Many Students Still See the Value in Attending Community College

By Chris Hassan
Posted September 06, 2012 01:00 PM

For some students, community college is an affordable option.
For some students, community college is an affordable option.
In California, community college students have certainly seen better days. Due to mounting budget cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports that the nation's largest community college system has already experienced a 17% drop in enrollment since the 2008-2009 school year.

While many community colleges outside of California are also seeing lower enrollment numbers these days, this is not the case with every institution. In Maryland, for example, Carroll Community College has seen a 1% jump in its total number of students, according to the Carroll County Times. Part-time associate's degree seekers are helping fuel the rise in enrollment, as their numbers increased by 3.3%.

In New England, interest in attending a community college rather than a four-year college or university is also high, New England Cable News (NECN) reports. Whereas Southern Maine Community College is known to attract its fair share of nontraditional students, younger individuals are also seeing the benefits of enrolling at the school.

A year at an institution within Maine's community college system typically costs about $3,300, which also means it has the lowest tuition in New England. For this reason, many students prefer spending two years at Southern Maine and then transferring to a four-year college.

"It's so much cheaper and smarter to go to community college first," 25-year-old student Melissa Whelpley told NECN.

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