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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Junior College vs. Four-Year University

Wondering if you should start off in the minors or go right to the big leagues? More and more people are choosing to start their collegiate careers at 2-year junior/community colleges instead of jumping right into the much more expensive alternative – mega-Universities. With the economy still recovering from the Rega-Bushanomic hangover, it’s just silly to jump into a 4 – 7 year commitment with a University you don’t even know that well! (Are you sensing the relationship metaphor?) Before you put a ring on it, shop around!

Let me be crystal clear; that perfect diamond that Jay put on Bey’s finger kind of clear. Your first two years at the University are spent taking basic courses like English 101, Effective Public Speaking, Biology 102, Business 103, and so on. Honey, you don’t have to pay 12,000 large for these classes. Trust! If it’s not being paid for by a trust fund, a scholarship, or financial aid, you do NOT have to force yourself to attend a University. Who cares what others think? Who cares where other people are going? If you worry about what other people think about you attending a junior college, you ought to think about your future bank account and how it will feel about paying back $30k - $100k in student loans. Um, yeah.

First of all, most people don’t even make it through their first year. Some don’t even make it through the first semester. So, why throw away tens of thousands of dollars for one year of English 101? It ain’t that exciting! Trust, the government and major companies who hand out loans like hot cakes won’t care that college just wasn’t for you, or that you had to go home to help out your mom, or that it took you a while to adjust and you ended up on academic probation. They don’t care, they want their money as soon as you drop out, give or take 6 months – shout out to Sallie Mae! WHOMP.

In part I of this post, I say go for it! Regardless of what your parents think, where your best friend is going, or what your pride is telling you, really consider your options – ALL of your options. I have great friends who started off at 2-year junior colleges and then transferred to the same University I started my journey in. Guess what, we ended up having the same degree from the same University at the same time, and I can almost guarantee that they have less than ¼ of the debt I have. (Sticks tongue out at them.) In part II of this post, I’ll cover how we can make junior college work for you!

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