Community colleges are designed to be two-year schools but a lot of the time students take classes for four or more years just to transfer.
When it comes time for students to actually transfer to a university, they don’t always choose the best option they have. They may choose a school that is cheaper over the school that is the best fit. If students had the option to stay at a community college to earn a four-year degree, maybe students will make better choices on where and how to continue their education.
Not including any financial aid, grants, or scholarships, the difference between the cost of community colleges and universities is a few thousand dollars, according to the California Colleges official website.
According to the California colleges website, an average annual total for living off campus but not with your parents is $18,249 for community colleges, $22,840 for CSUs, $29,200 for UCs, and $48,937 for independent colleges. The charts are based on students taking 12 units per semester.
The website breaks the costs down even further. Fees and tuition is $1,104 for community colleges, $6,633 for CSUs, $13,200 for UCs, and $32,100 for independent colleges.
Mix high costs of education with the youth unemployment rate and it is not going to be easy to get through college.
In July 2013 there was 3.8 million people ages 16-24, who were unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 16.3 percent.
According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in September 2013 for people ages 20-24 with a disability is 32.4 percent and without disabilities is 63.1 percent.
Students struggle to get through college and try to get as much financial aid and other breaks as they can. They search for the best deals for their textbooks and supplies. Some have to rely on their parents while others have to do it all on their own.
If students want to get their four-year degree at a community college to save money, they should have that option.

One Reply to “OP-ED: Community colleges should give four-year degrees”

  1. Take a look at the state of Hawaii. They have married their community college programs with the University of Hawaii. All of their community college campuses include UH campuses and they offer both 2 year and 4 year degrees. It appears to have been a win/win for students.

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