community college

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Here we compare community colleges and universities to help you decide which one to enter.

Attending a community college has many facets besides education. Community colleges are unquestionably “easier” than universities in terms of tuition, ease of admission, flexibility, school-life balance, and many other aspects. 

Please read this article and try to figure out why community college is easier than university. And think about these questions before attending community colleges:

Is Community College Easier Than University?

A community college simplifies life in many ways, which is how it differs from a university. The learning environments at community colleges are frequently simpler, more flexible, and easier to enter. All these things add up to make for a relatively easier learning experience. To see how life at a community college is simpler, let’s take a look at some of the crucial elements. See What is the Future of Community Colleges?

Easier To Get In

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Besides the obvious difference in length, community colleges are typically simpler to enter than 4-year universities. This is largely attributable to the fact that community colleges were established by the government to support their local communities.

In order to quickly deploy and close the workforce supply and demand gaps, they do this by observing the businesses in the area and by providing brief certificate programs and two-year associate’s degrees.

Additionally, they are created to provide education to non-traditional students by their very nature. Your typical university may turn away parents who are unable to balance a full-time job with the demands of raising young children, full-time workers who are unable to quit their jobs due to financial obligations, and students who were unfortunate enough to receive poor grades in high school but want a second chance.

On the other hand, community colleges are eager to assist these individuals. They don’t even mandate that you take the SAT or ACT. Wondering about community college vs university entrance essays? 

It’s not even a requirement at the majority of community colleges to write an essay. A high school diploma and proof of residency are all that are required. But Can You Get Rejected from a Community College?

You are typically required to take a placement test, which is only used to ascertain your educational level. If necessary, they might at most suggest that you enroll in some remedial courses.

Easy To Transfer

If the student feels the need, transferring to a university is another crucial factor. Many students are now choosing to spend the first two years of their post-secondary education at a community college due to the many advantages that community colleges offer, including low tuition as we will see next.

These students can apply to transfer to a university after earning their 2-year associate’s degree. The student enrolls directly in the third year of that university as a junior if the college credits are successfully transferred. But Is It Better to Go to Community College First, Then Transfer?

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Easier On Your Wallet

It is undoubtedly more affordable to attend a community college. A community college’s average tuition is $3,440, which is less than one-tenth of what it is at a university. You could spend up to $32,410 on a private university.

Why would anyone want to begin at a community college to earn an associate’s degree, then transfer to a university? was the question we posed earlier. Well, you can now understand the cause. It would be foolish to ignore the money you save on tuition.

More than half (52%) of university students had previously attended a community college, and 25% had graduated with an associate’s degree from one, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

In addition to these savings, many community college students are open to receiving additional financial aid in the form of scholarships, childcare assistance, and even subsidized housing when available.

Academic Flexibility Makes Life, Education, And Success Easier

If you had trouble in high school or had a long break after graduating, a community college is a great way to ease back into higher education. The ability to study at your own pace is one of the many benefits of community college. See How to Apply to College After a Gap Year?

Approximately 64% of students attend community colleges part-time, pacing their education to suit their needs. Some students even use this flexibility, along with the affordable tuition, to test out various academic specialties to see which ones they want to devote the rest of their lives to. Related: Do Colleges Have a Dress Code? What to Wear to Class?

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

One of my friends had always wanted to be a doctor, but when she enrolled in a community college and discovered how challenging it was, she decided to pursue nursing instead. With her genuine real-life priorities, she simply felt that she did not want to devote herself to so much work.

She was able to easily transition to her new courses thanks to community college, which also assisted her in making plans for her new career. You may be interested in whether you can apply for a college as a junior.

School-life Balance

Community colleges are much more accommodating than universities, which have comparatively more stringent requirements to pace studies. 

This is because, as was already mentioned, they want to make education more accessible to non-traditional students. They will therefore make accommodations for you if you are having trouble continuing your education for any reason.

Even the option of evening classes or purely online learning is available at many community colleges. For those who work full-time and other jobs, this is ideal.

Personalized Attention Makes Learning Easier

In comparison to a university class, which may have anywhere between 150 and 300 students, the average community college class has 25 to 35 students. At community colleges, learning is more personalized and engaging for this reason, among others.

Education can be challenging for non-traditional students who are juggling the demands of life. The learning process is facilitated by community colleges’ smaller class sizes, which give students more access to lecturers who understand their difficulties.

  • Academic Performance

A student’s performance and class size are directly related, according to research. It has been demonstrated that students in smaller classes perform better in studies and achieve higher test scores. They receive specialized attention from teachers, which is largely to blame. That would be very challenging for teachers to do in a class of 150 to 300 students.

