Is community college worth it?

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

One can scarcely open a newspaper, surf the web, or watch a news program these days without encountering this question: Is college worth it? Naysayers point to the rising cost of tuition, the growing level of student debt and persistent, high unemployment rates to argue that a college education doesn't have the value it once did.

Instead of merely entering the debate, we need to reframe the question: Is a community college education worth it? The facts about the value of graduating from a community college like Gateway here in Northern Kentucky are too important for any parent of a college-age student or any student paying his or her own way through school to overlook. With 1,200 community and technical colleges across the nation, this is a question that resonates in many communities. Unfortunately, community colleges are painted with the broad brush stroke of the traditional 4-year colleges and often are compared to elite private institutions whose sticker price can approach $50,000 per year. So let's enter the debate.

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