By: Nancy Xu
Community Colleges all over the country are making a crucial step towards making education more accessible to everyone by offering four year degrees.
I had the fortune of experiencing my first year of college worry free because all my finances were covered by my parents while I was studying at the State University of New York in Albany. Unfortunately, near the end of my first year, as our economy started to crack under pressure and businesses began to collapse, my father lost his job. I could no longer attend the school I had grown used to. I was bitter and helpless, so I reluctantly packed up and moved back home to Connecticut.
I am determined in my quest for a higher education and will stop at nothing to reach my goal of becoming a physician one day. I was sure of one thing though, I had no money and I did not want to put any strain on my already struggling family, so I decided I would pay for college on my own. I got two jobs and felt like I was on my way, until I ran into a major obstacle. As I scrolled through the local college websites and did some calculations, I realized that my two minimum wage jobs could not even make a dent in any of these four year colleges’ tuition. I was distraught.
By the end of my first year at NVCC, I had fallen in love with my school. I never expected so much from a school that I paid so little to attend. My teachers were all so knowledgeable and enthusiastic, not only that but my class sizes were so small compared to my first college that I could actually interact with my teacher and colleagues. These schools also offer students a flexible schedule so that they can work and pay for school. Community colleges, as the name states, are also very involved in the community and offer endless opportunities to become an active community member.
Since I have come to realize what a great gift community college is to motivated academics everywhere, I wondered why I could not just stay at my current school to get my four year degree. It would be so important to me if my college would offer a four year degree. Not only have I come to love the diverse people, enjoy all the opportunities and learned as much as I can from my intelligent professors, but it would mean I would not need to incur heavy debt before I even finish undergraduate school. This is the next major step in education and a gift to eager students striving to learn.