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Community College, is it just the 13th grade?

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    I've gone to two before. One, was to get my basics out of the way, and two was for extended education in a hobby of mine, after I got my degree from a university. I remember my first days at a community college, it really reminds me of the show "Community" which takes place in a community college. The school I was in was reportedly the best one in its district, but it always felt... off. Compared to the university I went to later, even the teachers seemed to not take their jobs as seriously. It felt like the continuation of high school.

    All that aside, when I tried to transfer my credits to a 4 year university, hardly any transferred. It was seemingly a waste of time and money. So the question is, is it still a good move to go for your "basics" at a 2 year school and then try to squeeze them in at a 4 year? Back in my day, it was the smart option, but with the cost of education increasing every year, it seems more a like a literal gamble than a smart move. From where I'm sitting, I don't think I'd advise anyone to go that route anymore. One is better off just sticking with a 4 year university. Perhaps, it's cheaper in the long run... Thoughts?

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    It's not a waste of time or money as long as you 100% know what you want to be going to school for. If you change your major halfway through generals/basics, then some of those classes will be a waste. But even still, I would rather waste credit hours at a cheaper institution while I am still figuring things out early on; that's one of the benefits of a community college.

    Also, you need to make sure to contact the school you intend to transfer those credits to, and tell them the exact course numbers and the community college you are attending (be very specific), to completely verify the credits will transfer correctly. If there is any doubt, don't take that class because it very likely will be a waste.

    But as long as you verified the credits will transfer into the degree you know you are working toward, in my experience, it's definitely the way to go, financially speaking. As for the quality of the education you get vs a 4 year, it's a crap shoot. Sure, it's a safe bet that the better teachers will be at the more prestigious school. But when you are talking about Government 101/Psychology/Accounting/etc kind of classes, these classes are routinely given to the junior/less experienced/less-than-excited-to-be-there teachers regardless, no matter what college you are talking about.

    The #1 reason to do this is about the money. If money is no issue to you, then go straight to the 4 year. #2 reason is.. it's easier (usually) to pass the basic classes at a community college, less demanding in my experience. So there's another plus; pad your GPA early on.

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    Doesn't that sound like a lot of work, just to make the educational puzzle pieces fit? I still argue that it was more viable to do that 10 years ago, but with the gauntlet of registration that most colleges put prospective students through, you're better off going to a 4 year and calling it a day.
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    JFoster Wrote: Doesn't that sound like a lot of work, just to make the educational puzzle pieces fit? I still argue that it was more viable to do that 10 years ago, but with the gauntlet of registration that most colleges put prospective students through, you're better off going to a 4 year and calling it a day.

    If the costs were equal, for sure. But we are talking about thousands of dollars in difference for tuition, that a great majority of students will be taking out loans for. Loans that compile interest.

    If you google 'average university tuition', here's the stats you get (cited from a student support organization College Board):

    Average tuition per year full time (2014/2015):

    Public two-year colleges -- $3,347
    Public four-year colleges -- $9,139
    Public four-year, out-of-state -- $22,958
    Private non-profit, four year -- $31,231

    And the room and board is also more, sliding on the same scale:

    Public two-year colleges -- $7,705
    Public four-year colleges -- $9,804
    Public four-year, out-of-state -- $9,804
    Private non-profit, four year -- $11,188

    Total, when adding all the costs for attending each kind of college for a year:

    Public two-year colleges -- $11,052
    Public four-year colleges -- $18,943
    Public four-year, out-of-state -- $32,762
    Private non-profit, four year -- $42,419

    Of course that will vary from state to state, and school to school. But on average, it costs over $7,000 more per year to go to a 4 year, in state public school for your basics, over a community college. If you take 2 years of general basics (typical) that's $14,000 savings. I would say it's worth the extra effort. At the VERY least, it's worth your time to investigate and be aware of the cost differential. That $14K difference will quickly turn into $20k+ with interest, when it comes time to pay up, minus grants and scholarships.

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    Here's a breakdown for estimating 2016-17 college costs, in full.