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Community College Myths: What’s the Real Truth?

HCC campus during a sunset

Community college is a viable option for many students, offering a more affordable and convenient alternative to four-year schools. 

But despite the fact that 41% of all undergraduate students attend community college at some point in their education, there are still a lot of misconceptions about community college.  

In this article, we explore the top myths associated with community college and explain: 

  • Most myths about community college are simply false or misunderstood.  

  • The reasons why community college is a top choice for many students. 

  • Unique opportunities available at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD.  

So, what are the facts? 

Myth #1: Community College Is Easy 

One of the most common myths is that community college is easier than a four-year school, and therefore the education is less valuable.  

But the truth is community colleges must be fully accredited, meaning they are held to the same standards as four-year universities.  

The coursework and the instruction are at the same level as other colleges. Honors programs at Howard Community College offer students a more advanced curriculum, and enrichment opportunities like HCC’s undergraduate research program, study abroad, and service learning, take learning even further. 


Myth #2: Community College Credits Won’t Transfer 

Wondering if the credits you earn at community college will transfer to other school?  

While it’s true that sometimes the transferring process is not simple, no matter what school you’re in, it’s still quite possible to transfer credits from a community college. 

The truth is, one of the primary functions of community colleges is to make it more affordable to obtain a four-year degree, so ease of transfer is a key part of the process.  

Many community colleges have transfer agreements with local four-year colleges, and at Howard Community College many graduates transfer to a Maryland university and many others transfer to top schools around the country. 

Working with an advisor can help you develop a plan to achieve your long-term goals. 

Myth #3: Community College Looks Bad on a Resume 

Think of some of the most successful people you know. You might be surprised to learn that many of them started at a community college!  

The truth is, the institution where you earn your degree is less important than the hard work you put into getting it.  

In fact, many community college programs are designed to put you on the path to career, such as Howard Community College’s apprenticeship programs that provide an “earn while you learn” experience.  

Furthermore, there are plenty of examples of successful people who went to a community college, including the following: 

  • Athletes like Aaron Rodgers, Jackie Robinson, and Jesse Ventura 

  • Filmmakers like Walt Disney and George Lucas 

  • Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Melvin Salveson, and Calvin Klein 

  • Authors like Amy Tan 

  • Astronauts like James McDivitt, Eillen Collins, and Fred Haise 

In short, there is no reason to believe that going to a community college will decrease your chances of success. 

Myth #4: Community Colleges Have No Student Life 

The affordability of community college may make you think that options for extracurricular activities will be slim.  

But the truth is, there are a lot of way to get involved! 

Howard Community College has a thriving cultural arts center , 14 athletics teams (including a new esports team!), and exciting student activities ad clubs.  

Myth #5: Community College Is for Those Who Couldn’t Get into a Four-year School 

It is true that community college have open admissions, meaning that all who want to attend can attend.  

In fact, one of the core benefits of a having a community college in your community is the increased access to education for all.  

The truth is, students choose to attend community college for a wide variety of reasons that often have nothing to do with their grades: 

  • Affordability: Community college costs thousands of dollars less than 4-year schools. 

  • Flexibility: Community colleges are closer to home, and many classes are offered on evenings and weekends. 

  • Smaller Classes: Community colleges offer a more personalized experience. 

  • Student Support:  From tutoring, to counseling, mentoring, career guidance, and specialized peer support groups, community colleges are equipped to ensure that all students succeed. 

In other words, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to attend a community college first. 

Myth #6: Community College Is Only for Technical/Vocational Students 

There’s a common thought that community colleges are only for people seeking a career in a technical or vocational field.  

The truth is, community college programs are aligned with the needs of the workforce – meaning many community college programs can lead straight to an in-demand, well-paying job.  

But, community colleges also offer an array of classes and programs to prepare you to transfer to four-year school to earn a more advanced degree. 

Howard Community College can serve as a spring-board to a four-year school with programs in businessthe artsliterature and languagesSTEM, and more! And, earning your associate degree not only boosts your resume for a career, but it can make it easier to transfer all of your credits to a university. 


Myth #7: Community College Is for Older Students 

Think community college is only for adults? Think again.  

The truth is, community college is a resource for students of all ages who wish to earn a degree, get professional training, switch or advance careers, or learn new skills. 

While plenty of adult learners do choose community college, the majority of students who attend community college are under 22.  

So, whether you already have a degree and are looking to improve your skills, or a senior in high school looking to get started, community college will have what you need. 

Myth #8: Community College is Free 

There is a lot of buzz about free community college, and for some students it is possible to attend tuition free. 

The truth is, many students are able graduate community college debt-free. And, for eligible individuals who take full advantage of the resources provided to them, Howard Community College could be free.  

Regardless, for most students, community college is still the most affordable option. 

There are many services in place to help you afford your education at Howard Community College. These include scholarshipsfinancial aid, and other resources such as the Maryland College Promise scholarship

Myth #9: You’ll Be on Your Own 

If you are worried about navigating the college process on your own, worry no more. From the enrollment process to student servicescareer planning, and advising, Howard Community College provides the personal attention and guidance you need to be successful. 

The truth is, because community colleges serve so many types of students – from first-generation, to veterans and military, single parents, and traditionally under-served populations, the support services at a community college are often superior to what you would find at a typical university. 

These programs are designed to help students achieve their highest potential. 

Final Thoughts 

Community colleges offer an excellent and affordable alternative to four-year universities.  

  • They are more affordable 

  • They offer rigorous coursework and qualified teachers 

  • Credits can transfer to a four-year institution 

  • An associate degree looks good on a resume 

  • They offer many student life opportunities and support services 

  • They offer classes for a variety of career paths 

  • Students of all ages attend 

Whatever path you consider, Howard Community College can help you get there from here! 

Start you’re their own path to success. Apply to Howard Community College Today 

Topics: Campus Life
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