Every year, millions upon millions of students struggle to objectively find a suitable college. For few, the financial burden is easy to carry. For those who unfortunately struggle with the financial aspects of their education, the idea of transferring after two years from a community college instead of attending a four year university seems profitable. However, there are both pros and cons to transferring versus a full four years at a university.
Cost of Tuition
The most obvious difference between the two is the cost of tuition. It is often cheaper to attend a two-year college than it is to enroll in a four year university. Statistically, you save a lot of money. In fact, according to usnews.com, at UMass Amherst, a 2+2 plan will leave a student to pay $49,000 rather than $95,000 – a significant difference. For many students, this seems to be the best route simply because they cannot live up to the price ranges offered by public or private universities. Easing the blow is the best thing they could do for their futures.
Living On and Off of Campus
Majority of the time, two year universities do not have dormitories available on campus, therefore, one would have to commute if one chose this path. For many four year universities, one may be even required to live on campus for their freshman year of college. Not only is it common that one would be limited in flexibility with transportation, but some colleges go as far as to disable a student from having a car their first year as well!
How far one can take their education is another fret. At a two year college, you are limited to receiving solely an Associate’s degree, whereas at a four year university, you can strive towards Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. One must understand that the first two years of college consist of general education courses and will be provided at both facilities. One must also ask themselves, “Will an employer accept a Certificate instead of a Master’s degree?”
However, one may feel more comforted after establishing relationship with their advisor after four years rather than two. It is also very likely that students fear that two year colleges live up to their misrepresentation of being full of “less than average” students. To those claims, many would refute that even the most prepared students may prove to be unprepared as they enter college. Community college, for example, allows more time to transition into the “real world.” Though community colleges are inclined to accept all who meet their low admission qualifications, if one did have a troubled time as a high school student, community college would serve as a “middle-man” and help to ease their transitions into a four year university.
In any case, one must be careful when transferring. Community colleges, such as Hillsborough Community College, are often linked to specific four year universities, such as the University of South Florida. This is not to say that it is impossible to transfer credits, say, out of state, however one must be aware of the probability that their credits acquired may not count at the university of their choosing.