Student Issues / Attending College
Community college offers a wonderful alternative to traditional four-year colleges and universities in many ways. Not only are community college degrees generally much more affordable, but the programs themselves are also very flexible. Many community colleges offer online classes which is particularly beneficial for non-traditional students, including parents and students who work a full-time job. Keep reading to learn more about non-traditional students in community college and tips for success.
What is a Non-Traditional Student?
College students come in all kinds of packages, but the majority of students fall into the same categories in terms of age and lifestyle. When it comes to community college versus four-year colleges and universities, however, there are some major differences among the student body. Community colleges tend to attract more “non-traditional” students, but what does that really mean? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are seven characteristics that are commonly seen in students who qualify as “non-traditional” – here they are:
- Didn’t go to college right after graduating high school
- Attending college part-time instead of full-time
- Working a full-time job while in school
- Being financially independent of parents and family
- Having children or other dependents
- Being a single parent
- Having a GED rather than a high school diploma
Of course, not all non-traditional students fit all of these criteria, but you really only need one to be grouped in this category. You may be surprised to learn, however, just how common non-traditional students are at the undergraduate level as a whole – it is close to 75% of
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
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
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:
- 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
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 certain 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