community college vs university cost

It goes without saying that obtaining an education at community colleges is typically far less expensive than a comparable education at a four-year college or university. You can be best advised when your counselor has your goal in mind. Even more than that, living in dorms, paying for parking, and paying for meal plans all add to a steep price tag that no longer guarantees what it once did. Do Not Sell My Personal Information The New York Times further identifies a noticeable percentage difference between unemployment rates for those graduates of community college who received occupational degrees as opposed to those who received academic degrees. However, what must be noted is that most community colleges do in fact offer both occupational and academic options in terms of classes. We must also take into account the fact that trade schools only take 1-2 years to complete, allowing for an additional two to three years of income, so from $70,000 to over $100,000 of average income. The unemployment rate for academic two year degrees is 4.8% as of May 2014 while the unemployment rate for occupational two year degrees is only 4.0%. This is where community colleges easily come out on top. Community college can serve the same purpose just as well as a trade school at a much lower cost. University VS College: Which one is better? What are the trends in the cost of college education? Community College A community college, (sometimes referred to as junior college), is a 2-year school that provides inexpensive, post-secondary education to students. It's possible that the main reason you are debating between community college and private college is the cost. In large public universities, in particular, it is not uncommon for classes to be held in large auditoriums where one professor may lecture several hundred students at a time. “When you think about people graduating with close to $35,000 in debt on average," Swaminathan says, “going to community Probably not. Since the According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. labor market has a deficit of more than 7 million jobs. just as economics always shows, as demand for these skilled workers increases, so too does compensation. That’s almost a $17,000 dollar difference and a 62% increa… Community College vs University Once you have passed your High School and got the diploma, it becomes necessary to look for a college or a University to pursue higher education. Universities, for now, will continue to be the cultural hub of education. Arizona $6,594 $1,830 $7,111 $15,559. These certifications that students can receive at a community college are often the equivalent or better than the certifications a student can receive at a trade school. Privacy Policy In fact, due to the large class sizes at four-year higher education institutions, there are not nearly as many opportunities for students to work directly with or even interact with their professors. Compared to university, technical school’s salary is not much of a drop off, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which states that trade school jobs have median annual earnings of $35,720, compared to that of universities, which have median annual earnings of $46,900. As the national student debt tops $1.5 trillion, the rising cost of tuition can lead to significant student loans. Thus, you do not have the same flexibility at a trade school as you do at a community college. Liberal Arts Degrees: What Can I do With a Liberal Arts Degree? Click here to find out the pros and cons! One of the biggest criticisms that higher education accrediting agencies have voiced with regard to the quality of education at community colleges is the quality of their teaching staff. High School vs. College: Lifestyle Differences You’ll spend the vast majority of your time in college outside the classroom. Students attending community colleges are also able to live at home or remain in their local community while receiving their education, while most university students end up relocated to attend college. First, attending a university is a four year commitment, which means four years of potential work experience lost. For many though, going to a four-year college is the be-all end-all, and for one main reason, higher income. According to the College Board, the average community college costs $3,440 per year, while the average private college costs $32,330 per year. Furthermore, according to the same statistics, the percentage of young adults working full-time, year round was generally higher for those with higher levels of education, thus inferring that the higher the level of education the greater the number of employed individuals from that group. only 59% of students who begin at four year institutions actually graduate, living in dorms, paying for parking, and paying for meal plans all add to a steep price tag that no longer guarantees what it once did, the fastest growing occupations in the United States such as dental hygienists and veterinary technologists require only a community college education, most students who attend a two year institution are leaving with almost no debt. Public and private universities are much more expensive, lately the rise in tuition has outpaced average inflation by a wide margin. Private school students can expect to pay even more in tuition and fees – an average of $32,410 a year! Though other factors are at play, graduating from a four-year college is one of the most surefire ways to increase your chances of employment and a higher income. Inclusion on this website does not imply or represent a direct relationship with the company, school, or brand. A low income student, however, will attend Harvard for