Is a University Worth It?


Choosing a college is tough.

And it should be. Going to college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.

While I can’t tell you where you should go, I can give you some pointers to help you decide between community college or a four-year school.

Community college is probably a good idea for you if...

You aren’t sure what you want to do yet.

Please, for your own good, do not invest $15,000 a year working towards a major you aren’t sure about. Start at a community college, take a few classes in the major you are considering and a few other areas of interest and re-assess your priorities a year later.

Cost is a big factor.

You could cut your college costs in half (or more) by starting at a community college. Tuition at community colleges is usually half the cost of tuition at four-year schools. With financial aid and scholarships, you may be able to finish the first two years of your degree for next to nothing.

You want more interaction with faculty and staff.

At a university, you are likely to be in classes with 500 other students—good luck hoping your instructor will recognize you outside of class, much less remember your name or have time to mentor you. In contrast, community college class sizes are much smaller, and instructors are more accessible than at a university.

The thought of a large school makes you nervous/You want an easy transition.

The right community college is the perfect balance between high school and college. It can help you ease into the higher academic expectations, independence and environment you’ll experience when you transfer to a university.

If any of these thoughts resonate with you, look into your local community colleges. You may be surprised at what they have to offer.

Don’t forget to put Southwestern Michigan College on your list of schools to investigate! For a quick overview, see our viewbook here.