Students choose community colleges for many reasons. These include:

• A need to work and go to school at the same time. Community colleges usually offer flexible schedules of classes.

• The cost. Typically, the cost of tuition and fees at a two-year college is less than half the cost of a four-year college.

• Some students do not know what course of study they want to pursue. Community colleges often have excellent counseling systems to help students choose a college major.

• Many jobs do not require a four-year degree. Programs in many technical occupations offer students a two-year certificate and quick entry into work.

Here are steps to follow when choosing a community college:

1. Request a catalog describing the courses and programs they offer. Ask for a schedule of courses for the current term.

2. Once your teen has reviewed the catalog, schedule a meeting with a college counselor. Ask the counselor how to find a program that’s right for your teen.

3. Find out how much it will cost to complete a program that interests your teen. Is financial aid available? Do they have a work-study program?

4. If your teen is interested in getting a four-year degree, ask about where most students from the community college enroll after they complete their first two years. What credits will transfer?

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