Student Issues / Attending College

Academics, extracurricular activities, housing and more: be savvy about all facets of attending community college. Get tips on making the dean’s list, find ways to benefit from community college outside the classroom, and analyze the latest data on graduation and employment rates.
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Updated March 08, 2017 |
The Top 10 Tips for Incoming Community College Students
Starting community college can be very exciting, but don't get too caught up in the excitement! Follow these top ten tips to make the most of your community college education from the very beginning.

Though many people still think that community college is a lesser version of a traditional four-year university, the truth is that your education will be what you make it – it doesn’t really matter where you go to school. In the end, all that really matters is the effort you put into it and how well you take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. If you want to graduate from community college with the best chance for future success, follow these top ten tips when you start attending school.

Why Attend a Community College?

According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), almost half of all undergraduate students in the United States attend community college. Community college appeals to a diverse range of students from recent high school graduates to adults seeking continued education. Many students enjoy the flexibility and affordability of community college as compared to traditional four-year universities, though both options come with their own set of unique challenges. Going to college in general is a major life event and the choices you make could influence your future success. Having the right mindset and being proactive about your community college career can help you to get the most out of your education.

Tips for New Community College Students

Though community college is very different from a traditional four-year university in many ways, in many ways it is very much the same. The choices you make early in your community college career can influence the rest of your life, so

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Published February 06, 2017 |
How to Take Control of Your Community College Education
The opportunities you take in community college will help to shape the rest of your life, so don't be a passive observer! Take control of your community college education.

Each year, millions of students graduate from high school and move on to higher education. While 4-year colleges and universities may be the more traditional option, community college works for many students. If you are thinking about enrolling in community college, take the time to learn about this option from every angle.

In this article, you will learn about the pros and cons of community college to help you make your choice. If you do decide that community college is right for you, you’ll also receive tips for taking control of your community college education so you can graduate with the best chance for success upon entering the “real world”.

Is Community College Right for You?

If you think that community college could be the right choice for you, you would be wise to learn about the pros and cons of making this choice. Community college is an excellent alternative to four-year colleges and universities, but it isn’t the right decision for everyone. Here is a list of advantages that may be associated with community college:

  • Many community colleges offer smaller class sizes which could mean more personalized attention and instruction from your teachers.
  • Community college is generally much less expensive than traditional 4-year schools, especially if you continue to live at home.
  • Many community colleges offer online classes and night classes, making it a more practical option for people who are working full-time or who have a family.
  • You may be able to complete your core classes at a fraction of the cost and then
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Published January 09, 2017 |
Common Mistakes Students Make During Their First Semester
When you first start college you may be overwhelmed by the newness of it. But keep these common mistakes in mind as you go through your first year to make sure that you are properly setup for the rest of your college career and your life thereafter.

College is a time of learning and self-discovery. It is exciting to finally be out in the world on your own – you don’t have to answer to anyone and you can do whatever you want, more or less. But just because you have more freedom in your life doesn’t mean that you can abuse it. Learn from the example of some college students who didn’t take college quite as seriously as they should have, and now they are paying the price.

Top Academic Mistakes You Want to Avoid

College is where you will learn the information and skills you need to succeed in the “real world” as an adult. You will pick a major and then take all of the classes you need to graduate with a degree in that major which will (hopefully) get you a job after graduation. There is no need to pack your class schedule with all of the hardest classes the school has to offer – you aren’t really trying to impress anyone. But there are some common academic mistakes you want to avoid. Here are a few of the most common academic mistakes first-year college students make:

  1. Believing that college is just like high school. In high school, your teachers hold you accountable for doing your classwork and for showing up on time. Once you get to college, however, it is on you to keep up with your classwork and homework, and to show up for class. This requires a certain degree of self-discipline which
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Published December 06, 2016 |
The Pros and Cons of On-Campus Housing for Community College
Can you really have an "authentic" college experience while living off-campus? This article explores the pros and cons of campus housing for community college students.

