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  • April 27, 2017 by Challenge Scholars Staff

    Why is Community College Important for Your Student?

    When you think about going to college, you might think about dorms and big college campuses. While many people choose to take that route, others find that path to be too expensive or too far from home or work. Or for others, they are still trying to figure out what they'd like to do after graduation. It makes sense for these students to find their passion at a community college which has a broad range of opportunities.

    In Grand Rapids, we have Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), right in the heart of the city. It's a beautiful campus with programs in culinary arts, health and medical care, business, and many other fields. GRCC offers an excellent chance to achieve your associate's degree, training or certificate, or transfer to a four-year college.

    While many people know about four-year universities, fewer people know about community colleges. So we wanted to answer the fundamental question of "Why is community college important for your student?"

    1. It saves a lot of money 

    One of the main reasons people go to GRCC is that it is inexpensive. Many students need general education classes no matter what major they choose. Students can save a lot of money taking these classes at GRCC for a lower price. For example, GRCC costs $111 per credit hour; a typical class is three credit hours, so this would cost $333 per class. Other local universities cost over $400 per credit hour or $1,200 per class.

    2. Students can find their passion 

    Many high school students aren't sure what they want to do after graduation. They often use college as a time to get to know themselves and their passion, but that can be expensive. Community college is a great place to learn about yourself, not only because it is cheaper to learn there, but because it offers a broad range of majors.

    If you're interested in being a chef, you can join the culinary school. Want to be a dental hygienist? Enter dental school. These programs at GRCC are some of the best around, and if you start in culinary school and want to switch to marketing or music, it is as easy as talking to your advisor. There is no better place to try out careers than at a community college.

    3. Students get to meet new people

    Any college, trade school or university will give you the opportunity to meet new people. However, because it is inexpensive and easy to enroll in classes, community colleges offer the widest range of people from all income levels, all backgrounds and cultures, and all ages. Being surrounded by individuals from all walks of life is a great way to learn about yourself, about other people, and gain a new perspective on the world.

    4. If they graduate from Union High School, GRCC can be free!

    Starting in 2016, anyone who is a freshman and completes all four years at Union High School can go to GRCC tuition free!

    As long as you keep your grades above a 2.0, keep good attendance and stay out of trouble, Union students in the class of 2020 and after will receive two years of community college tuition free at GRCC.

    So you'll be able to not only save money, but you'll be able to find your passion and spend those two years surrounding yourself with new people as you gain your degree, certificate or move on to a four-year college without tuition based student loan debt!

    While there are many reasons to start your college career at a community college, like GRCC, it is important for you to choose whatever college is right for you.