Friday, February 10, 2012

Community College Big Four

  1. Beware the Associates.  If your career goal requires only an Associates degree, fine but if not realize you may not be able to earn any more than a high school graduate.  If your future career requires a bachelor’s degree or higher you need to realize that every degree has a list of required courses or acceptable courses.  If you deviate from these lists, you are in danger of wasting precious time and money.  Completing an associate’s degree, and then going after a bachelor’s can add a whole year to your schooling.  Likewise, if going after a Doctorates degree, you can leapfrog the Masters degree and get done sooner.  
  2. Beware the knuckleheads.  You will be surrounded by a number of people who do not know how to do college level work.  Do not let their lack of work convince you to do less.  Know the grades necessary for transferring and do the work required to get them.  Many young adults keep their parents off their back by “tread milling” in community college.  You are not like these people for they have no real intention to get anywhere.  Seek out like minded people to study with and get out of there.
  3. Save your excess money.  If you are living with your parents and working part time while going to college, you will have excess money saved by the time you begin college.  If your grades are not good enough to get you into a public college, or you want to move out, you will need a lot of money.  Paying for two years of a private school is not as expensive as four and you can combine it with a small loan to make up the difference.  When doing your calculations remember that you will be making money while going to college in your last two years, so don’t forget to add that amount in.
  4. If transferring to a private school, make sure the school is regionally accredited.  National accreditation is generally considered not as thorough and may indicate a general lack of standards that mark a good collegiate program.  Some professions are very picky as to which degrees and accreditations are acceptable, so do your homework.  You don’t want to waste time and money doing something that adds no value to you.