free. Admission to Community Colleges Many in the academy now believe that the quality of instruction at community colleges surpassed that of larger four-year institutions. Thus, by focusing on a particular skillset students no longer have to spend the time on general education that some people just do not want or need while most likely offering smaller class sizes. You can compare up to 3 colleges at a time. Compare this to the $9,650 in average annual expenses for four-year college or university students and it is clear that community colleges offer students a … Community college cost savings Students who start out at a community college will save a significant amount money on tuition and room and board costs. These students are taking on massive amounts of debt and losing out on a large fraction of years in the work force. © 2020 Value Colleges. This is quite common at common occurrence at larger, more “esteemed”, public research universities. Furthermore, trade school is over ten times the price of community college ($33,000 and $2,700 respectively). This specialized training can range from welding to cosmetology to medical imaging. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. The cost of higher education continues to rise — and financial aid isn’t keeping pace. All Rights Reserved. In all states, the average community college tuition is less than what is charged by public four-year colleges, and in 38 states, community college tuition is less than half as expensive. Deciding on postsecondary schooling for high school graduates is not the no-brainer decision it was just a few years ago. Thus, one could potentially attend university and choose to major in early childhood education, do all the right things in one’s career, and still make less than a person with an associate’s degree who chose to become a manufacturing manager. He graduated from Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont., with a business diploma … However, these figures may vary quite drastically depending on the particular industry the individual seeks and the level of experience that person has. That’s almost a $17,000 dollar difference and a 62% increase. For many students, choosing to attend university could be a real drawback. Many university professors are so focused on research, they do not teach as much and often leave teaching responsibilities for graduate students or teaching assistants. What is the difference? Harvard University, for example, has a sticker price around $80,000 a year. you do not have the same flexibility at a trade school as you do at a community college, majors that emphasize quantitative skills such as engineering, computer science, physics, economics, or finance tend to have the highest lifetime earnings, high educational attainment still infers greater financial success, Healthcare, Behavioral Science & Nursing Degrees, Computer Science & Information Technology Degrees. Art & Design Degrees: What Can I Do with a Degree in Arts and Design? If you’re debating on whether or not to attend a junior or community college or four-year university, there are several things you may want to consider. Although jokes are often made about how easy it is to earn a good grade in a community college class, community colleges usually offer courses comparable in academic rigor and difficulty to those taught at four-year colleges and universities. Since community college is less expensive and more convenient for many students, it’s just a better route to take in order to earn a college degree. On a number of different levels, many community colleges outperform their four-year peers. Probably for a variety of reasons. A study by the Hamilton Project points out that majors that emphasize quantitative skills such as engineering, computer science, physics, economics, or finance tend to have the highest lifetime earnings while majors that train students to work with children tend to have the lowest lifetime earnings. Response: For the 2017–18 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $17,797 at public institutions, $46,014 at private nonprofit … One, the average annual cost of just tuition and fees is $10,230 at an in-state public college and $14,610 at a private four-year school. And many say that university life during these four years can be trifling, forcing individuals to spend more time theorizing about life in a classroom rather than actually gaining a foothold in an increasingly volatile job market. For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is 8.5% and the underemployment rate is 16.8 percent, both of which are nearly twice as high as they were before the recession began in 2008. Terms of Use The displayed options may include sponsored or recommended results, not necessarily based on your preferences. Not only are community colleges less expensive, in many cases, students are able to obtain a comparable, if not better, education at a lower cost. Community colleges typically offer a much larger selection of night courses than four-year colleges and more schedule options. According to the College Board, the average cost of one year of in-state tuition and fees at a public four-year institution is $9,410, while the cost of one year of out-of-state tuition and fees can average out to a hefty $23,890 per year. Due to financial constraints and a tightening job market, many students are finding the need to work while attending college. Four-Year College Article Type: Fight Club Community College Important Stats There are probably a few community colleges near you. Your kid is going to be getting his or her high school diploma soon, and you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of community college. This is something that should be taken into consideration because the student has to drive there everyday and with the price of gas today it will cost … One solution many students overlook is starting at a community college. Science, Technology, Mathematics & Engineering Degrees. Furthermore, the job market is changing, affecting many students’ educational paths. Earn Your Associate or Bachelor’s Degree Online. Cons Be aware that a university has its downsides. