Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
SCHOOL: Community College or University?
Hello! First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to answer my question! My question is this: I'm going to graduate high school this year, and my plans for the future are still in question. I don't know whether I should go to a Community College or a University. Financially, Community College would be better, but I also want to explore some place other than my community that I know so well, but again that would require taking out loans in which I would have to obviously pay back. So I guess the question is, should I do community college or try for a university. And if you went to college,community or a university, what did you like about it and do you think you made the right choice?
That's a great question! Just the fact that you are considering your options puts you ahead of the game. I'm guessing that you have a list of universities that you are considering. Sometimes, depending on your situation, universities offer some good financial aid packages with scholarships, grants and work. If you haven't done so already you may want to investigate that further.
Dylan, I can speak from my experience about community college. One of my sons got his associate's degree from our local community college and went on to pursue his bachelor's degree in engineering at a very prestigious university. In the end his degree was from that university, the same as those who had attended there for four years. He was able to save thousands of dollars in addition to getting a great foundation from the local community college. I too graduated from the community college and found the professors were outstanding and very willing to help students. The small student to professor ratio in my opinion was most helpful. Most community colleges have extra-curricular activities that you can get involved in if you have an interest in that.
I also understand the urge to expand your world view after you graduate from high school. That is a normal and healthy goal. At a university you would probably be exposed to a more diverse lifestyle. Two of my sons opted for that. Unfortunately neither ended up finishing their degree. I think their lack of maturity and good study habits were factors. Both had large loans to pay back. So needless to say my personal recommendation would be to give the community college a chance. You can build on that foundation and still have the opportunity to explore new places in the near future.
Dylan, you have such an exciting time ahead of you. Don't be afraid to try new things. Each success or "failure" is a stepping stone to clarity for your future. I commend you on weighing your options. I wish you success with either decision you make. Feel free to write back to Elderwisdom Circle anytime. We are always here to listen.