It’s becoming more uncommon to hear the term “junior college” in the United States. A junior college is a place where you can you can get a two-year or associate's degree. These degrees are most often in academics, vocation, or professional education. If you think this sounds familiar, you’d be right. Now, junior colleges are more commonly referred to as “community colleges.”
What are the benefits of a junior college?
Many people decide to go to a junior/community college to get an associate’s degree because of the low cost. On average, most two-year colleges for in-state students cost around $3,300 per year. This price is much less than the average four-year university tuition, which is $9,000 annually for the same students.
Another reason that many students choose junior colleges rather than four-year universities is that they’re much more accessible. It isn’t uncommon for the average student to drive an hour or more to reach the closest university. However, there are usually many more community colleges that are closer and have many of the same courses you would find at a four-year university.
What kinds of programs do community or junior colleges offer?
Junior colleges offer a wide variety of academic programs that work to prepare students for further instruction at a typical four-year university. An associate’s degree from a junior college will transfer once you begin university, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Plus, another benefit of many community colleges is that there are programs in place to help you find employment after you graduate.
Keep in mind, if you do choose to transfer from a community college to a university, the degree will transfer, but some of the class credits may not. Colleges and universities use different criteria for each course, and they structure their education programs differently. As a result, some universities will require you to complete extra courses before acceptance into 3000- and 4000-level courses. Look to see if your junior college is part of a larger university "system." If this is the case, credits will often easily transfer between institutions within the same system.
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