Community college is an awesome way to pursue higher education on a 2-year plan – which can be helpful if you aren’t sure what you want to study or are looking for a more affordable way to attend college. There are many benefits of community college. Here are just a few things to consider when deciding between a 2-year and 4-year college experience.
Financial Benefits of Community College
College is expensive. According to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school year was $33,480 at private schools and $9,650 for in-state residents at public schools. Multiply that by 4 and you wind up with a rather expensive price tag!
The financial benefits of community college are astounding. These 2-year institutions average $4,900 per year for public colleges and $15,478 per year for private colleges, according to Community College Review. Considering that you’re only attending for two years, it represents
quite a price cut. Let’s take a look at those totals:
- 4-Year Private School: $133,920
- 2-Year Private Community College: $61,912
- 4-Year Public School: $38,600
- 2-Year Public Community College: $9,800
By choosing a 2-year program, you cut the price of college by approximately 50 percent. That money can go a long way toward a future home, car, job, travel, family, and more. Hocking College offers assistance with finding the best payment plans to help you through college.
Other Ways You Can Save
Apart from drastically reduced tuition, there are other ways a 2-year community college will let you save money. For one, you’ll only be devoting two years of your life to school. That means you’ll have an extra two years to get ahead on work and start stashing away some savings after school.
If you’re planning to attend part-time, you will have even more time to work while you’re in school. This all adds up to a lot of savings over time.
Both full-time and half-time enrollees in community college also qualify for financial aid. Federal student loans require students to be enrolled half time – that usually equals about six credit hours. As long as you take two courses per semester, you can apply for aid.
A lot of community college goers opt for part-time classes as well, so it’s a great option for nontraditional students like parents or older students who want to balance their school work with their lives. Check out Hocking's Net Cost Calculator to find out how much college is going to cost you.
Another factor is location and travel time. A lot of students who attend 4-year colleges go out of state or out of their immediate vicinity, meaning they have extra expenses incurred for travel and housing.
If you find a great community college in your area, you might be able to live at home and also save money on gas, car maintenance, air travel, and other living expenses. Moving and finding housing can represent significant expenses, after all. Hocking College offers affordable student housing for those who want to live on campus but also want to keep costs down.
The benefits of community college are pretty convincing and they are a great option if you are strapped for cash but don’t want to put your future on hold. You can enroll and get started on your classes and decide later if you want to transfer your credits to a 4-year college to earn your bachelor’s or other advanced degree.