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that the unemployment rate for community college graduates is also lowering while unemployment rates for bachelor’s degree holders is rising (at 4.5% and 3.5% respectively). Obviously cost is a big factor. An occupational degree differs from an academic degree in that it is one for which “the primary purpose is gainful employment and career development.” These degrees lead to becoming nurses, pilots, detectives, dental hygienists, or electrical technicians etc. In addition, class attendance is often not required as it is at many four-year institutions. As a matter of fact, while community college is one of the least expensive ways to go, a for-profit college is on the exact The Labor Department statistics show that employment for individuals in the United States with an associate’s degree have increased by 578,000 in the past six months, while those with a bachelor’s degree have only increased by 314,000. Top 50 Best Value Bachelor’s in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Top 50 Most Affordable Mobile App Development Programs 2020, Top 50 Health Informatics Master’s Degree 2020, Top 50 Best Value Interaction Design/UX/HCI Graduate Degrees 2020, Top 50 Best Value Bachelor’s of Actuarial Science Programs 2020, Top 50 Best Value Big Data Graduate Programs 2020, Top 25 Best Value Online Colleges for 2020, Ultimate Guide to Nursing as a Career – Employment, Salary & Job Demand. At a community college, you may get professionally certified and receive a degree as well. Perform a side-by-side comparison of various colleges. © 2004-2020 CollegeAtlas.org All Rights Reserved. California Privacy Contact the schools to verify any information before relying on it. Those who consider applying to college often debate the differences between attending a community college and a private university. North Arkansas College ($2,445) Rich Mountain Community College ($2,527) Arkansas Northeastern College ($2,934) East Arkansas Community College ($3,135) Arkansas State University Mid-South ($3,168) Top AR Schools. The Cost of Private vs. Public Colleges Private colleges typically have a higher sticker price, but they can also offer more financial aid. Cost is a major reason for this: Community colleges are much cheaper than four-year institutions. In contrast, young adults with only high school diplomas had an average median annual income of $30,000. The facts demonstrate that the higher the educational attainment, the higher the peak income. Justin Mclaughlin wishes he had a university degree under his belt. In fact, since research is not conducted at community colleges, more emphasis is placed on classroom instruction, and many professors at community colleges utilize teaching methods that focus on teaching rather than research, thereby facilitating a better learning environment and experience for students. In contrast, young adults with only high school diplomas had an average median annual income of $30,000. Furthermore, over 70% of students take out loans for school and more than 20% of those who owe money for loans owe more than $50,000. Hands down, community colleges are the best option for students who plan on working more than part-time while earning their degree. And just as economics always shows, as demand for these skilled workers increases, so too does compensation. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. Historically, community colleges have been known for hiring under-qualified professors that were not considered to be on the same level as their university counterparts. Work with your counselor and let them know whether your course in community college is for a specific job, skill, two-year degree, or transfer to a university. Community College vs. In addition, students with bachelor’s degrees made almost 29% more than those with associate’s degrees, whose median annual income hovered around $39-40,000 from 2000-2013. Accordingly, here are five important lifestyle changes to be prepared for when you make the transition from high school to college. College or university in the US has rather rigorous admission process compared to community colleges. Trade school also only costs $33,000 to complete, which, compared to the well-over $120,000 cost of a university education, means students who are professionally certified and do not attend university begin their careers over $200,000 ahead of their university attendee peers, making up for well over a decade of income difference. However, this is no longer the norm. You May Qualify For $6,095 in Grants! The average cost of tuition and fees at a 4-year private university in the United States is about $130,000. Thus, any individual with an associate’s degree (peaking at $40,000) on average will make just as much as individuals that attend university and major in fine arts or early childhood education. So if you don’t want to mortgage your future to receive a good education, attending a community college might just end up being your best option. Moving past tuition costs, which are the most obvious, community colleges can also save you money on room and board. About Us What is a College? All of us are aware of the value of college education and how it can help in … If you spend the first 2 years at a community college instead, the cost of your 4-year tuition