Getting Your Two Years In

Community College. I did a post on the subject a few months ago, but it was more directed towards dual enrollment; for those looking to get a head start on college while still finishing up their secondary education. But what about those who never sought dual enrollment? If you’re one of those people, you’re probably already looking to get enrolled in a university or a 4-year college. If this is you, then this would be where you’re going to have to apply the brakes, because there’s one question you should ask yourself before moving forward.

Why are you going to college?

I’ll give you a minute to think that one over. . .okay, your time’s up. Got anything? If you’re driven by any reason other than a passion for that skill or trade that you wish to become more proficient in, then you may want to consider the 2-year option. Why is that? Because not only is it because it’s a waste of money otherwise, but your time would be better spent getting the basic stuff out of the way and figuring out what you want to do with your life in the process.

So how does one enroll? Compared to a 4-year college, enrolling in a community college requires relatively little effort. You don’t have the essay to worry about nor do you have to worry about getting letters of recommendation sent out. Many don’t even require you to take the SAT or ACT, and instead have you take a College Placement Test (CPT, or whatever acronym the institution may use) to be sure that you’re ready for college level material. Really, it’s as easy as walking into the admissions office and handing in your application.

One thing you may want to watch out for is whether or not the community college you plan to attend is accredited. Accreditation is given by private organizations to schools that meet the level of quality expected of post-secondary institution. The Department of Education certifies these accrediting agencies, which in turn grade each institution based on a set of standards. If the college you’re going to isn’t accredited, it’s very unlikely many of your credits will even be transferable when you decide to go on to a 4-year college. Enrolling in an accredited college ensures that all the time and money that you spent doesn’t get lost in transition.

Community college may not be the most attractive of places to go to when moving forward with your education. It’s everything that college is, but without the campus life; you know, with crazy wild parties and the sort. But if that’s the reason you’re going to college, then you’re going for the wrong reason. You’re going there to learn. That’s what you/your parents are spending all that money for. If you’re not sure what you want to do for a career, then the best thing you can do for yourself in the meantime is go to a community college and get your 2-year degree. Not only is this much cheaper than going to a university, but it’s much easier than anything you’ll take at a 4-year college, making it a great place to prepare yourself until you’re finally ready to major in something.