Community College: A good start for any scholar

By: Erick Alfaro

College is an important part of most people’s life. Especially after high school, a 4-year college is highly considered and looked upon. But one of the most ignored facts is that it’s expensive. Whether it’s a Cal State, UC, or private, attending a 4-year can leave a good dent in someone’s pocket, ranging anywhere from $5 thousand to $50 thousand.

Luckily for anyone attending schools in the Los Angeles Unified School district, seniors are eligible for a free year of community college tuition at local colleges.The program was led by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Community College District. This program can be very beneficial and it is important students use that opportunity to save money.

Since early on in grade school, teachers always tell students to do good in school and try to make it to their dream college but never once mention possibly the most important factor, the price of tuition. Getting accepted into a “good” school is one thing, but paying for it is another. The cost of attending college includes; tuition, housing, meal plans, books, and so on. It would be quite stupid to not take money into consideration.

It’s always good to keep a positive mentality, but let’s be honest, life is hard. Even though there are thousands of scholarships available, there are chances some students won’t win. Like most students around the Southern Los Angeles area, families struggle afford to pay the bills they are currently facing, and a 4-year college plan would seem nearly  not affordable. Financial aid could benefit some but receive an average of $4-$6 thousand which,  according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, is barely enough to pay off a California State university tuition of $5 thousand. Student loans are an option but there is always the fear of paying them back and ruining your credit score. It’s not the smartest idea to pay something off with other people’s money and pay more later.

It seems community colleges are looked down upon. It is rare to hear a teacher say “Go to community college to save money on your first year of being an adult!” High school teaches the absolute minimum about real world finances and alternative routes.

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