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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/your-money/09money.html

Since large student loan debt often gets center stage here, I thought this might be of interest.

The author did his first two years at a CC, and no one has ever asked him about that. It is becoming a stepping stone to a 4 year degree without super expense.

But there are some things to keep in mind. For example, don't take non transferable classes, and don't flunk anything.

bill
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<<Since large student loan debt often gets center stage here, I thought this might be of interest.

The author did his first two years at a CC, and no one has ever asked him about that. It is becoming a stepping stone to a 4 year degree without super expense.>>


That used to work in Washington State, but is becoming increasingly problematic.

It used to be that state four year colleges like the University of Washington gave automatic acceptance to those completing two years of school at community colleges. They discontinued that about a year ago.

Recently it was disclosed that the University of Washington cut back by about 5,000 students on the number of Washington State residents accepted as Freshman. Instead the school is substituting out of state and foreign students who pay dramatically higher tuition rates.

Even high school students with 4.0 GPAS from Washington State high schools were being rejected according to a recent newspaper story. I suspect that doesn't bode well for community college transfer students either, although that wasn't addressed in the article.


Seattle Pioneer
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Two experiences with community college:

Older son did community college living in dorm in the fall (yes, CC can have dorms). Tuition and books were about $2000 and room and board was about $1200 for the semester. So total cost for one semester was $3200. Way less money than even a state 4 year university (let alone private).

In his case, he didn't do well (he didn't elect to do the studying that he needed to do) and he didn't return this semester. On the one hand, I wish he had done better. On the other hand, if he wasn't going to choose to do well then I'm glad we were out $3200 and not $10,000.

Younger son also did community college in the fall and did well and continued this semester. In his case, he is a younger than typical college student so isn't ready to go live in a dorm. Every course that he has taken is transferable to state universities. They are all core classes that he will need no matter his major. He has been happy with his instructors and classroom experiences. I've seen his assignments and the feedback he has gotten and his education seems comparable to that at a 4 year university.
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In his case, he didn't do well (he didn't elect to do the studying that he needed to do) and he didn't return this semester. On the one hand, I wish he had done better. On the other hand, if he wasn't going to choose to do well then I'm glad we were out $3200 and not $10,000.

That's the Very Big Deal that the article doesn't even mention. My daughter went to a community college for two years. She changed her mind a couple of times about what she wanted to do, learned some important social lessons, and ended up deciding college was not for her. Though she did not get even an associate's degree, she learned some very important life lessons.

At the end of that experience, she had no debt and neither did I. I probably saved more on taxes due to HoH filing status and tuition deduction than I actually spent on her college. Worth. Every. Penny.

The public chatter tends to ignore the fact that some people aren't ready for college right out of high school, or may not be college material in the first place. CCs let them figure this out without mortgaging their lives.

Patzer
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The best thing about CC is that where I was the classes size were considerable smaller.
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I've already told my story about my son and his wife.

http://boards.fool.com/dash-if-i-have-to-go-to-community-col...

Both lived at home for all of their community college time. They never had any college debt, nor did we. My DIL's parents did pay for her years at Berkley but since she went to CC for three years she got a lot of required units out of the way at a lot cheaper price which was her goal.

Utahtea
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The other thing I liked about going to community college was most classes were self paced and all you had to do was take the test. The price I paid when I was in community college was $5 credit hour max 12 credits. I has taking 17 in one semester and working p/t at Burger King.
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$5/credit hour?! Wow. GCC is now up to $71/credit hour. I can't remember exactly what it was when I graduated four years ago, but I think it was at least $60/credit hour. It was still far, far better than the prices at the public universities or the private university I had been interested in.
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$5/credit hour?! Wow. GCC is now up to $71/credit hour. I can't remember exactly what it was when I graduated four years ago, but I think it was at least $60/credit hour. It was still far, far better than the prices at the public universities or the private university I had been interested in.

My very first semester in college I took 18 hours and the total bill, not counting books, was under $250. Of course, that was in 1979 :0) I went back in 2002 full time and still paid less than $1,000 a semester for tuition and fees. TX still has the requirement that if you complete an Associates, the state universities are required to accept the hours, not based on individual credits, so even though I majored in something that wouldn't be considered to have transferable credits beyond the core courses, I'm still ahead if I decide to transfer to the university where I work.

Our daughter will start at CC this summer with a history class to try it out before committing to it long term.

LWW
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The author did his first two years at a CC, and no one has ever asked him about that. It is becoming a stepping stone to a 4 year degree without super expense.

Becoming? That's how a lot of my friends and I did it 20-something years ago. How is "becoming" defined?

xtn
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You know how today's youth are. They think they invented the wheel.

