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Choosing community college over traditional paths

Amelia Young, News Editor

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It is the time of the year when seniors everywhere are scrambling to rewrite their personal statements for the 30th time and submit their college applications, but I haven’t turned in a single one.

Am I freaking out? No. I am sitting back and relaxing, and occasionally helping a friend through a mental breakdown, because I’ve known my future since summer.

It’s not like I signed to play Division 1 basketball or got into some east coast college early action. I have just decided that the best fit for me right now is to go to community college before committing to any four-year university.

I’ll let you gasp and snicker now because I know that for some weird reason community college is such a taboo subject. It is thought of as the place where every failure who wasn’t good enough for “real college” goes.

To be honest, sometimes I do feel like that common belief is true, but then I remember that I didn’t make this decision because I couldn’t get into a four year school. My grades and accomplishments are perfectly fine for the admissions requirements for any university in California.

I have played 2 varsity sports, captained one, acted in 9 plays, edited the student newspaper, and logged nearly 300 community service hours in my high school career. Getting in that big university was not my main concern.

So why am I choosing to miss out on two years of “the college experience?” Money.

Do you have $34,200? I ,most definitely, do not.

That is the estimated total cost of attendance per year for the University of California (UC) system. In contrast, Cabrillo College costs only about $1000 per year to attend.

I’m not saying it isn’t possible to pay for a four-year college. One of my friends already has a merit scholarship for $22,000 a year for her top choice school. I’m just saying for me the idea of spending $70 per application was already ridiculous.
I really don’t mind waiting for a few years and then transferring to my school of choice. Believe it or not, community college students transferring to a university is actually a very common occurrence.

Forget the myth everyone tells you about people never leaving their two year school and that good universities don’t want transfer students.

In the UC system, california community college transfers get priority over other applicants, and six of the nine undergraduate campuses offer a special program just for them.

The UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) allows applicants that meet certain requirements are guaranteed to get into the campus they choose and can still apply to the others. UC Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz all offer TAGs.

Knowing all of this, I am not embarrassed or sad that I am taking a different route to earn my degree. If anything I’m excited.

I get 2 extra years to figure out what the heck I want to study, and I will literally be saving tens of thousands of dollars.

There are of course things I am hesitant about, as is expected for any major life decision.

Do I really want to stay home two more years? Do I want to go to college with some of the people I knew in high school?

I don’t know if I am making the perfect decision yet,or what the next four years will have in store for me.

You’ll have to call me in 10 years to see what I spent that extra $60,000 on.

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Choosing community college over traditional paths