Erasing the College Stigma

Community colleges should not have a bad reputation


Ella Brown

Photo of a local community college

In a study conducted by in 2019, the national student debt total had reached an immense 1.5 trillion dollars at four-year universities. Debt affects college students by limiting the price they can spend when buying a house or a car, according to Community colleges, despite their lower tuition, are not always the first choice for many students due to its bad reputation.

“Many people think community college has a bad reputation because they believe it is for the students who scored low on their [American College Test], and also for the ones who didn’t get accepted into major universities like Mizzou,” senior Madalynn Owsley said.

Community college is an excellent type of schooling because it helps students who are unsure, students who do not want to pay a great amount for school and students who are not ready to leave their hometown.

“Community Colleges like St. Charles Community College (SCC) gives students the opportunity to get their post-high school education at a much lower cost,” Owsley said. “Since SCC gives free two-year tuition to students who were enrolled in the A+ program, I wonder why more students don’t go there over other [universities] like Mizzou or SEMO.”

When weighing out the pros and cons of community college, some benefits include low tuition fees and transferable credits. With off-campus housing and a more focused faculty, I find it hard to understand why more do not take advantage of community college. With scholarship opportunities such as Missouri A+ Tutoring, which offers two free years after meeting the program’s requirements, it is hard not to consider this pathway as an option. Every college requires students to take general education classes. Taking them at community college can subtract a fortune off one’s tuition.

“I often regret not attending community college,” teacher Nichole Blanc said. “It would have saved me over $25,000, rather than going to Lindenwood, a four-year university.”

While some universities do offer cheaper tuition than others, community college will save students two times the price it would cost to go to a four-year public university, according to On top of the many other advantages of community college, one that I find most impressive is the many jobs you can get with an associate’s degree. Some jobs you could get with an associate’s degree are respiratory therapists, dental hygienists, nurses, physical/occupational therapy assistants, paralegal and legal assistants.

“Someone considering a community college should disregard any thoughts about a bad reputation,” SCC admissions adviser Todd Galbierz said. “Attending community college is a great decision. You can save a lot of money and get a great education still. You can also transfer to a bigger university after getting your associate’s 2-year degree. Prospective students will not be disappointed if they attend a community college like SCC.”

With a variety of benefits and advantages, I believe more students should consider studying at a community college first, before going straight to a university. Erase the college stigma.