Forget Four More Years: Why Community College Could Be Your Ticket To Financial Success

Does less classroom time equal a bigger bottom line? New research shows that when it comes to earning big bucks right after graduation, community college graduates have an edge over those with four-year degrees. CollegeMeasures analyzed data from three states and found that not only did new graduates of technical or occupational programs outearn their community college peers in non-technical programs, they also outearned bachelor’s degree holders. This on the heels of stats from the Department of Labor from the fall that showed job growth for those with associate’s degrees was outpacing that of more advanced degree holders. The good news doesn’t stop there; the majority of the fastest growing occupations in the US, from dental hygienists to veterinary technologists,  require only a community college education.

In these sluggish economic times and in light of sky-high unemployment for four-year grads, community college has become an increasingly attractive and affordable option. In 2010 – 2011, the average community college student paid $2713 in tuition – a tenth of the tuition expense shouldered by students at private four-year colleges. Students at community colleges also received, on average, $1700 in Pell Grant aid to offset these tuition fees. While community college tuition costs did  rise 2.7% during 2010 – 2011, this was still less than half of the increase at private four-year schools. <Read more.>

Via J. Maureen Henderson, FORBES.

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