Grad tells students to drop out, go to community college

Posted on December 11th, 2013

Do you want to graduate from the school of your dreams without going thousands of dollars into debt?

Start your degree at a community college, urges one University of Rochester graduate student.

In an article he wrote for his college newspaper and in the video above, grad student Peter Thayer recommends that college freshmen drop out and go to community college near their hometowns.

His advice may be surprising to some, but Thayer says it doesn’t make financial sense to pay private college tuition for four years just to come out with the same degree as someone who started at a 4-year college.

Community college is a smart investment

Thayer started his Engineering degree at Monroe Community College, a school that has several partnerships with 4-year universities. After two years, he transferred to Rochester with a scholarship as part of MCC’s 2+2 program with the 4-year university.

He was able to transfer all of his credits and graduate from Rochester, leaving him with the same degree as his classmates who started their education at the university.

At the freshman and sophomore level of classes, the quality of education per dollar at a community college is superior to any other institution.

After two years, work hard, and you can get into your dream university while saving $40k. Your transcript will look the same at the end of four years, I promise.

‘Education is what you make it’

Thayer says he loved his experience at MCC and believes he made the choice in starting there.

He says community college is an especially smart option for students who aren’t sure what they want to major in.

Education there is what you make it. If you really like what you study, you will thrive in whatever classroom you are put in and that will make you stand out.

I saw many of my friends change majors or take extra time to graduate and I thought, ‘At least an extra year costs $3,500 and not $35,000!’

Scholarships for community college

To make community college an even more competitive option for high-achieving students, some community colleges, including Thayer’s alma mater MCC, even offer full-tuition scholarships, allowing students to minimize their college costs during the first two years.

We’ve written before about how community colleges can save you money on your Bachelor’s degree, and we’re happy to see that someone who did it himself has such a positive experience.

Do you agree with Thayer’s advice? Is community college a better investment than spending four years at an expensive college or university? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter at @CFGCollege.

Category: Choosing a College

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