Higher education in this country is rapidly becoming a necessity in the business community rather than a luxury. There was a time when those who had a high school education still had the opportunity to build a better world for themselves and their families. But now, if you hope to have significant earning potential during your lifetime you are almost completely limited by your learning potential and the level of education you have received.
The good news is that you do not have to have an all or nothing approach when it comes to higher education. You can begin by taking baby steps. If you have a community college in your area, this is one of the greatest resources for beginning your college education at any stage in your life. Most community colleges offer classes at various times during the day and evening, even some on Saturday in order to accommodate students of different ages and backgrounds. Many community colleges now offer courses for homeschoolers.
Community colleges also offer an excellent opportunity to begin your learning quest in a manner that is much more easily affordable to the average citizen than a four-year university. Community colleges are largely commuter colleges, though there are several that allow students the experience of living on a college campus at a much lower price than most major universities charge for the same or very similar privileges.
Community colleges also allow you to explore your options if you aren't really sure what direction you wish for your education to take without paying such a high price for the process. If you know the career path you wish to take you might find a two-year degree program that can have you out of school and into a career much sooner than a four-year program will allow.
If that isn't good enough news for you, many of the two-year programs of study that are offered at the community college level may very well transfer quite easily into bachelor degree programs at the university level. Many community colleges have a reciprocal agreement with certain four year institutions that guarantees transfer of certain credits to a degree program.
Community colleges offer an excellent start for many people who are seeking higher education whether to further their careers or just to find fulfillment on a personal level in life. There are many wonderful programs in vocational fields as well as academic fields that can be explored at the community college level.
For graduating high school students, community colleges help students ease into the adjustment from high school to college without going through the culture shock that some universities can put students through. You will find that there are many opportunities to meet educational as well as social needs on the community college campus.
You should also discover that community colleges are much easier to budget when it comes to setting aside funds and savings for either your personal college education or the educational expenses of your children. Having your children attend a community college for two years before transferring to a university can save a great deal of money and provide you peace of mind that your children are still receiving an excellent level of education.
Frequently, students have no idea what they would like to study. Why spend upwards of $20,000 per year for them to experiment with various courses of study? At the end of their two year degree they may discover they do not wish to pursue the career that seemed so compelling two years before, and you will have saved a lot of money while they were figuring that out.
If you are looking for an excellent value when it comes to education you would be doing yourself or your children a disservice if you do not check out the community college options in your area before taking the plunge and diving into the university lifestyle. You will find that community colleges often offer an equal level of education for the introductory classes that first and second year college students often take, they are a much better value for the money. They are also an outstanding values for those who are trying to juggle their education with family and work responsibilities.