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This depends largely on what you want to do in life. Community colleges are usually two-year schools as opposed to the four-year state universities. That alone should give you a feeling for the difference; less time means (usually) less education and therefore less prestige with the degree.

Community colleges also tend to be smaller than four-year schools. The benefit of this seems to be a more personal, friendly experience. The disadvantage is that the professors have to teach a broader range of material, much of which is outside of their specialty and sometimes even their understanding.

For reference, I have known a few people who started in community colleges and switched to four-year universities. The reports I heard were mixed. Usually these were low-income students trying to save a few bucks. A friend in engineering grad school regrets the years he spent there because they did not have a rigorous curriculum. The liberal arts and sciences students seemed to fare better through the transition.

In undergrad, a common practice is to take "soft" courses such as English at the local community college in order to avoid the higher tuition at the university. This is usually done during summer semesters. Check on the ability to transfer credits before doing this, though.

In short, I view community colleges similar to vo-tech schools, but for a different audience. If you are looking for a generic college degree, the community college may be a better value than a university. Many schools even bill themselves this way, providing case studies of people who earned their accounting or programming or ___ degree.

On the other hand, people interested in math, the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, Astronomy, ...), engineering, medicine (other than staffing positions), or law should probably steer clear of community colleges.

I flatly disagree with the assertion that one should avoid a community college. There are many benefits to going to a community college. I do, however, recognize that it really depends on the school, but in my experience, it was a very good place to start. It depends though on the student. One gets out of college what they put into it.

As far as the limitations go: it is, again, up to the student. Continuing with my own experience, I attended a community college with the express intention of moving to a four-year school. The problem was that I had no test scores and was a little older. This did give me the opportunity to prove myself to a four-year institution, which I subsequently did. I am now attending a tier one law school. The bottom line is: it all depends on what a person wants out of college, and further, how hard you want to work.

im currently enrolled in a comunity college. and i have to disagree with the first poster. I like the second poster am starting school a little later and i have to SAT scores to show. im also pretty broke.

you need to know what you want to get out of the comunity college. take my school for example. im taking the AS transfer programing for engineering. i take all the basic course requirement such as calc 1 2 and 3, as well as the basic English and humanities courses. after i finish these i take a few engineering courses. these engineering course and simply designed to give me a jumpstart on what ill be learning when i transfer.

if you just was the AS from the school you take pretty much the same courses with a few differences. you might not have to take all the calc courses.

and then theres the profesional program you get no degree with this. you simply take courses to further your carreer or get it start by using what you learn to get certs.

don't simply dismiss comunity college just because its cheap. but you should look into your local comunity college to see how good they really are. some can be pretty bad. but the majority are just misjudged

Community colleges can award only A.A. (Associate in Arts) or A.S. (Associate in Science) degrees. The good news, however, that these degrees replace the first two years of study at a regular four-university (credits transfer if at least C grade).

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