Indian students who are having a hard time securing admission in top US universities, here’s a great news for you! Not all hope is lost if your percentage or grade point does not qualify for admission into a US state university, the American higher education system has made schooling accessible and affordable for international students through many of its two-year community colleges. And now you may ask what a community college is?

Community College is a higher education institute that offers two-year associate and transfer degrees in a variety of disciplines, at the fraction of the cost of traditional four-year universities. There are numerous state-wide and province-wide community colleges in the US and Canada respectively. Students prefer to attend a community college because the admission criteria tends to be more relaxed allowing students even with an average grade point and a limited budget to pursue their higher education dream. Still not convinced? Here are our top 5 reasons why community college may be a great option for you.

1. Time to Make an Informed Decision

Most students are clueless about the course they want to pursue and the kind of college they want to get admission in after they pass out high school or HSC boards. At this junction choosing to study at a community college is the right decision because it will give you enough time to explore study options while you settle into your daily college routine and grasp the US culture one step at a time. Plus, if you’re planning on transferring from a community college to a four-year university, you’re able to take as many classes as you want. This means that you can figure out what you want to major in before you enter a university where classes cost a lot more!

Students and families should consider attending a community college for many good reasons. Community colleges have small classes (better learning environment), much lower tuition (compared to universities), easier and faster admission than universities, and they focus on teaching (as opposed to research at universities), and have good student support services.

- Bjorn Myhre, Director of International Recruitment, Green River College

2. Save Money

If you’re not sure what you want to do or what school you want to go to, community college is a great time to figure that out without wasting money. It can help you avoid taking out expensive student loans and starting your career under the pressure of crippling debt! Even if you do know what you want to study and where community college can help you save thousands of dollars in tuition fees before transferring to the university after two years. Plus, many community colleges have great partnership programs with universities that make it easy to transfer your credits.

community college inblog1

3. Quality Education

Students sometimes underestimate the quality of education offered at community colleges, however, they overlook the fact that most lecturers employed at a community college also teach at a four-year university. The course curriculum delivered at a local community college is on par with the course structure of a four year university which also means that credits earned during two years spent at a community college can be transferred towards completion of a bachelor’s degree programme in university. Community colleges offer small class sizes which means that you can get personalized attention of your faculty and all the support you need to excel.  Community colleges also offer you a variety of valuable networking opportunities, such as career fairs and clubs, that can help you develop your future career.

4. Improved Grades

If you are worried that your poor grades can come in the way of getting admission in your dream school, then fret no more. The admission criteria of a community college are comparatively relaxed which means it is easier to secure admission. Once you have got your place, you can work hard to improve your grades throughout the two years of community college. By working hard for two years and achieving great results, you’ll have a second shot at getting into a top university or even securing a scholarship for further studies. By developing strong relationships with your mentors and professors, you’ll also have the added benefit of some great references for your university application

5. Flexible Schedules

Community college programs are designed to cater to all types of students including working adults, which means that they usually offer a range of study options including evening, weekend and online courses. If you need to work a full-time job or have other commitments in your life, the flexibility of community college means that you can easily fit your education around your lifestyle

green river college inblog

We asked a few Green River College students why they would recommend attending a community college first (as opposed to a 4-year university).  Here’s what one of them said:

“Going to a community college helped my financial situation because it is cheaper than a four-year university. The class sizes at a community college are smaller which means that it is easier for the students to reach out to the professors. The bond between students and other faculty members in a community college are also stronger because the campus is small enough for all of us to know each other but big enough to have a spacious learning place.”

SchoolApply advisors are always ready to help you decide which college and location will go hand in hand with your passion, all you need to do is click here

Co-Author: Mustafa Sutarwala is an all-round creative marketing graduate from Amity University Dubai, and is currently working in Dubai. He's inclined to digital marketing communications and works as the Creative Ninja for SchoolApply.