Choosing a School

Whether you are a high school student, an adult student, or someone looking for retraining, we have all the resources you need to make an educated choice about the right community college for you. We’ll compare community colleges to other institutions of higher education, explore college rankings and the accreditation system, and provide useful tips to ensure your community college credits transfer easily.
View the most popular articles in Choosing a School:
Updated   May 29, 2017 |
Seniors Planning for Community College
Learn what steps a senior should take in planning for community college.
While each high school year has unique and specific goals, seniors can begin to prepare for their step in higher education as they make plans to attend community college.

 

Developing a Plan for Enrollment

As a senior, you will make many important decisions regarding the next phase of your life. Choosing a community college means finding a campus that is in line with your goals, both academically and professionally. 
 
Since community colleges can provide students with different areas of academic focus, students can begin their investigation of specific schools by requesting catalogues from each community college. Catalogues and websites will provide information about programs, course schedules, and graduation plans. After reviewing information, a senior can also make an appointment with a college counselor. A counselor can discuss with a student plans for career, job interests, and professional guidance. After narrowing down career options, a counselor and senior can discuss whether or not a particular college is the right fit for specific areas of study.   
 
Financial Planning - Anticipating the Costs
 
As the costs of college can often be expensive, high school seniors and parents can make the appropriate plans by reviewing financial aid and loan options
 
Remember, community college is indeed much more affordable than traditional four-year institutions.   However, planning ahead will help the senior determine whether or not to attend community college full-time, or to also work in a part-time or full-time position. 
 
Preparing for Placement Tests
 
Indeed, community college admissions do not require a senior to take any of the national standardized tests, such as the SAT
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Updated   April 06, 2016 |
The Reverse Transfer Process
Learn about the reverse transfer process and how it can benefit your education.
For the majority of students in the United States, the standard road to a higher degree is as follows: it starts in elementary school, continues on into middle school, becomes the focus of high school, and then – finally – the bachelor’s degree is earned in college. It is a pattern with which most of us are familiar.
 
However, with the increased popularity of community colleges, some are walking a different path to higher education. These students are considered Reverse Transfer Students, and if you choose to become one, you may find your educational experience greatly affected in a positive way.
 
What is a Reverse Transfer Student?
 
Although many people are comfortable with the traditional journey to higher education, some students need the opportunity to “back up” while on the road to a higher degree. 
 
These reverse transfer students have graduated high school, and they have attended college for a period of time or, in some cases, have even graduated from a traditional four-year college. For a variety of reasons, though, these students decide that the traditional four-year college is just not for them, and they embrace the opportunity to enroll in and to attend a two-year community college.  
 
Subsequently, they transfer from their four-year college and join a two-year college, and while they are moving forward in terms of their education, they are “taking a step back” by switching from a traditional college or university to a community college. Hence, they are reverse transfer students.
 
Why do students become Reverse Transfer Students?
 
Reverse transfer students choose to leave their
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Updated   August 01, 2017 |
The Value of Accreditation - Choosing Wisely
Learn how to evaluate colleges based on accreditation, and why it's important.
In the decision of choosing which college is right for you, the options abound. Many students find themselves choosing between community college, a technical college, or a four-year institution. Although all these institutions can provide a solid education, be aware that not all colleges are created equal. In fact, accreditation is one of the main elements that differentiate between colleges’ level of scholarly quality. 
 
What is accreditation?
 
Accreditation is an important distinction in the realm of colleges and universities. According to the US Department of Education, the purpose of accreditation is to certify that the education given by institutions meet national standards of quality. Therefore, if a college you are considering has national accreditation, then this demonstrates that the institution has met the standards of quality set forth by the US Department of Education. 
 
This video explains accreditation.
 

Fundamentally, accreditation ensures that you are obtaining a quality education – and for your future employers and graduate programs to recognize your education. If the college does not have accreditation, you may want to think twice about enrolling. 

