As high school students near graduation, there are some important decisions to be made about their post secondary education. Where to attend college is one of them. While many are attracted to large, reputable, and expensive universities, others will seek the advantages of a junior college for the first two years. Junior colleges provide some benefits that a university may lack. Plus, if a student starts at a junior college and later transfers to graduate from a notable university, they receive the same degree as if they had attended all 4 years at the university.
If one thing is certain, it is that gaining a degree can be extremely expensive. Many people attend a junior college for the sole purpose of saving money. Generally, it is less than $3,000 to complete a year of junior college, while universities may charge $30,000. Both schools will offer the same classes, so why not take advantage of the lower Junior college tuition, since the first 2 years are only general education requirements anyway.
Additionally, if you did not score the grades needed to attend your ideal university in high school, junior college offers a fresh start to produce a new transcript. A student who may not have been accepted before junior college, could possibly get in two years later with a scholarship. Plus, with smaller class sizes and more individualized attention, it may be easier to acquire better grades in junior college.
Finally, junior colleges are often local, allowing the student to remain at or near home. Not all students are emotionally prepared to go away to school. Many get homesick and may not perform well academically as a result. Some will fail out due to a number of other stressors for which they have not yet developed coping skills Junior college may help in providing ample time to for students to grow into maturity.
The Higher Education Act was originally passed in 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s attempt to “strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and provide financial assistance for students in post secondary and higher education.” The original reform made it easier for many to pursue secondary education by generating low-interest student loans, increasing the funding that is provided to universities, and creating scholarships. This legislation was designed to be open for review and change approximately every five years from its origination, in order to accommodate growth and improvement in the reformation of education.
The Higher Education Act has been reauthorized in the years 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2008, and 2009. In 1998, the amendment prevented individuals with drug charges from receiving federal financial aid for school. Next, in 2003, the changes made to the Higher Education Act were intended to assist minority groups accomplish their educational goals. Then, the 2008 Higher Education Act made an amendment that would offer loan repayment forgiveness for disabled people. In other years of reconsideration, little changes were made and the existing legislature was reauthorized.
More recently, in 2009, Obama signed for some technical changes to occur in the Higher Education Act, which updated some language and political issues. Authorization of the program that is currently in effect is set to expire in 2013. However, with the current state of our economy, many people expect to see changes occur with the Higher Education Act before then. In 2010, the government plans to put a large focus on items pertaining to post secondary education loans and loan repayment.
Many adults who either drop out of high school, just get their GED, or have been out of high school for a number of years think it is too late to go to college. IT’S NOT! Many adults are returning to college for a number of reasons. Some have lost their long time jobs, some to better their position in their company, and others to expand their minds and to be able to say they finally did it. Just because you are an adult don’t think that you do not qualify or are not able to get any assistance in funding your education. Criteria is a little different than most kids right out of high school but it is not impossible.
Many high school students also think that unless they have a 4.0 GPA their entire school years they are not eligible for college scholarships either. 4.0 GPA will help obtain certain scholarships but it is not the only way. There are scholarships for leadership skills, your choice of college major, extracurricular activities (cheer, sports, debate, technical etc…), your cultural or ethnic background, you or your parents income level, your SAT or ACT scores, and much much more. Don’t give up on continuing your education just because you are not a straight A student.
Check out our most recent article on finding scholarships to learn more.