Community college can be the smarter choice

Maya Kopczak, Opinions Writer

Hearing your parents complain about their student debts almost 20 years after they graduated really makes you wonder, is college worth it? As time goes on, people are realizing that they don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the same education that they can get with community college.  

 According to College Board, “The average combined cost of tuition and fees at public community colleges during the 2021-2022 school year was $3,800, compared to $10,740 at public four-year colleges and $38,070 at private four-year colleges.”

Many students in universities were upset during the pandemic because schools resorted to online classes, and they ended up doing the exact same thing as people in community colleges but paid almost 10 times as much. 

One of the effects of the pandemic was inflation, and even though employment levels are extremely high, many salaries have not kept up with the rising cost of living.

“The pandemic basically put anyone aged 18-24 in the same group regardless of degree or interests which just isn’t a good way to support either group,” according to the Huffington Post.

People nowadays are noticing the changes in community colleges. There used to be a negative stigma about community college, however, that’s slowly fading away. These days, you are able to live comfortably on an associate’s degree, depending on what it is.  

Both definitely have their pros and cons. For example, with a four-year degree from a university, you are more likely to get a better-paying job and maybe a higher education, but you’re paying a lot for it. 

With community colleges, there’s less respect from higher-paying employers, but you’re paying less for quality education.

 Not only is community college cheaper, but there are also smaller class sizes. With smaller class sizes, you’ll be able to have more help and support from teachers. Many four-year colleges and universities have classrooms that can accommodate hundreds of students with only one professor.

 It’s also an easier application process to get into community college. Many universities will require you to take the ACT or the SAT, but with community college, that is not required. Another benefit is the low or no application fee, whereas universities are upwards of 65 dollars to submit an application.   

Many students end up wanting to change majors or question what they’re doing in life and with community college, you’ll be able to explore your interests a lot easier.

“…up to 50% of college students change their major,” according to

Both community colleges and universities are amazing ways to further your education after high school, but community college can definitely be a better option.