Why so few community college students get to universities

Students in the United States are often advised to start college at a public community college as a way to save thousands of dollars on a bachelor degree. But only 13% of the students who start at a community college manage to get a bachelor degree six years later, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, writes Jill Barshay for The Hechinger Report.

Lack of money was a major obstacle. Many students were unaware of the financial aid and subsidised loans that they could tap into and mistakenly thought that a four-year institution was unaffordable. “They didn’t know that they can get more aid at a university than at a community college,” said Darla Cooper of the RP Group, a non-profit research organisation that studies the state’s community colleges.

Juggling family and work along with school was a challenge for many, as was commuting distances and requirements and procedures. But the transfer process itself is so complicated that Mariana Moreno, who runs the transfer centre at Crafton Hills College in southern California, created a course website to walk students through it and runs a four-session workshop just to explain all 14 steps. Moreno told me she’s considering lengthening her workshop with a fifth session.
Full report on The Hechinger Report site