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:
Published   July 21, 2011 |
University Leaders Report: How to Increase Transfers from Community Colleges
Many students start their academic careers at a community college, hoping to transfer to a four-year university, but find themselves missing the mark. Thankfully, a new report surveying university leaders provides ideas on how to help students make the transfer successfully.
While community colleges offer a wealth of options in associate degree programs and practical career training, the majority of students that grace a community college campus for a period of time are not content with a degree from these schools. In fact, the large majority of community college students has plans to further their education by eventually transferring their credits to a four-year institution. This is the precise subject of the latest report by College Board that looked at the high number of community college students that want to transfer to a four-year university and why.

About the Report
 
College Board is a non-profit organization committed to equality in education, from the early primary years all the way through a postsecondary education. This particular report, titled, “Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions,” was designed to emphasize the importance of smooth pathways between community colleges and other institutions of higher education. The College Board website estimates that more than 7 million students enrolled in community colleges – up to 41 percent of all college students across the country - at any given time. With so many students enrolled in community colleges, it is important to assess what the choices for these students might be should they decide to continue to pursue their education after their initial degree program is completed.
 
To compile this report, College Board interviewed 21 education leaders at 12 institutions of higher education across the country, according to an article on the
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Updated   September 04, 2017 |
Why More Students are Choosing Community Colleges over Traditional Four-Year Schools
Community colleges are quickly becoming a key competitor against four year universities – and for many good reasons! Learn about why more students are opting to enroll in their local community college, rather than going straight to four year institutions.
In the past, four-year universities always seemed to carry more prestige and practical professional preparation than their two-year counterparts. However, as prices for universities continue to rise and community colleges expand their fields of study and improve their quality, the field of higher education appears to be changing. Today, community college enrollment is increasing exponentially at schools across the country, while four-year institutions have seen a small drop in student population within the past year. We’ll take a look at the numbers and explore some of the reasons why more students might be choosing to go to community college today.
 
Changing Times or One-Time Blip?
 
According to a recent story in the Courier-News, national college enrollment figures dropped last year by about two percentage points. While a single-year statistic is nothing to write home about, many financial experts see this downturn as the beginning of a trend – the burst of the bubble on higher education. Some attribute the lower enrollment to fewer jobs and higher tuition rates that make parents and students alike question the real value of a bachelor’s degree today.
 
At the same time, enrollment numbers for many community colleges across the country continue to rise. And enrollment isn’t the only statistic that is going up. The Courier-News also reported that Waubonsee Community College in Illinois graduated its largest class in history this past spring. Elgin Community College followed suit with their most recent graduating class. 
 
Waubonsee spokeman Jeff Noblitt told the Courier-News,
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Updated   May 11, 2017 |
Are You Attending a Top 10% Community College?
How well is your community college ranked? We analyze the Aspen Institute's top 10% community college rankings to see where your current or prospective campus stands.
Community colleges have come to the forefront of higher education in recent years, since President Obama has made them one of the priorities for his administration. To help the process along, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program recently published a list of what it calls the nation's 120 best community colleges – which is the top 10 percent of all community colleges in the country. This list comes after extensive data collecting and analysis that attempted to accommodate the broad variations within community colleges while adhering to a general standardization that accurately compares schools.
 

The Contest for Top Spot

Now that the top 10% college list has been completed, the Aspen Institute hopes to continue the process by choosing 10 colleges out of the original 120. From the list of 10, the organization will select a single, top-performing school to award a $1 million  for excellence in school performance. According to the Aspen Institute's website, the purpose of the contest is to raise awareness of the value of community colleges, as well as reward those institutions that are committed to maintaining the highest standards of excellence in their educational pursuits.

To help them achieve this goal, the Aspen Institute recently appointed a high-profile jury to select the 10 finalists for the prize. The co-chairs of the jury are former Michigan Governor John Engler and former Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan attended the announcement event. The Aspen prize had
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Updated   April 26, 2017 |
How Well do Community College Students Perform After Transferring?
After transferring to a four-year institution, how do community college students fare? Learn about the reports and studies that shed light on community college student performance at the university level.
Students enter community college with plans to eventually transfer to a four-year university for a number of reasons. The student may have limited funds and will try to save money by getting lower division courses out of the way at community college, before heading to a university to complete major requirements. Some students may not have a high enough GPA at graduation to move directly into the university of their choice, so they take the first year or two of classes at community college until their GPA is high enough for a successful transfer.

No matter what your reason for transferring from community college, success in your academic endeavors is surely your ultimate goal. This article will explore the success rate of community college students that transfer to a four-year institution, as well as some of the factors that help determine performance after transferring.
 
What is Transfer Shock?
 
One concern for community college students transferring to four-year institutions is something commonly referred to as "transfer shock" in higher education circles. According to a report at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) website, transfer shock refers to the dip in grade point average that is experienced during the first or second semester at a new school. Transfer shock is a concern for educators as well as students, and it may impact the number of transfer students a university may be willing to accept in any given year.
 
Transfer shock is a very real phenomenon that affects many transfer students
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Updated   September 04, 2017 |
Top 10 Most Community College Transfer-Friendly Universities
Which four-year universities embrace the highest numbers of community college transfer students? Read this article to find out!
ASU - Photo Credit: Schwnj via Wikipedia Commons
For many community college students, the end goal is not simply an associate degree from their current school, but the ability to transfer to a university and earn a bachelor's degree. However, many community college students are dismayed to discover that the classes they paid for and worked hard in at their community college don't always make the transfer to the next step. To ensure the hard work completed at the community college level does not go by the wayside, we analyze the latest US News and World Report study that discusses the 10 most transfer-friendly universities around the country.

 

Transfer Rates

 

 
According to the US News and World Report study, more than a half-million community college students transferred into four-year colleges in 2009. There are a variety of reasons why students may choose to take this path to completing their education. Some like the more affordable tuition rates at community colleges and get as many of their credits at these less expensive schools as possible before completing their education at a university. Others find that after earning their associate degree, they want to pursue additional training and education in their field.
 
No matter what the reason for completing a transfer, students in this situation may discover that universities vary significantly in the amount of transfer students they accept and the resources provided to transfer students. For those who want to join this number in the future, it pays to research the best universities for transfer students, so they can
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Recent Articles
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Forget the degree! Many community college students are landing good jobs with just a community college professional certificate.
October 07, 2017
Learn tips on how to support your child during during their transition to community college.
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.