During his State of the Union address, President Obama called for the government to guarantee free community college for its citizens. His proposal, America’s College Promise, is far from being a done deal, but it leaves us to question how this could affect future college students.
Currently, the average time it takes a student to get through community college and transfer is 3 years. In the state of California, where education budget cuts have cost us faculty and course offerings, students are particularly struggling to get the classes they need to transfer. Did you know you cannot transfer to a Cal State or U.C. school unless you are at junior standing?
If you need to be at junior standing, you have to take 60 semester credits to be able to transfer, and classes like Math 101, History 101, English 101, etc. are not readily available for all who are interested in transfer. Everyone is trying to take the same classes. If you can’t get into History 101, then what happens to History 102? It gets delayed. Then the student starts working with all of the free time, and what happens? A taste for money could kill the desire for education.
College Planning Experts works regularly with families who are debating saving money by having their children attend community college first, and we caution you. Attending community college may be a financial saver, but it could also be a time waster and could add more tuition to your college bills.
So now, what happens if community college becomes free?
Many think this is a great thing because families will only have to worry about affording the final two years of a Bachelor’s degree. They see a savings that wasn’t there before. But I ask you this: if it takes 3 years to get through California community colleges to transfer while the education is not free, what will happen to the time it takes to transfer after it becomes free? If it then takes 4 years to get through those 60 semester units, does the student stick with it to transfer for another 2 years of school?
If you’re considering community college for your student and you don’t know how a 4 year college will fit into your plans, call us (661)295-9946. We’d love to educate you and help make that plan for you. There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in this country, and we guarantee there is a fit and an affordable plan.