Further Reading: Can You Take Classes at a Community College While Enrolled in University?

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?
  • Student Engagement

Students who need attention the most in larger settings frequently go unnoticed. These are minority students and non-native English speakers who often exhibit shyness in larger classes. In addition to finding it simpler to interact with teachers at community colleges due to their smaller class sizes, these students also find it easier to integrate into the student body in these settings.

Due to this increased engagement, students participate more actively in class, as opposed to most of them becoming passive observers in very large classes. Students in smaller classes also tend to have better relationships with their teachers and give their instructors and classes higher ratings when surveyed.

Further Reading:

  • Long-term Success

Naturally, all of this improves student performance and helps them establish a stronger educational foundation, which opens up more opportunities for them to succeed in school and in life in general. Minorities and underprivileged students see these advantages even more clearly. 

According to research, studying in smaller class sizes helped African Americans and students in the poorest third of the US students continue to succeed, even though 2.7% of all students on average exhibit signs of long-term success.

Career Pathways Make Employment Easier

We’ve already discussed how community colleges are responsive to local labor market demands. This is a crucial aspect of how community college helps you find employment more quickly.

Community colleges place a strong emphasis on creating brief training and educational programs that can quickly fill labor market gaps while collaborating with nearby businesses. Since both the community and businesses benefit, this is a win-win situation.

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Important Note On Academic Quality At Community Colleges

Is chemistry simpler in community college? Is achieving a 4.0 in community college simple? One might conclude from this discussion that community college is simpler in all respects.

This gives the false impression that community college education is of lower quality than that of a university, or that particular courses, like chemistry, are simpler there than at a university.

But it’s not a good assumption to make. Community colleges have greatly raised their academic standards, which is primarily why their popularity has increased recently. In fact, universities and employers across the United States now accept the quality and standards of education provided at community colleges. and some courses are even on par with reputable universities.

Why Are Universities More Expensive Than Community Colleges?

Community colleges are significantly less expensive than universities for a number of reasons. In essence, community colleges are cheaper to attend than universities because of their lower costs.

You can see what I mean by visiting a university campus. The majority of universities have enormous residence halls and opulent school gymnasiums, along with all the amenities in the world. There are numerous extracurricular pursuits that do not support themselves, unlike athletics.

You can see why the tuition is so much less at a community college where there isn’t all this fancy equipment by comparing this.

In addition, faculty salaries at community colleges are frequently lower than those at universities, which further reduces the costs of the institution and permits it to set lower tuition rates. Additionally, thanks to their larger budgets, universities are able to offer a wider range of courses. 

Are Technical Schools And Community Colleges The Same Thing?

Community colleges and vocational schools are two different types of institutions, despite the fact that they may look alike. The general education courses that community colleges offer also lead to associate degrees and certificates. On the other hand, vocational schools focus on preparing students for specific careers.

It’s acceptable to call community colleges junior colleges when speaking to them. The terms technical schools or career schools are also acceptable ways to refer to vocational schools.

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

It is incorrect to believe that community colleges and vocational schools are equivalent, though, as they are not.

Do you think a community college is simply a fancy name for a vocational school? If you choose to attend one when you ought to be attending the other, your experience might not be entirely satisfactory. It goes without saying that understanding the key distinctions between the two is essential.

Here are some common points of comparison that can help you tell apart a community college from a vocational school so that you may apply to the right institution after high school:


The general education courses that are offered at community colleges are the same ones that are taught to freshmen and sophomores at universities. The courses you’ll need to prepare for a specific profession after receiving your diploma or certificate, on the other hand, are those that are career-specific and offered at technical schools.

Remember that some vocational school programs might also include a few general education courses. English, math, and history are a few typical examples.


An associate degree is awarded to students who attend community colleges. They can apply for jobs with the degree they receive, which they typically receive after two years, or they can enroll in a four-year institution to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

However, students who enroll in vocational schools receive the diplomas or certificates required to apply for specific jobs, especially the ones they had in mind prior to enrolling in the program. Similar to community colleges, some vocational schools also award associate degrees, but these institutions are uncommon.


Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

There is an open admissions policy at almost all community colleges, which means that almost everyone who applies is accepted. If a high school diploma or an equivalent document, such as a GED certificate, is present, this is particularly true. You must provide residency documentation as part of the application process, but you are still permitted to enroll in an out-of-state community college.

Students should also have the necessary credentials, such as a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), before applying to vocational schools. In most cases, it’s simple to get accepted to a community college or vocational school.


