Community College FAQs

2 students walking side-by-side

Community College FAQs

rosa-maria-banuelos-uribeLooking for an alternative to the four-year college route? Look no further than your local community college! Community colleges provide students with continuing education at an affordable cost, a closer distance, and with lots of flexibility. However, you might not know what to expect since the community college pathway isn’t discussed as much as a traditional four-year school. We asked Rosa Maria Bañuelos-Uribe, an admissions and recruitment coordinator at Lane Community College, to answer your community college questions!

What Are the Benefits of Attending a Community College? 

Community colleges are more affordable, have smaller classes, flexible offerings, and offer personalized instruction. They also offer professional technical degrees and transfer degrees toward a bachelor’s degree at a university. 

What Should I Know Before Enrolling? 

Visit the campus. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Contact the admissions department. Learn more about the services offered, including academic advising support, tutoring, student life, mental health and wellness support, accessibility/accommodations support, etc. 

Does Financial Aid Cover Community College Costs? 

Yes! Students planning to attend a community college can qualify for federal student aid via the FAFSA. Additionally, all students should apply for regional and national scholarships. If your city/state offers a Promise Program, apply for it! For example, in Oregon, the state offers the Oregon Promise grant to help students pay for their first two years of college if they attend any of the 17 Oregon community colleges within six months of high school graduation or GED completion. 

What Types of Degrees Can I Get at a Community College? 

Students can earn certificates, associate, or transfer degrees to a university. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor during their first term if their goal is to transfer to a university so that appropriate courses are selected. You should plan to meet with your academic advisor once a quarter/semester, especially before registration, so they can ensure that you are enrolling for the appropriate courses for your career path. 

Do Community Colleges Offer Housing? 

Some community colleges do! At Lane Community College, student housing is available through our student housing facility. Always check with the admissions office first to see if student housing is available. 

What Kinds of Services Do Community Colleges Offer (i.e., Career Services, Extracurricular Activities, Student Life, etc.)? 

Community colleges offer an array of support services to help in your success! This includes, but is not limited to, academic advising, career counseling, mental health and wellness support, tutoring, student life, etc. 

Can I Attend a Community College Outside of My Hometown or State? 

Yes, you can! This is very important for students looking at transferring to a university where there is a community college in the same town. Often, the local community college partners with the local university to offer dual enrollment partnerships, or students can qualify for in-state tuition at the community college. For example, Lane Community College students from a bordering state qualify automatically for in-state tuition. Research residency options for the schools you’re considering attending. Also, there may be career technical programs out-of-state community colleges offer that your local community college doesn’t. 

Are the Application Deadlines Different Than Four-Year Universities? 

Yes! Community colleges admit students up until the first week of school. Most community colleges will require you to apply for admission and complete a few additional steps. Some of those steps may be course placement and orientation. Please check with the admissions department for the school(s) you are applying to for more information about their requirements. 

Do Most Students Work or Complete an Internship While in School? 

A good percentage of students work in the community or on campus while in school. For students pursuing a career technical program, you may also be required to complete an internship with a local employer as part of your course requirements for your degree. 

Still considering which college is right for you? Check out these eight factors to consider when looking at colleges. At the end of the day, there is no one right pick for all. Every path is unique, and it’s important to pick the school that makes the most sense for you! 

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