Why Community College is the Best Option in Further Education


Lourdes Bullo, Features Editor

Most parents are quick to speak on the topic of alternative education (in reference to trade schools or community colleges, as opposed to state colleges or ivy leagues), and dismiss the mention of anything other than universities. The idea that community college is somehow “lesser than” in the realm of higher education completely negates the point of higher education itself. 

Community college is the closest thing to a free higher education experience as the United States currently provides, and with that, people should utilize the opportunities given to them. It’s the best option for almost any career course for three main reasons: it’s a wise choice financially; it gives you freedom to decide your future; and you can always transfer out. (P.S: The admissions rates for transfer students are slowly becoming higher than if you were to apply straight out of high school for many colleges.

Part of the reason why parents have vehement opposition to community college is cost, as I’ve heard from my friends’ parents and my neighbors sending their own kids off to college. It’s so surprising to me. The argument that community college is “too good to be true” or “some cheapo dumb kid college” is so unbelievably ignorant.

Some of the most famous and influential people today attended community college at one point of their life. Steve Jobs, George Lucas, and Morgan Freeman all attended, and look at the names and reputations they’ve built over the years. It’s a huge misconception that only those who didn’t find success in high school or those who didn’t apply themselves are the only ones who fill the lecture halls of SMC or otherwise.

And if you decide to make the wise decision straight out of high school and not take that tempting gap year to go backpacking across Europe, community college just might be the right choice.

The concept of “finding yourself” post-high school floats around in everybodies heads, and gap years are notably a terrible decision. It’s expensive, you can lose your momentum, and your friends will be ahead of you. Meanwhile, if you crave any sort of liberty before making that commitment and going back to school, you could decide to just take your general required courses at community college while you figure out your major. 

This is also where transfers come into play. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, my grades during my junior year of highschool took a nosedive. Not to mention the challenges I faced freshman year with my mental health, that also contributed to my poor grades. I made up all that I could, and continued on as the straight A student I always was. Seeing as a student’s junior year is one of the most important years colleges look at regarding grades, I had the feeling that I wouldn’t get accepted to my dream schools right off the bat. That’s where the idea of doing two years of required classes at a community college comes into play, as a chance to raise your GPA and grades in general, and take your chances of admission to the next level.

Personally, I wanted to go into medicine for the longest time, but given the COVID-19 pandemic, my grades aren’t up to par for my dream school admissions. And as I continue through my senior year, and as my love for media and journalism grows, I’ve made the decision to do the two years of required classes, then transfer to UCLA or USC when my major is decided.

There are many students like me who are high achievers, but everyone fell victim to circumstance in 2020, and that’s okay. We’re all making it one way or another, so whatever your college plans are, just note that community college, despite the misconceptions, is a wonderful option. 

And in the end, do what’s best for you, not for anyone else.