Feature: What is best suitable for you: University or Community College?


Taylor Cha, Journalism Student

Many students decide that college is the route they want to take, but now they are faced with another hard decision- What college is best for them? 

There is a long list of different types of college that you can attend. We have community, university, trade, private, public, and even more. Let’s cut that list down and focus on community college and university college.

The biggest difference you may think of is the price. Community college is more budget friendly, meanwhile the university is a lot more expensive. The first thing to consider is your price range and what is best suitable for your financial situation. Many students have to keep this in mind while many others don’t have to worry about this.

Although you may be able to attend university, many find that the big campus is a little too big for them. Many university students actually end up transferring to smaller colleges due to the size of the campus. It is always recommended to do college visits and get a feel for the campus itself. 

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at some upsides about community college. Community college in most cases is usually one building, a closed campus. You won’t have to worry about taking 30 minutes to an hour to get to your next class or worry about transportation. 

Student at Century Community College, Logan Lee says “Resources tend to be very close to you and everything is easier to find.”

If you like being more involved in class and have easier access to professors, community college has smaller classes. For many students, it is very important to feel closer to professors and those around them. Community college will definitely feel more like a “community”.

Lee states “Some teachers reach out to you more, such as reminders for assignments and homework.”

Just like many colleges, community college offers many clubs and activities. 

Student at Century Community College, Mai Moua says “It was really easy to get used to the campus because everyone is welcoming. They have activities on campus for us to be more familiar with the college’s activities and clubs.” 

Let’s cover some downsides for community college now. 

Something community college does not specialize in is sports, therefore they don’t create teams and have games that would create that fun school spirit that many students look forward to.

Moua says “Community college doesn’t have that many options for sports, so I would like the full on experience, football games, basketball games and all that.”

Community College does not offer dorming. A lot of students appreciate that dorm experience and having roommates, but community college does not offer that experience.

For some students, this may be an upside, as they prefer not to be forced to dorm and pay for room and board. Community college overall doesn’t give the same experience as a “movie like” university experience will give. 

In addition to that, we should discuss more about universities and what they have to offer.

The university sets a place to feel like home due to the fact that many students live on or around campus, and rely a lot on their resources. A student from University Of Minnesota, Dylan Yang says “You have a lot of resources to reach out too. At the University Of Minnesota you can get free covid tests, free eye exams and more health necessities.” 

Students usually don’t know where or how to get access to health care especially when they are away from home, but most universities bring it to their students’ attention that they have available resources everywhere. 

64% of students stop pursuing college due to mental health issues. Many universities are now found to provide free therapy for students to help support them. 

It comes to many people’s attention that college students are known to put on some weight while in college due to poor habits of stress eating or lack of reach for healthy foods. Many universities have gyms and allow their students to have free access to it whenever they want. 

Yang says “You have access to a lot of the things on campus like the gym.” as this may be important to many students. 

Some students prefer not to work while in college, while others need to, to provide for themselves. Some universities offer places to work on campus or around campus and students who are employed within the university also earn benefits.

When there are many things the university has to offer, there are always some flip sides that come with them.

Universities are known for being very big, and sometimes socializing may become an issue in places like these. 

A student from University Of California Davis, Crystal Vang says “I feel like I belong at times but other times, I just think there is such a big population here that it’s hard to say you really “belong” at all times.”

It’s always a great thing to step out of your comfort zone but for others, a university may just be a little too much out of one’s comfort zone, and that’s something to consider for students enrolling into big universities.

Something else to consider is the difficulty of  getting in. Universities are known for having a lower acceptance rate than smaller colleges. Students face the fear of the hard competition of getting accepted into their dream universities every year. 

Depending on where you live, Minnesota for instance, you may have to consider the harsh weather conditions you have to face while having to walk class to class outside on campus. 

Yang says “I get stuck walking outside in any weather condition because professors usually decide to keep classes going.”

If you know Minnesota, you know that the weather is inconsistent and hard to predict. For warmer friendly places though, that’s not too much to worry about. 

Just like that, a list of things to consider while applying to your colleges! It’s good to keep in mind and list out the goods vs the odds out of all your options. 

Many students realize that the choice they picked out didn’t suit them as best as they thought, even after making them. If you still aren’t sure, that’s okay. One third of students end up transferring before earning their degree. You never know until you try!