With June coming up, there are many high school students committing to the colleges that they will be attending in the fall. While there is a good percentage of students who want to attend a four year college, there is just a good percentage of students who attend a community college. 

The Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), found that the percentage of high school graduates in California who attend college falls a little over 63%, and in that percentage, 37% of these students register to attend community college. 

Bonelli Hall located at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA. Photo taken by Allen Cuevas.

Being that the majority of high school students attend community college, there is the fallback of students overstaying their two years or not transferring to excel for an advanced education to a four year university. 

Considering how there are college students undecided in their majors, for these particular individuals it takes longer than two years because regardless if they finish their general eds, they are still unsatisfied in the section of their major and if they want to finish their Associates Degree. 

Student Services Department at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA. Photo taken by Allen Cuevas.

Community college makes this matter in question undemanding because most community colleges like College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Pierce College offer road maps for degrees, degrees for transfer, or transfers only. 

Former UC San Diego student Audrey Delear shares how it is her “biggest financial regret so far in life” attending a UC college considering its prestige and status and how she is in “thousands of dollars in debt, and what was I even paying for besides all the amenities and the shiny library?”

Instead of attending a college with such prestige and having to spend thousands of dollars without financial aid, enrolling in a community college releases the financial burden and helps students finish their general-ed classes for a cost friendly price. 

One of the more common reasons why students lean more towards the community college route is because of how affordable it is and now that California is offering the Promise Program for first time students, where students can get two years of college for free or a waived cost, more students are more interested in partaking in this program.

Delear adds on further articulating “looking back, I would have graduated faster AND been in far less debt had I chosen to spend the first two years of college completing my GE courses at a community college, then transfer to a university for the classes that actually matter.”

Maria Ogdoc, UC Riverside student, chose to go to a four year not because of the admiration but to experience independence.

“I chose to go to a UC instead of a community college because I wanted to experience life outside of SCV” Ogdoc said. “I also chose to go to university because the UC system provides a lot of financial aid allowing me to attend and prefer university because it offers more challenges beyond the classroom, such as living independently.”

Independence is one thing that you may not be able to encounter while attending a community college. Gaining independence is something that four year college programs offer with the on campus housing. 

“For the students who do not strive as well in school that (independence) can be overwhelming so community college would most likely be the better option and It can help students smoothly transition into university” Ogdoc said.

Although four year institutes can permit for independence and adulthood, the underperforming students who struggled in high school can enroll in community college and improve their grades which allows for their transcript in community college to be considered if these students want to transfer and essentially erases their high school grade point average. 

Community college offers so many opportunities for those who are not able to afford going to a university and can even help students advance in their education. This is a chance for students to improve and better themselves at a steady pace while also given a chance to select a major without pressure.

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