Fuskie
Who would be able to teach young people something if they didn't know everything already...
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The author did his first two years at a CC, and no one has ever asked him about that. It is becoming a stepping stone to a 4 year degree without super expense.

But there are some things to keep in mind. For example, don't take non transferable classes, and don't flunk anything.


And college is more than just getting a diploma. Sometimes transferring in means you miss out on getting to know people, make friends, and establish future networking opportunities.
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And college is more than just getting a diploma. Sometimes transferring in means you miss out on getting to know people, make friends, and establish future networking opportunities.

You can still do that at the junior college, and then again for a couple more years at the big college. I don't think your point holds much water myself.

xtn
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And college is more than just getting a diploma. Sometimes transferring in means you miss out on getting to know people, make friends, and establish future networking opportunities.

Maybe. But my son who is in community college right now is getting to know people and making friends right there.

For future networking opportunities that may depend on what you are studying. When I was in college my first couple of years were the basic courses, mostly not at all related to my major and were mostly in larger classes so I don't think that I would have missed any networking opportunities by going to community college.

Of course, there is nothing wrong at all with someone deciding to spend 4 years at one school and I can certainly see that depending on major and what is available where one is located that doing so may well be the best choice for the individual.
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Even high school students with 4.0 GPAS from Washington State high schools were being rejected according to a recent newspaper story. I suspect that doesn't bode well for community college transfer students either, although that wasn't addressed in the article.

Seems like a lot of schools across the country and beginning to dilute the grading system in an attempt to get everyone a higher GPA.

Just 12 years ago when I was applying for colleges in Virginia I was ranked 18th out of a HS class of 550 with a GPA of 3.78 (4.0 was the highest you could possibly get, even if you took AP - advanced placement college level courses in HS). I believe there were only three 4.0's in my graduating class.

Now it seems they are awarding higher than 4.0 grades for these advanced courses (giving out 5.0's for A's there) and just the other day I found out a student next door was ranked 131 out of a class of 350 with a GPA of 3.98. So that means approximately 35% of her graduating class will have a 4.0 or higher?!?!

Must make it difficult for the college and universities to compare applicants with the scales shifting so much in just a decade. Despite all of the 4.0+'s from that school (same county), you'd have to imagine only the top few (and not the top 130) have the same academic potential as the top three 4.0's from my graduating class.

-Eric
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And college is more than just getting a diploma. Sometimes transferring in means you miss out on getting to know people, make friends, and establish future networking opportunities.

Funny how that works. We have had a number of students go through our local community college and gain membership into Phi Theta Kappa. Once in PTK, they networked and were given opportunities for scholarships that would have been closed to them if they had gone straight to a 4-year university. We just found out today that one student has been fully funded to go to University of Denver next semester.

LWW
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VTAlumni,

You wrote, Now it seems they are awarding higher than 4.0 grades for these advanced courses (giving out 5.0's for A's there) and just the other day I found out a student next door was ranked 131 out of a class of 350 with a GPA of 3.98. So that means approximately 35% of her graduating class will have a 4.0 or higher?!?!

My alma matter did that in the '80s. With an AP class, A=5, B=4, C=2, D=1. I don't recall my GPA, but it was well above 4.0.

I think I placed 8th or so out of about 220. They didn't tell everyone their placement, but I wrote a program to help the school convert their records between semester and trimester scoring systems. Of course I got to look at the data any time they encountered a bug or wanted a new feature (sorted report by final score, doh!), so I knew who was in the top 10 or 20. But I never saw the final numbers, so I never learned my exact placement - I was just 8th before the last trimester ended.

- Joel
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legalwordwarrior: "TX still has the requirement that if you complete an Associates, the state universities are required to accept the hours, not based on individual credits, so even though I majored in something that wouldn't be considered to have transferable credits beyond the core courses, I'm still ahead if I decide to transfer to the university where I work."

Do you have any citation for the source of the requirement you note?

Curiously, JAFO
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>>>And college is more than just getting a diploma. Sometimes transferring in means you miss out on getting to know people, make friends, and establish future networking opportunities. <<<<


And for some people in some professions with some expectations that is important. For MOST people it is the contacts you make after you graduate that count. PLUS you are still making contacts while in CC.
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I don't have it off hand, no. However, it was quoted during our Regional meeting in March. I'll see what I can find about it and let you know.

LWW
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Thanks.

JAFO
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"My very first semester in college I took 18 hours and the total bill, not counting books, was under $250. Of course, that was in 1979 :0)"

State college for me '77 through '81 was $25 per credit; typical 16 credit/semester schedule was $400. I still can't believe how cheap it was. I graduated with zero debt, and can't even fathom kids coming out of school these days with 6 figure student loans. Seems like they'll never pay the loan off.
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State college for me '77 through '81 was $25 per credit; typical 16 credit/semester schedule was $400. I still can't believe how cheap it was. I graduated with zero debt, and can't even fathom kids coming out of school these days with 6 figure student loans. Seems like they'll never pay the loan off.

