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Many students begin their college journey at a community college for many different reasons. If you are considering this path, check out some of the benefits of starting out at a community college.

1. Money

Money is often a huge motivating factor for a community college start. The cost of attendance is lower than that of a four-year college. You’ll also save money beyond just your tuition. Community colleges do not have the requirement for first-year college to students live on-campus. However, there are a handful of community colleges that offer an on-campus living experience if that’s something you are looking for. Even though community college comes with a lower price tag, you should still complete your FAFSA application to see if you qualify for financial aid.

2. Flexibility

Community colleges are designed to serve the community and its educational needs. Most members of the community are super busy with work, family obligations, and life in general. You’ll find that community colleges strive to offer convenient classes to meet everyone’s schedules. This means you’ll have access to evening or weekend courses. This is helpful when you need to work and save money.

3. Campus size

Community colleges are generally smaller and simpler to navigate (with some exceptions). A smaller campus means smaller class sizes. This will make it easier to form a relationship with your professors. They want to help you succeed! Get in the habit of interacting with your professors at your community college.

4. Ease of transition

You will find that this environment gives you a lot of freedom and requires you to be independent and autonomous, which is probably a bit different than your high school experience. Although you will find this new independence refreshing, it can also be a bit overwhelming at the same time. Since your community college will probably be a bit smaller than a four-year college, your transition will be less overwhelming, and you will be prepped for navigating the college environment in a larger setting. If you plan to transfer to a college nearby, you may actually find that some of your professors teach in both places! You may appreciate having a familiar face!

5. Sets you up for success at a four-year college

Some students opt for this route due to the open admission policies (all applicants who apply are accepted). Maybe high school wasn’t your thing so this is an opportunity for a fresh start.  Not only can a solid GPA at a community college set you up as far as admissions goes, it can also help expand your scholarship opportunities. It’s important to communicate with the admissions office of the schools you are considering for transfer.  Many community colleges will have transfer agreements with four-year colleges, so be sure to take a look at those!

If you do end up attending a community college, embrace this time as an opportunity to acclimate to the college environment. No matter if you choose to transfer to another school or go straight into the work force, you’ll be set up for success!