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.

View the most popular articles in Community vs. Other Colleges:

Is Community College the Best Option for Homeschoolers?

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Is Community College the Best Option for Homeschoolers?
Though homeschoolers often get a bad rap, they are some of the highest performing students in the country - especially in college. Keep reading to learn more about community college for homeschoolers including tips for applying and preparing for college.

Community college has gained a reputation for being the ideal option for nontraditional students. Single parents, retirees, and individuals hoping to switch careers are some of the biggest beneficiaries of community college but there is another group of students to think about – homeschoolers.

According to the National Household Education Survey Program (NHES), there were over 1.7 million K-12 students being homeschooled in the United States. This number represents an 18% increase since the previous survey taken in 2007. As both of these studies demonstrate, homeschooling has become increasingly more popular since it became a legal option in all 50 states in 1993.

There are many reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children. For some, it is a matter of wanting greater control over their child’s curriculum and schedule or a desire to create a program adapted to their child’s needs. Homeschooling can help parents create a stronger bond with their children and it gives children the freedom to learn at their own pace. Homeschooling does come with its challenges, however, particularly when it comes to college applications.

College applications for homeschoolers are not as complex as they used to be, but it still takes time to complete them. More homeschoolers are turning to community college over traditional four-year colleges and universities. Keep reading to learn why and how to prepare your homeschooler for college.

Surprising Facts About Homeschoolers in College

Though more than 3% of the K-12 student population in the United States is homeschooled, many people still misunderstand this educational

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Online Community College? What Are the Pros and Cons?

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Online Community College? What Are the Pros and Cons?
Online courses are an affordable and convenient alternative to attending a traditional university. With the advent of the first all-online community college in California, the world of community college is changing and changing quickly. Keep reading to learn more.

For many students, the primary benefit of community college is that it is local to their community. In recent years, however, community colleges have begun to offer more classes online and plans for an all-online community college in California are underway.

So, what are the benefits of attending community college online, and are there any drawbacks? Keep reading to find out.

The Evolution of Online Education

The first American community college was born in 1901 and, over the past eleven decades, they have served the educational needs of nontraditional and financially constrained students. One of the biggest draws of community college, as compared to traditional colleges and universities, is that they were local, and they provided a more convenient, reduced-cost alternative.

From modest beginnings, the National Center for Education Statistics says that the community college student population has grown to over 6.4 million students. Of those students, nearly 2 million are enrolled in at least one online course.

Online education is nothing new, at least not in the realm of modern education. Technically speaking, however, the technology needed to facilitate online education (namely, computers) is over 170 years old. The precursor to online education was correspondence courses which were first offered in Great Britain. Instructors developed lessons and sent them to students by mail who then completed the assignment and mailed it back.

The advent of the Internet has made a great many things possible that were once unfathomable, and it has been an instrumental tool in the development of modern education.

In 1984, the Electronic

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Studies Show Community College May Offer Superior ROI to Some Four-Year Schools

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Studies Show Community College May Offer Superior ROI to Some Four-Year Schools
Studies indicate that some community college graduates are now finding work at a higher starting salary than their four-year counterparts – and with less debt to boot.
The perception of the value of a college degree appears to be evolving. As some students and their parents begin to focus on their return on investment (ROI), they are beginning to realize that graduating from a prestigious four-year school isn’t as glamorous as it seems. In addition, rising concern over increasing student debt has spurred questions about the best path to a profession. As the exploration continues, community colleges are starting to be seen as offering superior ROI for many students today.
 
The Value of a Four-Year Degree
 
PolicyMic reports on a recent analysis that looked at 1,248 four-year colleges and universities across the country. The study showed 28 percent of those four-year schools offered a negative ROI, which means students would have been better off financially if they had not gone to school at all!  However, if those students had started their higher education at a community college and then transferred to a four-year school for their last two years, the negative ROI would have been reduced to 11.5 percent.
 
The best ROI from four-year schools often involved engineering programs. Schools like Colorado School of Mines, Georgia Tech, MIT, and Cal Tech reflect that trend. Ivy League schools also made the list for positive ROIs, demonstrating that high admission standards and a tradition of success do contribute to the value of postsecondary education. Other four-year schools did not always fare as well. For example, the last school on the list, Savannah College of Art and Design left
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New Report Slams For-Profit Colleges

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New Report Slams For-Profit Colleges
The newly released Harkin Report shows that for-profit schools are often high in tuition costs but relatively low in ROI compared to public schools and community colleges.
For-profit colleges have been a growing sector in higher education in recent decades, but they have also fueled plenty of debate among educators and lawmakers.  in 2010, for-profits launched an attack on community colleges, which are their main competitors, and community colleges vehemently fought back against the claims.  While these for-profit schools tout their many benefits through expensive marketing campaigns, watchdogs of higher education claim these schools fail to deliver on their promises at a much higher rate than community colleges, public universities, and even some private institutions.  Now, a new report from Senator Tom Harkin indicates that these for-profit institutions are missing the mark in terms of educating students and spending student and taxpayer dollars wisely - marking a wide divide between community colleges and these for-profit schools.

About the Harkin Report

The report dubbed the Harkin Report after its primary author, is a voluminous write-up of nearly 250 pages that details the operations of 30 for-profit institutions around the country, according to Inside Higher Ed. The investigation, which took two years to complete, was headed by Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa. The report was issued by the Democratic Majority and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Senator Harkin presented his findings at the end of July. The Harkin report has since been scrutinized by media, educators, and lawmakers. While some agree wholeheartedly with the sometimes scathing report, others believe it is just another political ploy to run these institutions out
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Community College Provides Straight Career Path - Better than Four Year Colleges?

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Community College Provides Straight Career Path - Better than Four Year Colleges?
53.6% of people with bachelor’s degrees under the age of 25 are unemployed. Can community colleges be the answer? We analyze how innovative community colleges are beginning to lead the way on training students for in-demand, future careers.
Community colleges have experienced a mixed reputation over their 100-year history. On the one hand, these institutions have been traditionally viewed as the lesser choice in higher education. Other opinions have elevated these schools to the most direct way to train for the job market.  Which view is more accurate? Today, the latter appears to be a more prevalent one, particularly in light of the fact that many four-year schools are now trying to capitalize on the same features community colleges have boasted since the very beginning.

Career Training Begins at Community College

Since their inception, community colleges have been focused on vocational training. According to a report at the Times Herald-Record, these schools were originally created in the early part of the 20th century for the sole purpose of getting people into the workforce as quickly as possible. Fraternizing with academics and dabbling in philosophical thought processes were seen as counterproductive in this model of higher education.

This video from the Urban Institute discusses advancement along a career pathway at community college.

While community colleges might have met their goals from a vocational standpoint, their singular focus also may have gained them a reputation as less academic schools than four-year colleges and universities. Those who wanted the true higher education experience would venture into the hallowed halls of those institutions perceived as factories for intellectuals and philosophers. However, when jobs become scarce and industries begin to fizzle, the practical application of higher education becomes
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