Associates Degree and its Value

Chonte Crewsaw, Student

Education on any level can be difficult.  Once young graduates have completed high school, they have many options on how to move forward with their lives.  The traditional idea for most is to move from high school to college but that is a decision that is easier said than done. 

Leaving home is not as easy for some as it is for others and staying home is simply out of the question for some.  Community College and technical school attendance has increased over the past ten years largely because of the fraction of the cost of four year universities and institutes.  

Expenses are how most of us decide whether or not to go to school after high school or simply get a job and try to survive.  Deciding if a school in the same state is the best decision or taking that chance of out-of-state tuition (usually doubled) and have an experience that has not been had yet. 

According to an article written on BusinessInsider.com, for most incoming freshmen who were to attend a four year university while living in the state will pay around $10,486 while out of state tuition averages around $21,742.  In comparison, the tuition cost for a student to attend a community college freshmen year in state is about $4892 and out of state is $8643.

Many of the benefits of a community college experience are based around the central idea of efficiency.  Classroom sizes are often smaller to try and create a more personal environment for those who might struggle to learn in large lecture style courses. 

Community college campuses often do not have dormitories which leads to 95.4% of students to commute to their respective locations in order to complete courses.  2019-2020 as well as 2020-2021 statistics will be much different due to the pandemic shifting the landscape of education around the world.  The majority of classes were taken virtually and students would have class from the comforts of their own homes or public spaces.  

Completing an associates degree is a difficult task; most community colleges in the United States will require between 55-65 credit hours in order to complete.  Courses range from one to four credits per course and students average about four classes per semester in order to complete in two years.  Some students prefer to ease up on the heavy schedules and go for around three years to complete which is always acceptable.  

For those who will be completing their required credit hours and graduating in 2021 (like myself), some may have questions as to what to do next.  Generally the associates degree is a springboard into a four year university and for others, it will be a way to increase potential income when looking for jobs or even promotions within a job. 

According to an article written by Northeastern.edu, people who complete an associates degree earn a median income of $46,124 which is an increase of over $8500 compared to those who have a high school diploma but no college experience.  Completing an associates degree is a great accomplishment and it will open doors for potential jobs moving forward that will change your life for the better.  

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