I can't help but wonder if that isn't the idea. With all the programs out there to stretch the payments out almost as long as a mortgage, you could easily find yourself paying for an education even after your children are old enough to go to college.

LWW
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It seems I experienced this transition in an inverted way. I spent my first 2 years (more appropriately, my parents "spent", since they did pay for it, thanks a great deal)
at a local Jesuit smallish college and did live there. After it was determined I was not getting stellar grades, I worked a year at another college in an office, and ended up completing this process at Big Local Downtown State College, which while not a community college shared a lot of the CC characteristics---older commuting students. I did manage to live in a dorm there my last year and a half, which mostly says something about my home ;-)

In my case the most special thing about my "first college" was the chance to live away from [those crazy people]my family, and being in a sort of forced-socialization situation. Hey! They aren't all like my sister! Maybe she's the weird one...

Since the vast majority of my employment career has been in educational institutions of one kind or another, I guess it was a good background.
joycets
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With all the programs out there to stretch the payments out almost as long as a mortgage, you could easily find yourself paying for an education even after your children are old enough to go to college

Yes, Good old American Ingenuity. There is much more money in money lending than in actually making a product. I certainly don't know enough about economics to solve any of this but it is clear that most car dealers out there are selling money, not cars, and getting people to borrow a lot of money is a prime source of income for that Upper Level of Wealthy folks.

(which must be why this board exists, eh?)

joycets
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JAFO -I know, this thread is ancient :) but I didn't see a reply to your "mandatory core class transfers for associates degrees in Texas" question...I don't know if you ever received a link to this, so I'm posting it here for anyone who needs it.

http://www.austincc.edu/cataloghtml/programs.php
Core Curriculum

Texas law mandates that all state-supported colleges and universities offer a core curriculum of at least 42 credits that will automatically transfer to all Texas public colleges and universities.

ACC will designate core curriculum courses completed by a student on the official ACC transcript. If a student satisfies all component areas, the message "Core Curriculum Completed" will appear on the transcript, and that block of courses must be substituted for the receiving institution's core curriculum.

Students may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses unless the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved a larger core for the receiving institution. Students who transfer without completing the core curriculum receive academic credit for each of the courses they successfully completed in the ACC core curriculum.
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Thank you!

JAFO
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Texas law mandates that all state-supported colleges and universities offer a core curriculum of at least 42 credits that will automatically transfer to all Texas public colleges and universities.

Some also have agreements in place with 2 yr colleges to accept all the hours in the Associates degree as part of the student's minor, so they only have to complete what hours are left for the major. I'm actually doing this right now through an agreement between Blinn College and Sam Houston State.

SHSU has agreements in place with several other 2 yr schools.

LWW
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<<ACC will designate core curriculum courses completed by a student on the official ACC transcript. If a student satisfies all component areas, the message "Core Curriculum Completed" will appear on the transcript, and that block of courses must be substituted for the receiving institution's core curriculum.
>>



Interesting idea. Four year colleges have a vested interest in protecting their turf from lower cost community colleges, so I'm tempted to applaud this.

But it might have drawbacks that might make it unreasonable.


I wonder how it works in practice?



Seattle Pioneer
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<<I'm actually doing this right now through an agreement between Blinn College and Sam Houston State.

SHSU has agreements in place with several other 2 yr schools.

LWW >>



I imagine that Sam Houston would be right proud!

He was a great Texan and a great American ---- one of the very best.




Seattle Pioneer
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legalwordwarrior:

<<<Texas law mandates that all state-supported colleges and universities offer a core curriculum of at least 42 credits that will automatically transfer to all Texas public colleges and universities.>>>

"Some also have agreements in place with 2 yr colleges to accept all the hours in the Associates degree as part of the student's minor, so they only have to complete what hours are left for the major. I'm actually doing this right now through an agreement between Blinn College and Sam Houston State."

I thought you were in College Station. And Blinn has a campus in (or near) College Station.

Regards, JAFO
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California and Florida community colleges do the same thing.

It's not unique.

The student just has to pay attention to which classes they're taking and talk to their counselor about preparing for transfer.

Ishtar
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I thought you were in College Station. And Blinn has a campus in (or near) College Station.

Right on both counts, however, Blinn is in Bryan. I already have an Associates from Blinn. Sam is about 50 miles from here, but they have a degree plan I can get online, so I'm taking classes online through Sam.

LWW
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