CLC offers alternative to four-year college

Caroline Newman, Staff Reporter

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Seniors are anticipating going off to college as the school year comes to a close, and have chosen to go farther away for a brand new start or have chosen community college as the best choice in order to get the most for their money.

“Going to community college for two years is a good idea because you save a lot of money by not having to take out student loans,” said junior Sammy Grusling.

With the College of Lake County (CLC) campus being located in Grayslake, students often choose community college as the best option to further their education.

CLC offers the 2+2 program, which allows students to get the first two years of college out of the way at home in order to save money and get the basic classes done. Going to community college first can save up to $50,000.

“This is a very popular program because students don’t have to fork out all the expenses they would need to pay for food and board if they went away,” said guidance counselor Glenn Miller.

Another benefit of going to community college before attending a four year school is you don’t have to be set on a major. Community colleges have smaller classes and these smaller class sizes are largely due to the fact that less people are trying to get into the same program at these colleges.

Universities work with students to find classes that will help them graduate and encourage students to find a set path. However, community colleges allow that flexibility for a much lower cost.

“Four-year schools work with students to help guide them into finding a major, the same way a small school would,” said Miller.

Some states like Wisconsin and Minnesota have “tri-state initiatives.” These are scholarships given to students from Illinois (or the previously mentioned states). These allow students who did well in high school go to the other states in the initiative for college at a less expensive tuition.

“A benefit of tri-state initiatives would be being able to come home on weekends,” said Miller.

For some students, this is a major benefit, especially those who do not feel ready to be far from home, but still want to feel like a college student.

For many, out-of-state tuition is something that can be hard to pay for. These initiatives are a good way for students to go out of state while still getting a college education for the price of an in-state education.

No matter whether you choose to go to community college or a larger university, college allows people to learn to live on their own while still living with the structure provided by daily classes.

“In the past, we saw kids who didn’t do so well in high school going to CLC,” said Mercure. “Now we are seeing kids with 4.0 GPAs going [to CLC] because they are smart enough to know how much money they will be saving.”

 

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CLC offers alternative to four-year college