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Community College: Good Educational $ense?

Have You Considered Community College?

As tuition rises and the economy rattles, more students are opting for two-year community colleges as a less expensive way to start their four-year degrees.

Put your assumptions aside — this isn’t the community college of the ’80’s or ’90’s. Increasingly, community colleges are vibrant places with excellent faculty and good educational opportunities.

Earl Graham, Assistant Director of Admission at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut says, “We can do everything in the first two years that any school can do. We are a real college with real professors and real classes. We’ll get you going, we’ll move you on to the next level. We don’t compete with four-year schools – we just want you to start with us.”

Easy Transfer to 4-Year Schools

Connecticut has made it easy to transfer to a four-year school. The program – called Dual Admission – enables students with a 2.0 GPA to automatically transfer to one of the four state schools after graduation (Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Connecticut State University). UConn has a similar program, requiring a 3.0 GPA.

Individual schools have other transfer agreements, so check them out. Housatonic has a transfer agreement with the University of New Haven that includes a reduction in tuition. It also has transfer agreements with NYU and Wheaton for students graduating in education, and for engineering grads who want to transfer to Fairfield University.

Low Cost

In-state tuition for community colleges in Connecticut is about $3,500 for 2011-2012. Add that up and a student can save up to $80,000 for a four-year degree.

“In the past it’s been the students who didn’t achieve the highest marks in high school who’ve come to a community college,” Earl says, “but that balance is shifting because of the financial situation in the state. We’re finding more and more 18 year olds who’ve done really well in high school who are looking at us.”
Look for an in-depth interview with Earl Graham about Housatonic Community College in an upcoming post.

Connecticut’s Community Colleges:

Asnuntuck (Enfield)
Capital (Hartford)
Gateway (North Haven)
Housatonic (Bridgeport)
Manchester (Manchester)
Middlesex (Middletown)
Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury)
Northwestern Connecticut (Winstead)
Norwalk (Norwalk)
Quinebaug (Willimantic)
Three Rivers (Norwich)
Tunxis (Farmington)