By Jeanine Biggs
For students leaving high school, choosing where to continue an education can be a daunting task. A big decision for students is to figure out whether to go away to a four-year school, or stay home and attend community college. For students at SCCC, different reasons went into the decision to attend community college. A big reason why thousands of students choose community college over a four year institution is the money. Community college is significantly cheaper than universities, especially if the student plans to dorm on the campus.
“You can’t beat the price. That’s the main reason I went to community school, I’m receiving education but at half, maybe three-quarters, of the price” business and administration major Kyle Schneyer, said. On average a semester at SCCC costs around $2,100 for a full-time
student. At the University of Albany, for a New York resident, a semester can cost around $10,000 and around $20,000 if the student chooses to live on campus. Students coming out of high school do not always have a clear idea on which career path they want to pursue in school or in their futures. For those students that don’t have an idea about what they want to do, it is smarter to go to a cheaper community school until they figure out their next move. Why waste thousands of dollars on an education and major that might change over the course of an education?
“A pro of community school is that if you did poorly in high school you are able to get your grades up so four-year institutions have something to look at other than your high school transcript” Liberal Arts major Kimberley Schwinge, said. Community college is almost like a second change for those who maybe slacked off or lost focus in high school. Community college is a place where a person can apply themselves and raise their grades as well as finding what they are truly interested in. Doing this allows students to move on to a four-year school with a goal and a better understanding of their path in life. Since students typically commute to SCCC and other community schools, they are given the time and opportunity to work their own jobs of campus. For people hoping to move on to other things in life or even another school down the road, a steady income can be a difference maker.
“A huge thing for me is that I also get to work while going to school. When you go away to a four-year college most students don’t work, so being able to bring in some money at the same time is huge” Schneyer, said. For many students, community college is the smart choice in planning for their future, and for some it works out in their favor.
“Life at a four-year school is probably better” student Jeff Bischof, said. This mind-set seems to be how a lot of students feel. Four year schools have a different atmosphere than community schools have. A major reason for this is the fact that students do not live on campus when attending a community school, they go to class, get their work done and go back home. It is a lot harder to meet people and become friends when you are rarely on campus rather than living with thousands of people your own age. The types of lifestyles lived on the different schools is a lot different from each other.
“The bad thing I believe is that you don’t really get to experience the real world, like doing your own laundry or deciding what to do for dinner. Also you’re not really putting yourself out there that much compared to a four-year school where you’ll be more interactive” Schneyer, said. Going away to school gives students a sense of being an adult, they live in the real world with real responsibilities to deal with without the help of their families.
“If I were to do it over again I would still choose community college. I will be able to get my associates without having any debt, and then I can move on to a four-year school” Schwinge, said. For those attending community school, having a game plan about your focus and major along with a time frame to stick to can be very beneficial for your future. People should not take community school lightly, it may be cheaper, but it is a quality education that can be the stepping stone to further your ideas and live out your dreams.