Jul   2012



Admission: Community College Edition

Assistant Editor, Wintergreen Orchard House

In the world of admission requirements, each school has different standards when it comes to being accepted. Applying to colleges can be stressful, but some schools are more lenient than others. One option for continuing your education is attending a community college close to home. Some of you may be seniors in high school looking into colleges now, but others may not have been accepted into a four-year school, so a community college may be the next step on the path to higher education.

For soon-to-be seniors looking for a jumpstart on your education, consider a local community college for a dual-enrollment program. Not all schools offer it to high school students but a good majority of them do. If you are looking to gain some college credit while still attending your high school, do a little research on the two-year programs near you. Dual enrollment allows you to get a feel for the college courses you will be taking part in once you graduate and they also build up credits that can transfer into a four-year institution. It may mean extra work, but if you are looking to take some general requirements and get them out of the way, make sure you are able to balance your workload to maintain all of your grades. This is just one way to get ahead and will boost your résumé for future college applications.

For students that weren’t accepted into a four-year school or are still unsure of what to major in, a community college gives you the chance to earn credit while exploring a field of study that you are interested in. Even if you are unsure of a major, you can always take the general math, writing, and science courses at a lower cost close to home and transfer your credits to another school when the time is right. Community colleges have many programs and the courses are cheaper than if you were to attend a four-year school.

Most community colleges have an open door admission policy, which means they take students in at any time. Generally, these schools require an application, an application fee, a GED or high school diploma, placement tests, SAT/ACT scores, and transcripts from your high school. Once you give them all of that information, you can enroll in courses for the next term date. Each school varies, so be sure to check whether where you apply has a closing date for specific terms and if they require more than just the basic information to enroll you. Community colleges are close to home, relatively inexpensive, and open to almost all students. Whether you are looking to explore different education options or just to get ahead, don’t rule out a two-year school; they offer more than you may think.

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About Meaghan Heffernan

Meaghan Heffernan

Meaghan is an Assistant Editor at Wintergreen Orchard House, a sub-division of Carnegie Communications, where she manages data for colleges and universities in the western United States. She graduated in January 2011 from Fitchburg State University with a degree in professional writing and course concentrations in political science. Meaghan wrote for student-run newspaper The Point at Fitchburg, was an active member of the English Club, and was involved in creative writing groups. During Meaghan’s free time, she can be found working at her part-time job, reading, or spending time with her family. Her college application and admission process was a breeze, and she is hoping to make the experience just as easy and organized for future college applicants.

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