When I bring up the subject of community college to families for the first time, I am amazed by the number of misconceptions they have about the idea. However, when parents are stressed out about how they are going to pay for college or have a serious shortfall in their retirement savings, I always encourage them to at least to explore what their local community college has to offer.
Here are a few of the biggest myths I try to dispel:
Myth #1: Community Colleges Do Not Have the Resources, Services, and Benefits of a Four-Year College
More often than not, parents who take the time to visit our own College of DuPage are pleasantly surprised to discover that the resources, services and benefits available such as counseling, paid internships, financial aid, and scholarships are comparable to many four year colleges.
Myth #2: There is Likely to Be Problems With Transferring
Community colleges form partnerships (called articulation agreements) with in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities to make sure credits can be seamlessly transferred and that students graduate in four years.
Even if a student chooses another college that does not have an articulation agreement with their local community college, with good advanced planning, credit transfers are rarely a problem.
Myth #3: Students Transferring from a Community College Have A More Difficult Time Being Accepted at the Best Colleges
The biggest myth that we try to dispel is that students who attend a community college will not be able to transfer to a top-ranked college. Nothing could be further from the truth for full-time students who get good grades and take honors courses. Because they have already proven themselves and have more maturity, many of the best colleges will actually give them preference over other transfer students. Indeed, some state universities are required to give preference to students transferring from community colleges.
Many of today’s leading business owners, lawyers, doctors, college professors, started their education at a community college. Families owe it to themselves, to thoroughly explore what their local community college can offer their students.