For many years, community colleges had a reputation for being a lesser version of traditional 4-year colleges and universities. It was common for community colleges to offer a smattering of courses at affordable tuition rates, but many were found lacking when it came to helping students complete a degree or transfer to an accredited university.

The Aspen Prize was developed to reward community colleges that go the extra mile toward help their students complete degrees and experience success after graduation. The organization that awards the prize assesses how well institutes perform in four different areas. The award is given every two years and the recipients should be viewed as examples for other community colleges to follow if they hope to do what is best for their students.  

In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Aspen Prize and how it was developed. We’ll also take a closer look at this year’s recipients to determine what other community colleges can do to follow their example of commitment to student success, both in college and after graduating.

What is the Aspen Prize?

The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is awarded every

. . .read more
Published |
How to Survive Community College with Roommates
Living with roommates is part of an authentic college experience, but is it an option for community college students? Read on to learn about housing options in community college and to learn how to survive the year with roommates.

College is expensive, there’s no doubt about it. Because tuition prices are constantly on the rise, many graduating high school seniors choose to attend community college. Community college is a convenient and affordable way to obtain a 2-year degree or to complete some prerequisites before transferring to a 4-year college. But you still have to consider the cost of living.

Many community college students choose to live at home while studying to compound the money-saving benefits of attending community college. If you’re going to a school a little further from home, however, or if you’re looking for a more authentic college experience, you might be looking into other options. Whether you choose to live on campus or off, consider living with a roommate to save money.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of living with a roommate and talk about the pros and cons of living on campus versus off-campus living. We’ll also provide you with some simple tips for keeping the peace while living with a roommate while attending community college.

What Are the Benefits of Living with Roommates?

Everyone who’s ever lived with another person has horror stories about awkward or frustrating interactions. The truth is that sharing a space with another person is likely to bring up a few challenges. But what are the benefits of living with a roommate?

Here are a few of the good things to consider:

  • Having a roommate to split costs can save you a lot of money on rent, utilities, and even everyday
. . .read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Next>>
Recent Articles
While dental procedures are typically expensive, preventative services at your local community college is very affordable - if not free! Learn about how you can get low cost dental services through your community college's dental hygienist training program.
Going to college is hard work but it’s even more challenging for nontraditional students who are working or raising a family at the same time. If you’re considering community college to improve your life or further your career, here’s everything you need to know.
Many students enter community college with the intent of transferring to a four-year college or university. Unfortunately, the path can be fraught with challenges. Articulation agreements between schools help students navigate the pitfalls to ensure an easier, more successful transition.