Jump to content

Community College


Recommended Posts

I'm considering going back to school for a couple years. There's some kind of dual degree or whatever you call it that I need to look into, and I'm planning on those two being Business Management and Graphic Arts. One as a general I can use for any job, and the other to hopefully get my footing for literally *any* creative field. I also plan on working while going to school. I'm considering taking part-time hours in college but not skipping any seasons, or however that works. I really don't know much about this, I didn't really expect to ever want to go to college. What should I know before getting my ducks in a row to start this?

Red Western Dragon Kin. Psych Kin. Consumer of Publix sweet tea. 🐲🐲🔥🔥🍵

20yr. Call me Dre/Dreanna. She/her mostly but He/Him is okay.

queer fem woman, also man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's kind of what my system did, I don't think it's a community college technically but it's just a small local college. I'd do it if you can get a scholarship or grant to pay for it, student loans aren't worth it. The guidance office is usually good for more specific questions since this can vary between colleges and states/countries, so I'd book an appointment if you already have a college in mind and they have something like that.

 

In our experiences online classes are better for doing college part-time since you don't need to physically go to campus and you can work at your own pace. Some states might also take away some financial aid if you do it part time but it really depends on where it is and at least here you need to pay attention to it if you're living off of your financial aid, if you're also from a poorer family you can get more for financial aid but as a heads up depending on where you live you may need to get your parent's tax and income information.

Rolling around an empty town

No man alive in the zombie crowd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's kind of what my system did, I don't think it's a community college technically but it's just a small local college. I'd do it if you can get a scholarship or grant to pay for it, student loans aren't worth it. The guidance office is usually good for more specific questions since this can vary between colleges and states/countries, so I'd book an appointment if you already have a college in mind and they have something like that.

 

In our experiences online classes are better for doing college part-time since you don't need to physically go to campus and you can work at your own pace. Some states might also take away some financial aid if you do it part time but it really depends on where it is and at least here you need to pay attention to it if you're living off of your financial aid, if you're also from a poorer family you can get more for financial aid but as a heads up depending on where you live you may need to get your parent's tax and income information.

I think I might have the financial covered. Florida residents get some kind of benefit, something my dad was mentioning. Plus my mom was able to find a bunch of different grants for my brother who took a year gap, and he only had to pay 1,000$ out of pocket. Plus I'm far enough in my industry that I'm guaranteed to find a 16$-17$/hr job anywhere full-time (which, isn't rolling in it, but could definitely be worse.) I'm more worried about how I'm going to schedule it out.

And unfortunately, I do not do well with online classes.

Red Western Dragon Kin. Psych Kin. Consumer of Publix sweet tea. 🐲🐲🔥🔥🍵

20yr. Call me Dre/Dreanna. She/her mostly but He/Him is okay.

queer fem woman, also man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know what exact kind of advice you're looking for, so I'm just going to throw some random stuff at you:

 

  • Once you've filled out your FAFSA paperwork, you may qualify for the PELL grant, especially if you've not been to college before. This grant is pretty good, but it only lasts for a certain number of credits, so if you get it, stay on top of what classes you're taking and make sure you're sticking to courses that are intended for your specific educational path.
  • Summer courses are not recommended if you would not appreciate trying to fit a full semester's worth of lectures inside of a shorter time frame than usual. The only time I'd say to go ahead and take a summer course is if it's required for your degree or a form of financial aid.
  • You said online classes aren't your thing, so be aware that there is a risk of some courses not being offered in person at all. Most classes will most likely be hybrids, with part of the time spent in physical lecture and part spent studying online course materials.
  • Ensure that you own computer programs can read and edit .doc, .docx, and .pdf files at the very least. I'm assuming business related courses will also include spreadsheets and slideshows, so anything that mimics the entire Microsoft Office Suite will be good. You should also obtain access to a working printer if you haven't already. Most schools have libraries with printer stations that you can access for a price, usually per page.
  • Your school of choice will likely have a program that you need to manually opt into that will send you an advance of a portion of your financial aid money for purchasing textbooks and other required course materials before your semester begins. The only downside is that the program may require you to purchase said materials at the school's bookstore, which will likely have intensely inflated prices for everything, even down to the tacky little mascot magnets in the checkout line.
  • On the subject of books, rent or buy secondhand if you want to save some money. You may also be able to find PDF copies of some textbooks online for free. Sometimes, professors will allow you to buy an older, cheaper edition of their required textbook; it isn't uncommon for a textbook to be re released with only minimal changes made to the actual information inside, so you can benefit from the markdown of an "out of date" book that is actually still equal in value to its more expensive successor. Unfortunately, you may also run into the rare professor who has written their own textbook and only offers it for sale through the school's own bookstore at a ridiculous price, so don't always expect to get away with avoiding paying full price.
  • Pay attention to Drop/Swap dates and, by all means, avoid dropping a class late. One of the consequences to doing this is the risk of being forced to pay back any financial aid you received to take the class. In addition to that, check if your school has any financial penalties for having to retake a course - some will as much as triple the tuition cost for each successive attempt.
  • When you are looking to enroll in classes, earlier is better, since this will give you the best choice when it comes to time slots. It is likely that your school will, at some point, give you a special, advanced enrollment period that is months before the semester you will be attending. Make sure you are aware of the date and time of this enrollment period, because if you miss it, then you will be competing with everyone during open enrollment.
  • You mentioned worrying about scheduling, so I will say that you are most likely going to be looking at time slots for classes that range from 1-4 hours long, depending on what kind of class it is and how many days you are meeting per week. In my experience, it is exceedingly rare for a class to meet for consecutive days in a row; it's usually something like Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday, or Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Times will be offered from early morning to late afternoon, sometimes night slots will be available, but not very often in my experience. Some classes only meet once a week, and those are usually the 3-4 hour long ones with a couple of breaks. If you are granted and taking advantage of that early enrollment period that I mentioned, you will have ample time to submit schedule change requests as needed.

 

This is just my opinion, but good choice on choosing a community college specifically. I personally detest big universities. Their enormous, impersonal classes and sprawling campuses are truly unpleasant to experience and navigate. I started with community college and look back on that time with much fondness, while thinking of my time at university after leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

"Wholly wounded, I imitate, I take shape."

polymorphic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...