Community College Vs University Cost

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Community College Vs University Cost

October 27, 2020 Eduction Michigan 0
College Student - Michigan Colleges

If you are considering attending a Michigan community college or university, your biggest concern might be cost. While community college still remains less expensive than a traditional Michigan four-year college, there are factors to consider when considering your financial investment.

Michigan Community college students have access to robust federal financial aid despite paying lower average tuition and fees than their four-year university counterparts These costs are only a piece of the total cost of attending college, with living expenses like housing, food and transportation being no less expensive for community college students than university students. Bearing in mind that many community college students have lower household incomes than the average four-year college student, despite paying lower tuition and fees, community college students tend to be at a much greater disadvantage when it comes to paying for college. 

As the lowest cost segment in postsecondary education, it might seem like community college students do not depend on financial aid as much as their peers at four-year institutions. 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 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. However, costs beyond tuition and fees constitute a significant portion of the total cost of enrolling in college and do not differ significantly by sector. Even if students can afford to pay low tuition prices, the living costs may prevent their enrollment, especially as a full-time student. If meeting basic needs doesn’t prevent students from enrolling, it still impacts academic performance, dedication, and completion. Many students have to sacrifice time and effort they would otherwise commit to classwork to pay for basic living expenses. Federal financial aid is vital to community college students regardless of their institutions’ low tuition and fees.

According to federal data from 2012, half of all students at public two-year colleges had family earnings of less than $30,000. Almost one-third of independent students made less than $10,000. And although most dependent students’ families had incomes at or above the national average of $51,000, those students only constituted 40 percent of those enrolled in community colleges. With the average cost of attendance at a community college averaging $17,000 per year, most students and their families simply don’t earn enough to pay students’ ways without aid.

Today’s students have access to financial support from a wide range of sources. As far as federal support goes, aid is provided by the U.S. Department of Education in the form of grants, loans, and work-study. Most students will be able to take advantage of education tax credits or deductions, and some may be able to gain access to other public benefits, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). At the state and local levels, students might attend community college tuition-free through a College Promise program or qualify for state grants.

Community college is not what it used to be, and in fact, there are major incentives to attending a local junior college. Beyond the obvious financial advantage, junior college is a place where you can complete your general courses and explore your other interests on a schedule that works for you. We like to that community colleges offer something to everyone, and if you’re thinking about enrollment consider these pros and cons that go beyond the financial advantages:


Flexible Schedule

If you are planning working while attending school, community college is easily the best option. They offer far more evening classes than other universities and more schedule options. The workload is typically lighter than a state school or private university and attendance is not usually required.

The opportunity to explore major options

Rather than spending thousands of dollars at a private university working on a major that you are not totally sure about, think about attending a community school while you are making your decision. Classes cost less, so you can pursue interests that you might not have otherwise explored.

Smaller Classes

The class size at community colleges is surprising to most students because the tuition costs are so reasonable. While classes are not as small as those at a private university, many have as little as twenty students. In a smaller class, professors can find out more about their students. Also, students will find their teachers more readily available and can get help when they need it.

Qualified Professors

While some of your professors will be recently out of a master’s program, many will be well-seasoned academics who have impressive background and resume. Community schools are just Many accomplished professors teach part-time at community schools to give themselves ample time to focus on their own interests and career goals.


Limited Curriculum

Usually, community colleges are 2-year schools. If you are planning on getting a 4-year degree you will have to transfer to another university at some point.

Lighter Workload

The workload is considerably lighter than at a state university or private college There is sometimes little course work beyond major exams but remember that college is what you make it and putting in the effort and time is totally up to you.

Indifferent Students

This might be the biggest deterrent for the junior college: Many of the students are disinterested. They do not all have plans for an academic future outside of what they receive at the community college level and they study accordingly. This can cause tension in the classroom, especially with the more accomplished professors who are not used to dealing with complacent students. Outside of the lecture itself, classroom discussions are seldom stimulating as they are carried on only by the professor and one or two engaged individuals. There is good news for the devoted student: The professor will recognize your potential and reward you accordingly.

Missing Campus Life

Community colleges do have clubs and organizations, but campus life is not an integral component of the atmosphere. For many students at community schools, their schedule centers around work and classes are done in their remaining time. If you are searching for a lively social scene, community college may not be the best fit for you.