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4th Dec 2022
Afia Azmi

No money? Community Colleges offer excellent opportunities!

Ananya is contemplating pursuing her undergraduate studies abroad. However, even before her departure she has been bombarded with tips on how to manage her finances overseas. Suddenly she got reminded of her cousin Vivek who just completed his studies in the US with almost no funding from his father. She called up Vivek and asked about his experience.

He told Ananya that for first two years he studied at an affordable college, worked hard on his grades and then transferred to a better college for the remaining two years. This way he ended up saving almost $10,000. He also worked part-time to supplement his savings.

Studying for the first two years in a community, junior, or transfer college and then transferring to a four year university has its perks.

  1. You are more likely to be offered more merit aid at such colleges as they want to attract talented students
  2. According to a study, difference in cumulative loan is almost 2-3 times if you study for 2 years in an affordable college and then transfer to a better college v/s if you study for 4 years in a single University. You definitely end up saving a lot
  3. For employment purposes, the job seekers look at where you finished your degree instead of where you started
  4. The quality of education at community college is equally good. In fact, the general education curriculum you receive at the start of a 4 year program almost matches your two year community college program

However, if you decide to go through this route then planning is required.

  • Talk to the admission counselor and make sure your credits will transfer to the new college
  • Learn about the financial aid policy of the college as there are restrictions on financial aid for transfer students in certain colleges
  • Ensure that you have a high GPA and a good SAT score. A high GPA will indicate that you can handle college pressure and a good SAT score will showcase your analytical abilities
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