in which college perceptions are challenged

i could make the case that i was one of those high school students. one of those elitists. not going to college was never a question. going to a two-year community college? not on the table. i didn’t know where i wanted to go; i did college visits at a couple state universities, considered out of state colleges, and finally settled on a  small, private, liberal arts college. 

yes, i was one of those.

tuition and room and board my first year was $18k/year. when i left, it was $22k. now? $46k. unfathomable. 

but still, the idea of going to a four-year college and getting that well-rounded, liberal arts college for post-secondary education was always the goal that everyone should reach for. then i entered the workforce, and job after job that i had required a minimum of a two-year degree. when was this liberal arts education going to come in handy? i began to slowly come to the realization that i could have saved myself a lot of money and just gotten a two-year degree. 

then i started working at a two-year college. and i got a little older and little less pretentious (i hope, anyway). two-year schools are great in ways that are twofold.

  1. transferring after getting general education credits out of the way is a great way to save money. two years are just as rigorous as four-year colleges, and the credits are easy to transfer when done correctly. classes are generally smaller than state schools, and since fewer people go to two years, there is more attention given. 
  2. different styles of learning is pretty well embraced at tech colleges. not exactly a bookish person? get a welding degree, or any other trade degree that depends on hands-on learning. know you want to get into healthcare but not sure what? get your lpn for now and maybe go back after some time in the field. two years of the kind of learning that you like, and then step into a really well-paying job (seriously, more than i make. and i have stupid master’s degree.)

the point could be argued that if a person does her or his general education AAS in two years then gets a two-year trade AS, wouldn’t that be equivalent of a four-year degree? 

if i were going back to school now, there’s no way i would be able to afford the college i went to. the two-year college is looking pretty good.

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