Why accreditation is important

When you are choosing a college, accreditation is important for many factors – including the financial aid you can obtain and even the job you will get upon graduating. Subsequently, accreditation is an element of your college decision that cannot be taken lightly. If the institution you attend is not accredited, then you are subject to several disadvantages:   

Lack of government financial aid: Contingent upon schools participating in federal Title IV or state financial aid funding is

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Updated   May 29, 2017 |
Transferring from Community College to a 4-year Institution
Learn about the steps you need to take to successfully transfer from a community college to a 4-year institution.
Are you considering attending a community college before transferring to a four year university? Nearly 11 million students each year attend community college. Some choose community college to save thousands of dollars on tuition for the first two years of schooling, while others opt to attend community college to determine which major interests them most.   Regardless of why you choose to attend community college, with a few phases of planning, you can transfer to the university and major that are right for your higher learning.  
 
Many students choose to begin their careers at community college before transferring to a four-year institution. Considering that the University of California Regents reported that approximately 30% of all the UC awarded bachelor’s degrees were given to students who transferred from community colleges, you are not alone. 
 
The time that you take to plan out your community college curriculum will pay off significantly in helping you gain acceptance into the university of your choice, along with transferring valuable credits. The key to successfully transferring to a four year institution begins with early planning. This ensures that your credits not only transfer, but that the classes you take put in the best academic light possible. 
 
Step 1: Befriend your academic counselor
 
One of the least utilized resources is your academic counselor, whose goal is to help you succeed…academically!   One of the first things you should do during your transfer planning is to meet with your academic counselor as soon as possible. Tell your counselor what your plans and goals are, and together you can craft
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Updated   July 25, 2017 |
Choosing a Community College
Learn how to evaluate and choose a community college that is right for you.
Many things factor in one’s selection process when choosing a community college. After briefly introducing you to these factors, we will discuss each factor in detail in turn. Here are some of the selection criteria that students consider when investigating community colleges:
  • Why are you going to school?
  • If you plan to continue with a four year degree, what type of articulation agreements does the community college have with four year colleges?
  • What type of coursework do you need?
  • Is cost an issue?
  • Do you want or need a virtual campus?
  • Do you have a four year college in mind?
  • Location, Location, Location!
  • On Campus Activities
  • Student Support
Let’s look at each of these factors in detail now that we have introduced them to you.
 
Most people attending a four year college go with the sole target of getting a four year bachelor’s degree to help prepare them for their professional career. But with community colleges, students attend for different purposes.Many students attend to get a two-year degree. There are, however, other end goals for students including:transferring to a four year college, getting a high school diploma, remedial education including “English as a Second language, personal growth, professional certification, or workplace required continuing education.” While nationwide statistics were not available, numbers are available by looking at records that BellevueCommunity College in Bellevue, Washington, collected from 2002 to 2004 on the purposes that their students reported for their enrollment intent. The following statistics is from their Fall 2004 student population (the statistics do not total 100% probably due to rounding
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Recent Articles
December 01, 2017
Learn about trending community college topics this week such as San Francisco's move toward free tuition at community colleges and the rise in hunger and homelessness among community college students across the country.
December 01, 2017
This summer will be wrapping up before we know of it, and your first semester at community college is rapidly approaching. Are you ready for it?
December 01, 2017
To encourage students to pursue higher education, some states are considering plans to offer zero-tuition programs at public community colleges. These programs could make college a reality for many young people, however, critics argue such programs would cost taxpayers a significant amount of money.
Choosing a School

Getting Started

This section provides an in depth look at choosing the right community college. We’ll cover the reasons why community college is a good choice and the best steps to take when making your decision. Find tips and resources to aid in your search for the perfect school.

Community vs. Other Colleges

With so many higher education options, we compare community colleges against other institutions to help you find the best option for your needs. We’ll look at how community colleges are outperforming 4-year schools, study the latest data on the ROI of community colleges and explore why more students are turning to them.

College Rankings & Accreditation

Are you attending one of the best community colleges? Do rankings matter? From the best schools in the US to those losing accreditation, we’ll provide you with the latest resources on community college rankings.

Transfer Process

Many community college students transfer to four-year institutions. Be prepared to make a swift and easy transfer with these articles. Determine the most transfer-friendly universities, learn why some 4-year schools are limiting transfer students, and get tips on ensuring your credits go with you.