Many people who enter college become preoccupied with having an “authentic college experience”. They imagine late nights spent poring over text books, engaging classroom discussions, and even wild parties on the weekend. But the truth of the matter is that there is no one true college experience – each college and each student is unique. But there are certainly things about going to college that can enhance or detract from your experience – one of them is on-campus housing.

When you look at the price of a four-year school versus a two-year school – especially a community college – the difference is staggering. But what you may not realize is that much of that price difference isn’t related to tuition or education fees at all – it is for housing. For many colleges, room and board is just as expensive (or more so) than tuition costs and fees. Going to a community college can save you a lot of money, but do you have to forgo the opportunity to live in on-campus housing? Maybe not.

How Many Community Colleges Offer Housing?

According to a recent poll conducted by the American Association of Community Colleges, about 25% of community colleges in the United States offer their students on-campus housing. This number has risen dramatically since 2000 and it continues to rise. Among the latest community colleges to open on-campus residence halls for students are Jefferson Community College in New York, Rose State College in Oklahoma, and Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, to name

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Updated November 09, 2016 |
Things to Include in Your College Application Essay
Most colleges and universities require an essay as part of the application process, but how important is the essay really and what can you do to make sure yours stands out?

Deciding which colleges to apply to is difficult enough, but you add to that the stress of writing a personal essay for each of your applications. Your personal essay is supposed to give college admissions teams a snapshot of who you are as a person and who you hope to become but you don’t have to spill your guts or transcribe your whole life story. To increase your chances for getting accepted, first learn just how important your essay is and then take the time to learn the Dos and Don’ts of college application essays.

How Important is Your Application Essay?

Every year, colleges and universities receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. Many of those applications are virtually identical in terms of GPA, class load, and test scores – so how do you make yourself stand out in a crowd? The college application essay is designed to give you a chance to speak directly to the admissions committee, to tell them who you are and why you want to go to their school. But is your application essay more important than the rest of your application or is it just one factor that admissions committees weight evenly with your GPA and test scores?

According to an article published on Time.com, college application essays aren’t as important as they are cracked up to be. In fact, Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens worked alongside admissions officers at numerous top-tier liberal arts schools for 18 months and he discovered that in cases where students met

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Recent Articles
March 10, 2017
Community colleges are not generally known for their athletics programs, but some schools do offer opportunities for student-athletes. In fact, it has been a trending topic this week in March 2017.
March 08, 2017
Starting community college can be very exciting, but don't get too caught up in the excitement! Follow these top ten tips to make the most of your community college education from the very beginning.
March 08, 2017
College is expensive, there is no way around it. But you can save money by attending community college as long as you avoid these top six financial aid mistakes.
Student Issues

Extracurricular Activities

Community college can be fun and socially enriching, especially with the right extracurricular activities. Reasons to join the debate club, volunteer opportunities and wellness programs are just a few topics covered here. Explore the benefits of community college outside of the classroom, from holiday celebrations to athletic programs, schools are finding ways to keep students engaged on campus.

Graduation

Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations. How does state spending impact graduation rates? Who are the oldest community college graduates? What initiatives are in place to stem the rate of dropouts? Find the answers to these questions and more.

Community College Housing

The number of community colleges offering on-campus housing is on the rise. Learn more about campus living options, compare the pros and cons of dorm life, and get help deciding what housing is best for you.

Improving Learning

Get helpful tips and expert advice on boosting your GPA. This section will provide valuable tips on studying, mentor programs and how to avoid academic probation. Examine the latest trends in student motivation techniques, take a good look at online learning, and find resources to guide you on the path to success.

Improving Your Job Search

Whether you have just enrolled in community college or you’re ready to graduate and enter the job market, our articles can help improve your opportunities of landing the perfect job. Internships and apprenticeships offer lots of benefits, find out how participation in these programs can move your resume to the top of the pile. Analyze employment data for community college graduates and determine who is getting hired. Get valuable tips on polishing your candidacy and making the most of job fairs.

Class Schedules

- Do you need child care? Are you employed full-time? Community colleges offer a variety of scheduling options, allowing most students to easily integrate continued education into an already busy schedule. From weekend classes to courses at midnight, we cover the gamut of flexible class schedules at community college.