1) I’ll state the obvious first. It’s cheaper. Did you know that the average undergraduate state (not private) school loan debt (not including interest) is $35,200 according to CNN Money? However, a bachelor’s is good if the starting salary outweighs the school loan debt. If you go to medical school or engineering school, yes you will be able to afford the school loan debt, but what about someone who has a Bachelor’s in History or Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies? To help determine this, figure out how much student loan debt is too much.
Ultimately, it is STILL wise to shave off thousands of dollars by attending your first 2 years in a community college! A two-year college costs an average of around $3000 a year full-time, and a university costs about $9000 (or more) a year. You do the math. And don’t forget to ask yourself why you would want to pay double (or more) for a general core class that you could be taking cheaply at a community college.
2) You will still get amazing teachers. Most, if not all, state community colleges require teachers to possess at least a master’s degree in addition to other certifications and experience. There is no reason to underestimate community college teachers or think they are beneath your standards. You’ll be surprised. Anyone who has been to school knows that there are a few rotten apples here and there, even at universities.
3) According to the BLS.org (Bureau of Labor Statistics), you can make a living salary with a 2-year degree program. Take a look at these well-needed positions in America, and I only listed a few! (These are comparable salaries to some people who possess a master’s degree).
(Average salaries circa 2012 research)
Registered Nurse: $65,470
Web Developer: $62,500
Physical therapist assistant: $52,160
Occupational therapy assistant: $48,940
Respiratory therapy assistant: $47,850
Dental hygienist: $46,000
HVAC mechanics: $43,640
Sheet Metal Worker: $43,290
Surgical technologist: $41,790
Graphic Designer: $41,450
Want to further your education or change careers altogether later in life after working in the above-stated (and the like) careers? You can because you’ll be able to afford further education and pay for most of it yourself, and make even more money!
4) You will have the first two years of college to figure out what career direction you want to go into without having a large college loan dragging on your feet. And, it’s easier to change gears. There are many students who attend the university because they think it’s what they are supposed to do and end up being miserable because it’s not where they want to be and don’t take school seriously, or just like college to party. It is OKAY to not go to the university right off the bat. Take time to figure out what path you want to take, so you can be serious when or if you attend the university.
5) You aren’t a loser if you go to a community college. In fact, a student learns more about being frugal, getting along with working-class people, and values and appreciates the education a lot more. It’s OKAY to still live in your community where you went to high school. Also, the classes are smaller and you receive more personalized attention from the professors.
6) Community colleges don’t require you to take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) to get in, so it is not intimidating to people who want an education. And when you graduate from a community college, most universities don’t care about what you made on the SAT in high school or that you even took the SAT if you are a college transfer student. If you didn’t make good grades in high school, community colleges help boost your GPA immensely, and you will more likely be accepted into whatever university you want later on!
Think about what is a better investment for you and your time, and don’t go to the university just to go hang out with your friends or if it is something you were told to do. Yes, people with a bachelor’s are likely to make more money in the long run, but there are plenty of careers with fantastic salaries that only require an associate’s degree with a bright future.
Kiss your wellness, and do what is right for you and your pockets. You can achieve your dreams without having to attend the university right out of high school, and sometimes you don’t need a bachelor’s to be financially well off. Don’t be a fool, it’s cool to go to tech school.