Community or Four Year: which is the more dependable college choice?


Photo Courtesy: Kyla Rose

Mrs. Dominguez standing in front of the college banners present in her classroom. Avid teachers promote to Avid students going to a 4-year university.

Kyla Rose, Features Editor

Students choosing a four-year college and skipping over the community college route is a much more insightful investment due to the fact that classes are not guaranteed in community college and that students are more likely to stay in community college for a longer time than intended.

Grace Chen, a professor at Haas School of Business states, “In California, only 30% of community college students are receiving the benefits a college education can offer… the large majority of community college students failed to obtain a degree or transfer to a four-year institution.” Along with failing to transfer over to conclude their college degree, students tend to drop out not only with an unfinished education but with quantities of debt. “These students typically dropped out– some with a significant amount of debt and no degree to help them. In addition, only 40% of community college students achieved sufficient credit hours in school.”

“Most Arizona community colleges can also be referred to as ‘dropout factories,’ where the average three-year completion rate is just 18.2%. At some of the schools, the completion rate dropped as low as just 10%,” Chen writes. She explains that community colleges, more specifically in Arizona, tend to be known for low completion rate and low graduation rate.

While many strive straight for a four year, others find it quite challenging to attend college in more ways than one. It is well known that the competitiveness of a university can be intimidating, but that’s not the only obstacle preventing students from going. Money has been one of the largest factors in why students won’t apply to four-year universities. Not having anything to do with their IQ or GPA, but solely so that families and themselves are not in debt from the cost. Others may argue community is the better option. Due to the lower cost and easier access of an acceptance, the school is highly compact along with admission and courses.

I think just making the choice is and looking at the opportunities and what seems right to you is the most important thing.

— Ms. Dominguez

Don Lugo senior, Alex Ruiz expresses, “In my opinion I feel like a four year is more acceptable because you feel like you’re getting more out of what you want to study in the future.” Four year colleges are known to be more competitive when applying and attending. To attend a community all you need to do is apply. To get into a four year you need to not only need to make grades, you also need a high school diploma and go through the application process.

Ms. Dominguez, an English teacher at Don Lugo high school, says,” Well the main difference is that the community college offers a variety of programs to meet the communities needs. Where as a university is specifically for advanced degrees like a bachelors degree, masters degree and doctorate degrees. The community college will offer certificate programs, they’ll offer different types of training as well as the associate degree programs providing that transfer opportunity to the four year universities.” As Ms. Dominguez projects the key differences between the four year and community colleges, it is up to the student to decide which plan best suits them.

Truthfully four years has always been the long-term goal, although competitive, it is guaranteed with extended programs and more beneficial classes rather than a four year. Community is less expensive, though, less reliable.

All together being the more reliable option, 4-year should be the more considerable first choice option when applying to college.