Front Range Community College Blog

5 Compelling Reasons to Earn an Associate Degree

two female students graduating from FRCC

Thinking of going to college to better yourself and expand your future opportunities? Good for you! If the cost of tuition is on your mind, however, or you’re concerned that your high school GPA wasn’t strong enough to get into a four-year university, you still have an excellent option –  community college. Here at FRCC or another college, you can get a high-quality education and begin your journey, whether you plan to start working or transfer to a four-year college or university to get a bachelor’s degree.

Here are five reasons you should consider getting an associate degree.

It’s an unbeatable value.

The reality is that community colleges are significantly less expensive than most four-year colleges and universities, yet you can still get a great education from caring teachers who are dedicated to student success. FRCC’s tuition is 56% less than tuition at Colorado’s four-year institutions. You could save thousands by earning an associate degree here and transferring (about $11,000, in fact). And even if you only take some of your courses here, you’ll still save money.

You can transfer to a four-year institution easily.

Many states guarantee admission into their public four-year colleges for students who earn associate degrees at one of their community colleges. At FRCC and all Colorado community colleges, there are many statewide transfer agreements that allow you to transfer into a university or college with junior status and complete your bachelor’s degree in no more than 60 additional credits. Check out the wide variety of field of study options.

Everyone is welcome.

FRCC and other community colleges have an open enrollment policy, which means adults over the age of 17 with or even without a high school diploma or GED are guaranteed admission. Even if your high school GPA wasn’t too impressive, it’s OK. This is your opportunity for a fresh start at a place where you can build your skills and your confidence while exploring different subject areas and possible careers.

You’ll receive lots of personal attention.

Large universities can be overwhelming for freshmen, with general education classes that might have upwards of 300 students or more. Community colleges have smaller campuses and class sizes, which is perfect if you’re intimidated by the idea of a big school. FRCC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 19 to 1, and our average class size is just 17 students.

You’ll make more than you would with a high school diploma.

Bottom line: Education pays. An associate degree in a career/technical field (like welding or architectural engineering) may help you find and keep a job. And an associate degree for transfer is a step along the way to your bachelor’s degree—with added earning power. But don’t take our word for it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the higher the educational attainment, the higher the weekly earnings.

There are so many great reasons to earn an associate degree, whether your plan is to transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor’s degree or prepare yourself for the job market. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. And when you earn that associate degree, best of all, it’s an accomplishment that nobody can ever take away from you!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michaele Charles is the founder of Voice Communications and writes frequently for higher education institutions, small businesses, corporate clients, and others. She also is a fledgling children’s writer. In her pre-writing life, she worked in accounting and finance.