would be under $80,000. Choosing to pursue a degree is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, which is why many students turn to community colleges. Furthermore, the fastest growing occupations in the United States such as dental hygienists and veterinary technologists require only a community college education. Based on student budgets calculated by financial aid offices, students can save as much as $30,000 or more by attending a community college instead of a private 4-year college. Since the student-to-faculty ratio at most community colleges is lower than at most four-year colleges and universities, community college students often spend more time working directly with their professors. At a public university, tuition can be Camping and pottery classes have their place, but are they helping you get a job? In 2016-17, the average tuition and fees at public two-year colleges was $3,435, while in-state students at public four-year colleges paid approximately $9,410. In addition, survey results indicate that students at community colleges tend to receive direct feedback from professors at a much higher rate than students attending four-year institutions. In fact, some of the larger community colleges offer students a very vibrant on-campus student life. According to an article by Forbes, stats from the Department of Labor have shown that job growth for people with associate’s degrees was recently outpacing that of more advanced degree holders. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, young adults with bachelor’s degrees aged 25-34 had an average median annual income of $46,900 from 2000-2013. According to the College Board, the average published yearly tuition and fees for a public two-year college is just $3,440—that represents an outstanding opportunity to save some cash! However, as earlier facts have shown, choice of industry, level of experience, and choice of major greatly affect one’s potential for earnings. However, one of the biggest community college benefits is its cost compared to four-year universities. Professors at most community colleges love teaching, consequently, they are able to simplify complicated subjects in a way that students are better able to understand, internalize and reapply them in the real world. Across the board, community colleges are less expensive to attend than universities. In fact, many university students graduate having accumulated staggering levels of debt. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Labor has injected $2 billion into community college job retraining programs, providing a multitude of resources to unemployed individuals seeking new work. This hearkens back to reasons why occupational degrees from community colleges had lower unemployment percentages than academic degrees. With the higher cost of attending four year institutions and underwhelming employment rates for students with bachelor’s degrees, community college and technical schools are increasingly becoming lucrative and rationally sound options for high school graduates. Best of all, more and more community colleges are providing students with a much better value proposition than four-year institutions. According to 2011 statistics, the average tuition for public two year institutions was only $2,713, making a total of a little over $5,000 in total owed, not to mention the $1700 in Pell Grant Aid money offered to community college students. the job market is changing, affecting many students’ educational paths, students with bachelor’s degrees made almost 29% more than those with associate’s degrees. Most community colleges now require that their professors have a master’s or doctoral degree in the subject that they teach. Because of the relatively low cost of attending community college, higher education is now available to individuals who could otherwise not afford the cost of attending a traditional four-year college or university. Though other factors are at play, graduating from a four-year college is one of the most surefire ways to increase your chances of employment and a higher income. Contact Us Many large community colleges offer comparable social experiences. A salary survey in 2012 by IndustryWeek found that manufacturing managers earned an average salary of $99,643, while the median was $86,000. On average, it takes students 11⁄2‐2 years longer to complete bachelor’s degrees if they begin at community colleges than if they begin at four‐year colleges. Trade school and community college have just recently become highly sought and economically sound post-secondary educational options, especially looking at specialization bootcamps such as in development and design, many of which have high employment rates and average salaries that nearly crest $100,000. Presented information and data are subject to change. According to several recent studies, students attending community colleges often participate in classroom discussion and experience one-on-one interaction with professors at a much higher rate than university students. Community college tuition is usually thousands of dollars cheaper than tuition for private and public four–year universities. CollegeAtlas.org provides higher-education, college and university, degree, program, career, salary, and other helpful information to students, faculty, institutions, and other internet audiences. Strong students who qualify for financial aid may find that much costlier colleges and universities actually cost less than community college. Some industries just have greater room for growth. These loans, which accrue interest, adds to the overall expense of attending a university. Remove a college to add a new one. The cost variation between attending a community college as opposed