A community college charges an average of $3,400 in tuition. An out-of-state student’s tuition is more expensive, typically costing $8,120, just like at a public university. A community college will cost you a total of $10,300 per academic year. The same kind of financial aid available at universities is available to some students attending community colleges. You can check out more information we have on How Much Money Do You Need For College?

Public and private vocational schools both exist. As a result, tuition at different vocational schools can differ greatly. A vocational school diploma can cost as much as $33,000. It is less expensive to finish a certificate program at a vocational school.

Can You Fail Community College Courses?

Students who are enrolled in community colleges may fail. This is particularly true if they do not put enough time and effort into their studies. Community colleges have a lower student-to-faculty ratio, which may make it simpler for students to pass their courses and earn high GPAs.

In US colleges and universities, the average student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Generally speaking, it is preferable to have a smaller ratio. Large four-year universities frequently hold classes in lecture halls and auditoriums, particularly for introductory courses. The objective is to house all of the students, which may number 300 or more.

Here is what you need to know about academic performance in colleges:

On the other hand, community college classes are much smaller, typically having 25 to 35 students. As a result, community colleges typically have lower student-to-faculty ratios.

A low student-to-faculty ratio offers many benefits. The ability of the professors to spend adequate time with each of their students ranks first on the list. As a matter of fact, it’s not unlikely for community college professors to know the name of their students, which professors at large universities may find impossible to do.

It’s less likely for you to fail a community college class because you can speak with a professor there if you have an urgent question or trouble understanding a lesson or topic.

Many community colleges offer something known as a “Fresh Start Policy” in case you are dissatisfied with your college GPA and worry that it may significantly limit your academic or career opportunities after graduation. Other names for it include Academic Fresh Start, Academic Forgiveness Policy, and Fresh Start Program.

Simply put, the Fresh Start Policy enables students with a spotty academic history and those who have not attended college in a while (typically two or more consecutive years, depending on the community college’s policy) to start over.

And the way that happens is by giving them the chance to raise their GPA and thereby improve their academic standing.

Before You Attend A Community College

Is Community College Easier Than University? Why?

Avoid assuming that because the admissions process is less complicated, getting a degree from a community college is simpler than getting one from a university.

It’s not unlikely that you will receive a low GPA or even a failing grade if you don’t study effectively. However, because of a low student-to-faculty ratio and a Fresh Start Policy, if available, you may obtain not only an associate degree but also a strong academic standing, which is essential for finishing a bachelor’s degree or applying for a job.

Today, many community colleges offer online degrees to non-traditional students who cannot attend in-person classes and cannot afford the high cost of online programs offered by private colleges and universities.

To Wrap Things Up: Community College VS University

Yes, there are many ways in which community college is simpler for students than a university. Poor educational standards do not make it simple; rather, many facilities must be made available that universities cannot provide.

We demonstrated how community colleges are structured differently to concentrate on doing just that. Their primary goal of serving their local communities aids in the design of their educational initiatives, which facilitate success in life, learning, and the workplace. 

So do yourself a favor and seize this chance to research the community colleges in your area. It’s possible that you’ll manage to simplify your life.


What’s Involved In Transferring From A Community College To A University?

Making sure that the university you want to transfer to accepts your community college credits should be your main concern. Additionally, you might need to enroll in a transfer program. To find out more about a student advisor’s procedure, speak with him.

Is Community College Worth It?

Are degrees from community colleges valuable? Yes. A quick associate’s degree from a community college can earn you more than $50,000, so many students attend. Even better, if they decide to, they can transfer to a university and eventually finish a bachelor’s degree.

Is It Easy to Get a 4.0 in Community College?

Getting a 4.0 in community college is not easy, and takes a lot of effort and hard work. Being the best student you can be and understanding what the teacher wants are just two aspects of a sound plan that you can rely on that can make the difference between success and failure.

What’s An Associate’s Degree?

You receive an associate’s degree after completing a two-year community college program. This degree demonstrates that you have learned something about a particular subject, though not to the same extent as a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

By emphasizing more the practical knowledge you will actually need in the field, a community college with an associate’s degree tries to adequately prepare you for the job market.

Can I Get A Good Job If I Have An Associate’s Degree?

Community colleges place a strong emphasis on careers, as was already mentioned. Additionally, they are aware of the demands of neighborhood businesses. That is to say, they are in touch with nearby companies and are aware of the kind of workers they need.

Community colleges can therefore efficiently prepare you for the available jobs. Consequently, finding employment following community college is not too difficult.

Can I Keep A Full-time Job And Attend Community College At The Same Time?

It is feasible to hold down a full-time job and attend community college. Online learning options and evening classes are widely available at community colleges. Due to this, you are able to combine your studies with a full-time job and study at your own pace.

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