I have attended to two different colleges in the United States and the fact is that they are quite different in some points. After graduating Quincy High School, I enrolled in an English as Second Language program in the Suffolk University to get accepted to the school. One year later, I transferred to Quincy College. According to my experience, I recognize the differences between a university and a community college in terms of their campus size, tuitions and fees, and their students’ activities.
The first difference between a university and a community college is size. A university has a larger campus and more buildings. In contrast, a community college is smaller and has fewer classrooms. For instance, Quincy College only has two main buildings facilitated for teachings and learning while Suffolk University categorizes each major in one large building such as school of law and school of business. Moreover, the university also has more spaces for library, cafeteria, gymnasium, and stadium to serve an enormous student body.
On the other hand, the community college has limited spaces to expand its facilities. In general, the university has to provide services for more students than the community college so that its campus should be larger. Secondly, the tuitions and fees of a four-year university are more expensive than a community college. Even though the financial aid can cover some of the tuitions and fees, they are sometimes still too much to afford for some students. For example, I needed to pay the remaining after receiving financial aid by myself.
When I was at Suffolk University, I had owed direct loans to the federal government and some private loans. Conversely, my tuitions and fees at Quincy College are fully covered by my financial aid. That saves me a lot and I don’t have to borrow some extra money to finance my college. In addition, after paying off my tuitions and fees, I still have some money for books and stationeries. It can be seen that the community college is much affordable than a university.
Thirdly, students’ activities more vary at the university than the community college. Students at the university have more choices for clubs and school activities. A university’s sport team, for example, is established to attract students with sport talents and to compete with other university’s sport team. On the other hand, the community college only offers few of clubs and it does not have a sport league for student to join. With more choices of clubs and extra curriculum activities, the university students have more opportunities to develop their talents and socialize with other students.
The community college students, however, do not have many chances and conditions to attend more extra curriculum after school. Students studying at the university would have more options and opportunities to enrich their social life as well as their talents. In conclusion, studying at the community college is more affordable for those who have limited educational budget, but still want to experience an academic college environment. In contrast, despite being costly, the university will satisfy students who like to maximize their capacities with its fully equipped campus and variety of activities. Choosing to study at the community college or the university significantly depends on an individual’s financial conditions, abilities and future plans.