If you’re considering becoming a student at Front Range Community College—or any community college—you might wonder if you’re making a good decision. (Short answer: Absolutely!) There are many reasons to start at a community college, but here are 10 good ones:

1. To save money

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that average tuition, room, and board for the 2012-13 school year was $15,022 for public institutions, as compared to $8,928 at two-year institutions. That’s a greater than 40 percent discount. If you take your first two years at a community college like FRCC, you can save a lot of money in the long run.

2. Because it’s easy to transfer when you’re ready

Many states have transfer agreements that make it easy to transfer credits to four-year colleges and universities. In Colorado, guaranteed transfer courses—called gtPathways courses—transfer to any liberal arts and sciences bachelor’s degree program at a Colorado public institution. Put simply, you can earn 60 credits at FRCC (an A.A. or A.S. degree) and transfer those credits to a state college or university, where you can earn the remaining 60 credits toward a B.A. or B.S. degree. Even better, you can earn an associate degree in a specific area – biology, business, and psychology are among the 26 areas – and enter a Colorado four-year as a junior majoring in that field of study.

3. To ease into the college setting

If you struggled in high school, have not been to college in a long time, or have never attended college at all, a community college is the perfect environment for you. At FRCC, you’ll enjoy personalized attention from instructors and you’ll also discover all kinds of support services—from free tutoring to the online writing lab—that are available help you become a better student.

4. To explore different career paths and majors

While community college is an excellent way to complete your general education course work at an affordable price, it is also a great place to explore majors. You can work with a career counselor to take a career assessment and dig deeper into your options, or try out classes of interest to see what sticks.

5. Because you’ll enjoy smaller classes

At a four-year university, there is a good chance you’ll have to take classes with upwards of 200 or more students. If you’re looking for a more personal college experience, consider a community college. At FRCC, the average class size is around 17 students. The benefit is that you’ll get to know your instructor and classmates and have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get involved in class discussions.

6. To accommodate your busy schedule

Maybe you work or are busy with parenthood. You’re not alone. Community college is home to many students like you, with multiple obligations outside of college. FRCC offers online and evening classes, as well as other resources and programs for those who need support (the Larimer Campus Single Parent Program, for example).

7. To try out a field

Community college is a great place to test out a field by earning a certificate or associate degree first. Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare students for employment in fields such as accounting, architectural engineering, automotive technology, and computer information systems. This is a great way to fast-track your career.

8. To meet a wide variety of people

One great thing about community college is the wide variety of students. Nationally, the average age of a community college student is 29, and two-thirds of students attend part time (according to the American Association of Community Colleges). You’ll be surrounded by working adults, men, women, first-generation students, students coming back to college for a new career, first-time college students, and even those pursuing a new interest or hobby. This diversity adds to the richness of the college experience.

9. Because you’re worth it

A college education is a sound investment, and starting at a community college is both practical and affordable. Plus, statistics continue to show that the average earning power of those with at least some education is significantly higher than those with only a high school education. Whether you want to update your skills, prepare for a new career, or prepare to transfer to a four-year university or college, investing in yourself is essential for your future. A community college is a great place to do so.

10. To build the skills you need to succeed

If you weren’t a star high school student or you’ve always wanted to go to college but been too afraid, don’t worry. Community colleges are open to everyone—yes everyone. FRCC has an open-admission policy that means that anyone who wants to better themselves through education is welcome. FRCC[‘s mission is to enrich their lives through learning. So, come check us out and see what we have to offer.

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