How community colleges make education more affordable
11:12 AM, Jun 06, 2018
College can come with a hefty price tag that may deter people from pursuing higher education.
According to The College Board, the average cost of attending a private, four-year college or university is $32,410 per year. That number increases to $50,900 per year when room, board, supplies, transportation and other expenses are factored in.
The average bachelor’s degree requires anywhere from 50-90 general education class credit hours. This means a bachelor’s degree, if completed in between 120-140 class hours (as is typical), consists of 35-75 percent general education classes or electives.
Some smart college freshmen and their equally bright parents are beginning to choose community and junior colleges for their initial college experience. Two-year colleges often offer smaller class sizes, flexible schedules and convenient local campuses that are more accessible and less intimidating for first-time college students. They also save students thousands in student loans.
In 2017, the Community College Research Center at Columbia University conducted a study of the costs of college when starting at a four-year school versus the cost of college when starting at a community college before transferring. The study found that beginning one’s education at a community college is a sound financial decision.
The study, conducted to examine the effects of beginning a four-year degree at a community college, concluded, “…because community college is significantly lower in cost than a four-year college, it [is] worthwhile for students to start at community college.”