Attending a City College

Prospective college students face one of the biggest decisions of their life: where exactly will I go to school? Going to a city college can be a startling and difficult experience for people who have not lived in a busy city. Life in the city is much different than life in a smaller community, and college-bound students should make their choice carefully. There are many good reasons to attend a community school in a more peaceful and relaxed setting, but there are just as many good reasons to attend a city college.

Each student must decide what their individual needs are and choose a school that will best fit them. There are several large differences between community and city colleges, and these end up having a big impact on the type of life that the students lead. These schools differ in terms of the culture, education, cost, social life, and future plans of the students who attend, among other ways.

Culture: Obviously, cities are centers where large amounts of people will gather, and this means that there is a large, vibrant social scene. Clubbers and other very social people love cities for this reason: there is always something to do! There is also usually a diverse art scene, with many cultures being represented. A downside to this is that there is often a higher rate of crime in cities, and you should remain aware of that. If you love the hustle and bustle, attending a city college will be something you won't want to miss out on. If you can't stand crowds, waiting in lines, or busy atmospheres, you may want to consider a community college.

Education: The type of education you will receive depends largely on your particular focus, as well as the teachers you will have. In general, a city college will offer a higher level of education than a community college, which often only offer two-year Associate's degrees. In many cases, students who are looking to get into an academic career will choose the city college, while those who are not looking for a future in academics will not. Students usually attend college in the city full-time, so the workload is also greater than that of community schools. A city college will also have more clubs, organizations, and a livelier academic scene.

Cost: There is quite a large difference in cost between attending a city college and attending a community college. Not only are city colleges more expensive in terms of tuition and housing, but living in a city is itself costlier than living in a more rural area. Just about everything will cost more in a city than elsewhere, but your student ID should get you discounts on some select purchases. This is one of the biggest deciding factors for students going off to college.

There is no fool-proof way to decide which college is right for you. If you are unsure about your future, it may be better to get involved with a community college first. This would help you begin to understand college life and give you the experience you need to decide whether or not you would like to pursue higher education at a city college. Attending college can be a wonderful experience or it can be a nightmare – it's up to you to inform yourself and make wise decisions.

Photo Credit: Bernaldo Leal

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