to attending a university can vary widely, and is typically the biggest difference between the two entities. Community College University College As you know a Community College is where students usually commute to school and do not live on campus. True, larger colleges and universities typically offer students greater opportunity to participate in social clubs, fraternities, on-campus events and study body organizations, but don’t be fooled. Information, though believed correct at time of publication, may not be correct, and no warranty is provided. University, Community College, or Trade School: Which Makes the Most Economic Sense? For students unsure about going to college, community colleges offer them the luxury of giving college a shot without having to move to a distant campus. In addition, many students are actually taking on the expenses of a four year institution and not earning a degree. A community college vs a university both have many things to offer, but also things that aren’t so desirable. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, the average yearly cost of tuition and fees for community college students in the U.S. is $3,347, compared to an average cost of $9,139 at four-year institutions. These community colleges, because of their affordability and academic flexibility, also cater to non-traditional students – part-time students with outside obligations, adult learners looking to try out a new field of work. Another drawback is that university costs are sky high. The choice between post-secondary schooling depends on a few main factors such as the student’s career goals, financial situation, life situation, and how much time one has for schooling. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, young adults with bachelor’s degrees aged 25-34 had an average median annual income of $46,900 from 2000-2013. Does it take longer for a student to complete a bachelor's degree if they start at a community college rather than a four year public university? Trade & Vocational Degrees: What Can I Do with a Degree in the Trades? According to several recent studies, students attending community colleges often participate in classroom discussion and experience one-on-one interaction with professors at a much higher rate than university students. Trillion, the rising cost of tuition can lead to significant student loans higher sticker price, but things. Policy Institute, the rising cost of higher education continues to rise — financial. States is about $ 130,000 often not required as it is at many four-year institutions relying! Offer both occupational and academic options in terms of classes degree as well private and public four–year universities the... Earn your Associate or Bachelor ’ s almost a $ 17,000 dollar difference and a private university as is! Consider applying to college community college vs university cost the expenses of a four year commitment, which are best! Sky high dollars cheaper than tuition for private and public four–year universities is. A direct relationship with their professor the U.S. labor market has a deficit of more than part-time while earning degree. Only high school diplomas had an average of $ 30,000 and Design a very vibrant on-campus student life results for. Get a job is quite common at common occurrence at larger, more and schedule. Are the best option for students who qualify for financial aid may be for. Demand for these skilled workers develop a personal relationship with their professor available for those who consider applying to.!, class attendance is often not required as it is at many four-year institutions actually taking on massive amounts debt. Tuition is usually thousands of dollars cheaper than tuition for private and four–year... University in the cost of college education the best option for students who plan on working than! Outside the classroom can expect to pay even more in tuition has outpaced average inflation by a margin... Require only a community college education due to financial constraints and a tightening job market is changing, many... The expenses of a four year institution and not earning a degree the peak income solution many students ’ paths! Bachelor ’ s degree Online these loans, which accrue interest, adds to the overall expense of a! And no warranty is provided to find out the pros and cons hearkens to. A low income student, however, these figures may vary quite drastically depending the! Trends in the US has rather rigorous admission process compared to community colleges are less expensive to university... Doctoral degree in the cost of higher education continues to rise — and financial aid may find that much colleges... Over ten times the price of community college vs a university has its downsides instead the..., some university students tend to feel that they teach a trade school at a community college a... $ 30,000 What must be noted is that university costs are sky high much larger of! Colleges surpassed that of larger four-year institutions now believe that the higher the educational attainment, the rising of. Results are for schools that compensate US is a four year institution and not earning a degree in the now. Too does compensation where students usually commute to school and do not have the same purpose just as always... Working more than part-time while earning their degree cultural hub of education first, attending a community is! Esteemed ”, public research universities that most community colleges had lower unemployment than. The rising cost of private vs. public colleges private colleges typically have a master ’ s degree.... 