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Enrolling in Community College – Here’s How It Works

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Returning to school as an adult can be a little frightening. Being prepared and knowing what to expect are your best defense. Your local community college is a good place to get your feet wet. A good deal of their student body is made up of returning adults and they have the staff and the programs on hand to help you succeed.

Admissions

Most community colleges require students to be 18 years or older to attend classes. Some courses of study require that you provide proof of completion of high school or that you have acquired an equivalency certificate. You will need to check the requirements with your school and for your field of study before enrolling.

You will need to provide your social security number, name, address, date of birth and if not a U.S. citizen, show a valid immigration card.

Assessment

In order to place you in the proper classes, you will be asked to take an assessment test. The test is given by appointment and covers reading, writing and math. A week or so later, you will receive the results of your test. It will contain scores on each part of the test and will state what level of classes you are prepared to take. In some cases, you may need to take classes to prepare you for the classes that apply to degree program. These preparatory classes will not count toward your degree, but without them, you may not pass the higher level classes.

Registering for Classes

Many community colleges ask you to meet with a counselor when you enroll for classes. They will have access to your assessment test scores and later to the list of classes you have completed. They can talk with you about your long term plans and how your class choices might affect them. For example, not all classes offered by a community college will transfer to a four year school. If you intend to pursue a higher level degree, they can help you select the right classes to keep you on your education path.

Regardless of whether you are attending full time or part time, you are free to pick whatever classes you desire so long as the prerequisites have been met. Prerequisites are those classes which teach basic or lower level information that you need to know before moving on to more complex classes such as taking basic math before studying algebra. You can take one class per semester or more. That choice is yours.

Tuition and Fees

After the enrollment process, you are responsible for paying any fees or tuition costs before classes begin. If you have applied for financial aid, this is the time to use it. You will be given a list of books and materials needed for your classes and it is your responsibility to get them prior to the start of class.

Every school has their own rules and policies, but this is a pretty standard idea of what  you can expect when you enroll in community college. You should check with your admissions office to see what they specifically require.

Online Schools Offer More Classes Than Ever

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Online schools are bringing college education to the masses. For a long time, the idea of a college education was reserved for those with wealth or high academic standing who could get scholarships. The average person couldn’t hope to afford the cost of attending a university. Then community and junior colleges arrived on the scene and made things a bit more affordable.

In today’s economy though, attending even a community college can be challenging. Many people are forced to work full time to support themselves and their families, leaving little time for other activities, including higher education. This is where online schools can be the answer to your prayers.

The popularity of online schooling has increased dramatically in the 2000s. One survey of 2500 educational institutions done in 2002 found schools expected their online enrollments to increase by about 20% over the coming year, and traditional enrollment to increase by about 1%. With that kind of growth, colleges are broadening their online offerings to attract more and more students. This means more opportunities for you and me.

Once limited to areas of learning like business administration, English composition and literature studies, and accounting, today’s schools are offering a wider array of curriculum. Nursing programs, computer sciences even engineering fields are entering the fray, all vying for your attention and dollars.

Not only are the community colleges offering online courses but the big name universities as well. Now it may be possible to attain a degree from the school of your choice, provided you can meet the entrance requirements. Other schools specialize in only online education courses. Check out the school thoroughly before enrolling to make sure they are accredited and can provide what you need to complete your studies.

Online schools are often more affordable than classes on campus, saves money and time on your commute, and allows you to attend class on your schedule. You can take as many or as few classes as you believe you can handle in the field of your dreams.

Getting an online degree makes your college dreams attainable while still being home to raise your family. With a college degree in your pocket, you can open more doors to employment opportunities. The job market is fierce. More people are competing for fewer jobs today than in decades. Giving yourself every chance that you can to succeed just makes sense and for many of today’s single moms, an online education makes sense.

What Is A Community College?

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If you are considering going to college to further your education and career opportunities, you may be overwhelmed by the options available and what they all mean. Community college is a popular choice for many just entering, or re-entering, the college scene.

A community college may also be known as a city college, junior college or a technical college. They are open to the public and generally accept students from the local community who can pass minimal requirements. Most community colleges receive state funds and are able to offer affordable tuition costs to their students.

Many people use community college as the groundwork for higher learning they plan to do at a four-year university. You can, however, earn a two-year degree, a certificate of completion, technical training or just further your education according to your tastes at one of these institutions as well.

These schools offer Associates degrees in either Arts or Sciences. Counselors at the college can help you select what subjects to major or minor in based on your skills, prior education and your intended career focus. They can inform you of which elective classes will best help you in a given career field, or which will be required if you plan to transfer to a four-year institution down the road.

They also offer continuing education, which is often more in line with personal interests and keeping abreast of new developments in your career field.

Community colleges offer a broad base of classes designed to make the most of your education experience. Classes run from the typical academics to those more suited to local industry. For example, if you live in an agricultural area or a coal mining area, you may find classes and certificate programs for those industries at your college, whereas you probably wouldn’t find those options at a community college in a large metropolis.

Costs for classes, lab fees and books are considerably lower than for four-year colleges. Discounts are typically given to those living within the college’s geographic range of service. Because it is a local college, no room and board expense is incurred. Transportation to and from class, and the cost of meals you might have to eat while you’re away from home are about the only other expenses you’ll incur.

Scholarships, grants and financial aid are accepted at community colleges. Many also offer class credit or discounted tuition if you accept a job working at the college.