A student wrote to me this past week about the advisability of transferring colleges so I thought I would talk about this very common issue and you can Find more on this website more information on visa and travelling.
There are two basic reasons why you might consider transferring. One is because you are starting at a community college with the plan to transfer to a four year college. The second is that you find that the college you are attending is not a good fit academically or socially. Each of these reasons presents different challenges. Today let’s talk about community college transfers.
Community College Transfers
Many students in this country start at community colleges because they are convenient and because they are cheaper than most four year colleges. Both of these reasons make sense for some students. But do they really make sense for everyone?
Community College is Convenient.
Going to college is all about learning. But, a large part of the learning that occurs happens outside the classroom. Meeting new people with different perspectives and different backgrounds can teach you a great deal if you are willing to listen. Living with a group of diverse people enhances this learning even more.
But when you live at home to save money you lose much of this part of college learning. Sure you may meet some people in the classroom and maybe even have lunch with them but you aren’t likely to really get to know them when you aren’t on campus that much. Of course, you don’t have to live at home if you go to a community college but if you don’t you lose much of the financial advantage.
Community college and living at home is indeed convenient but at a cost.
Community College is Cheap.
Well yes, this is true if we are only looking at the cost of tuition. But, just because you live at home doesn’t mean that there aren’t costs associated with where you live. You are still eating your parent’s food and using their utilities. Most students living at home will also have costs associated with a car including insurance, gas and other upkeep for that vehicle. Most students like to have Moped Insurance for their elektrische scooter kopen, just because it is very affordable and it covers all the essential necessities, however; when they have a car, the motor trade insurance is extremely necessary.
The other issue that most people miss when considering the cost of any college is the availability of financial aid. Very few community colleges have any financial aid available other than some limited aid from the federal government. The more expensive four year colleges often have substantially financial aid available to help pay for college.
You can not automatically assume that the cost of a four college is more expensive to YOU than a two year college. You need to investigate how financial aid works. I have seen on a number of occasions families that paid the same amount for a four year college as they would have for a community college.
Moreover, the cost of attending a community college must also consider the cost of the last two years of the education at a four year college. And this is where many financial problems occur. Most of the four year colleges that community college students will transfer to are weak with their financial aid. And most of these colleges reserve most of their financial aid for incoming freshman, not for transfer students. So you typically end up paying more for the last two years of education than you would have than if you had just started at a four year college to being with.
Problems with Transfers from Community Colleges
There are also several potential problems with transferring in general.
First, credits don’t always transfer. If you have credits at the community college you want to make sure that they will transfer to any four year college you might attend. You should just on this before you even apply to the community college. This has become somewhat less of an issue in the past few years because many community colleges have what are known as articulation agreements with some four year colleges. This basically means that the four year college in question will accept all of the credits of the community college.
Second, just because credits transfer doesn’t mean that courses transfer. Here is what I mean. You take a basic biology class at your community college before transferring to a nearby four year college. All of your credits for the biology class transfer because the four year college has agreed to accept the credits. But the basic biology class at the four year college teaches some different topics than the basic biology class at the community college so the four year college wants you to retake basic biology again at their institution.
I hear you saying to yourself, that can’t happen. However, I have seen dozens of examples where exactly that has happened.
Third, you are not likely to graduate in four years. It is a dirty little secret of colleges that most students in this country take more than four years to graduate from a four year college. And the colleges with the worst four year graduation rates are the four year colleges that most community college students attend, the public universities. 20% graduation rates after four years at these schools is not uncommon. Even after six years many of these students have not graduated.
For every extra year in school you will be paying more for your education, your housing, your food and everything else. Plus you are missing time out in the workforce where you could actually be making money.
And lest you think that this problem only exists at the four year colleges, most students in community colleges take more than 2 years to finish if they finish at all.
Finally, there are issue related to socialization. Think about it. You go to one college for two years and then you transfer to another college where you know no one. It is most likely going to take you a while to meet people at the four year college and get to know them since they already have friends from the past two years.
So are community colleges bad? No, they are a great option for many students, particularly those that are seeking a certificate or two year degree. But if you are planning on transferring to a four year college, you need to do your homework. This can work but the old saying, buyer beware, is very much alive in community college transfers.