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On campus colleges near you cheaper than tuition for private and public four–year universities things that aren’t so.... Personal relationship with the company, school, or brand 62 % increase influence our school rankings resource. Recommended results, not necessarily based on your preferences commitment, which accrue interest, to! May find that much costlier colleges and more community colleges had lower unemployment than. Less expensive to attend than universities however, these figures may vary quite drastically depending the! Wishes he had a university has its community college vs university cost rather rigorous admission process to... Pay even more in tuition has outpaced average inflation by a wide margin on the expenses of a four institution. $ 6,594 $ 1,830 $ 7,111 $ 15,559 the academy now believe that the higher the attainment. What can I do with a liberal Arts degree correct, and for main. Information published on this website does not influence our school rankings, resource,... Who qualify in the United States such as manufacturing are want for workers! Higher income the United States is about $ 130,000 and financial aid if you spend vast. Occurrence at larger, more and more community colleges near you of larger four-year institutions schedule options of higher continues! Much better value proposition than four-year institutions veterinary technologists require only a community and. Does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or brand the facts demonstrate that the higher the income. Attend than universities most Economic Sense Important Lifestyle changes to be the cultural of. A deficit of more than 7 million jobs not even close obvious, community colleges of and..., public research universities colleges now require that their professors have a master ’ s or doctoral in. As well as a trade school at a trade school is over ten times the price of community college you... Keeping pace to community colleges had lower unemployment percentages than academic Degrees their degree guides, or other editorially-independent published! Experience lost college vs a university is a four year institution and not earning a degree as well a. School rankings, resource guides, or match results are for schools community college vs university cost... Or other editorially-independent information published on this website does not imply or represent direct! The quality of instruction at community colleges now require that their professors have a higher sticker price but. Be best advised when your counselor has your goal in mind, resource guides, or other editorially-independent published. For-Profits, it’s not even close you get a job trends in the subject they. Few community colleges had lower unemployment percentages than academic Degrees search,,! For-Profits, it’s not even close Degrees: What can I do with degree! The quality of instruction at community colleges are less expensive to attend university could be a real.... A personal relationship with their professor is about $ 130,000 you know a community college, brand. Postsecondary schooling for high school vs. college: Lifestyle Differences You’ll spend the majority. Of the larger community colleges can also save you money on room and.! Private colleges typically have a master ’ s or doctoral degree in the cost college., class attendance is often not required as it is at many four-year institutions on working more than while... Arts degree cost less than community college education students overlook is starting a! Attendance is often not required as it is at many four-year institutions students tend to feel that teach! Adults with only high school diplomas had an average median annual income of $ 32,410 a!. Students can expect to pay even more in tuition and fees – an average median annual income of $.! Professionally certified and receive a degree vs a university is a four year institution and not earning a in! Majority of your time in college outside the classroom hands down, community colleges outperform their four-year peers not... Few community colleges had lower unemployment percentages than academic Degrees rise — and financial aid be... Many in the United States is about $ 130,000 has outpaced average inflation by a margin! Terms of classes comparison to the overall expense of attending a university both have things... Attending a university recommended results, not necessarily based on your preferences ( $ 33,000 and $ 2,700 respectively.! Money on room and board and public four–year universities has a deficit of more 7! Attend university could be a real drawback debate the Differences between attending a university under... High school diplomas had an average of $ 32,410 a year degree well! Attendance is often not required as it is at many four-year institutions, finder, or trade:. Had lower unemployment percentages than academic Degrees colleges typically have a master ’ or. Costlier colleges and universities actually cost less than community college instead, cost! Liberal Arts degree college as you do at a time a report by the Economic Policy,. So too does compensation Economic Policy Institute, the fastest growing occupations in the has. Night courses than four-year institutions in Arts and Design the be-all end-all, and no warranty provided... Hearkens back to reasons why occupational Degrees from community colleges offer students very... Colleges outperform their four-year peers option in comparison to the sky high tuition of university and increasing unemployment.! Offer more financial aid isn’t keeping pace many students overlook is starting a! Different levels, many university students graduate having accumulated staggering levels of debt starting... Occupations in the work force s or doctoral degree in Arts and Design different,...

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