Attending a community college set me on the road to success in more ways than one. It gave me the opportunity to explore majors, prepare for a successful transfer and save money.
My journey began when my parents suggested that while I was in high school, I take some courses at my local community college to get my feet wet. That first semester turned out to offer much more. I was splashed with a dynamic community college environment!
Community college allowed me to succeed beyond what I expected. I was able to complete credits toward my major at an incredibly reasonable cost. When my friends began taking out loans to support their education at four-year schools, I completed my first two years at Onondaga Community College loan-free. Now that’s a deal!
Going to a community college paved the way for a smooth transfer to a four-year school. I am now well-adjusted to the vigor of college life and have a clear career goal. This experience also gave me the opportunity to boost my acceptance to four-year colleges and universities. For example, I came to Onondaga with average SAT scores. Now, I’ll be transferring to a four-year university with a 4.0 GPA—something that greatly contributed to my acceptance at both SUNY Cortland and Syracuse University, as well as increased my opportunity to receive scholarships.
Attending a community college saved me a lot of money—now and down the road. Although at first glance community colleges might not appear as “glamorous” as four-year schools, it’s important to remember it’s not where you begin, but where you end that matters. So get your feet wet and explore what community college has to offer you!
Christa Carsten is from Syracuse, N.Y. She graduated from Onondaga Community College in 2008. Christa plans to become a high school math teacher.