2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

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bryansmile
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by bryansmile » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:22 am

I'll share a different opinion.

In college, students become buddies mostly in freshmen year since everyone is new, which is why a lot of colleges require freshmen to live in dorms. These relationships become important throughout college, in their coursework and social life. It doesn't mean students don't find new friends in the last 2 years of college, it's just so much harder as a transfer student since others already have friends.

Are you sure your relative can't get financial aid? What's his EFC? Typically those who can't afford college are the ones who benefit the most from financial aid.

jibantik
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by jibantik » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:25 am

2 years at CC is a great method, more people should do it. I suspect a lot of the times the classes are actually better anyway because it's the same material with more individual instruction. Those intro classes at a university may have hundreds of students packed in them.

Starting at CC will basically have no hindrance on potential IMO. Unless things have changed, it's easier to transfer to schools rather than get in as a freshman. Plus everyone will only care where you ended your degree at and if you go to grad school then people will only care where you did grad school.

cousindan
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cousindan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:25 am

You plan sounds good.

I would consider a summer internship part of the degree. a BSME with two summers of intern work is far more valuable than a naked BSME. This is even more powerful if the two summers are with the same company. It tells future employers that you did a good enough job the first time to get taken back. The only deviation from this is if the first summers job was limited in scope (small company or stale product line) then your second job is a different and larger scale, higher technology ME exposure. Just don't bounce between two different limited scope jobs.

Tell him to get his hand on SolidWorks 3d drawing package and a computer that can handle it and start learning the ins and outs. This is the bread and butter of MEs where I work.

best of luck.
Last edited by cousindan on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

cpumechanic
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cpumechanic » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:27 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Bingo.
+5 Where did you go to school, the one you graduated from is the ONLY ONE that matters. CC is a Great cost saving option and an opportunity for a person to grow up a little and get good grades with less competition. Go For it.

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tibbitts
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by tibbitts » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:39 am

bryansmile wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:22 am
I'll share a different opinion.

In college, students become buddies mostly in freshmen year since everyone is new, which is why a lot of colleges require freshmen to live in dorms. These relationships become important throughout college, in their coursework and social life. It doesn't mean students don't find new friends in the last 2 years of college, it's just so much harder as a transfer student since others already have friends.

Are you sure your relative can't get financial aid? What's his EFC? Typically those who can't afford college are the ones who benefit the most from financial aid.
Sometimes the friends are a benefit, sometimes more of a distraction.

And I'm not sure it works the way it did when I was in college in the 1970s; it seems that a lot of academic and social college activity is online now.

cherijoh
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cherijoh » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:39 am

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
I know someone who did this in Charlotte, but for a business degree. The key was that the CC knew exactly what would transfer (and what wouldn't) to the 2 local 4-yr universities (Queens and UNCC). It wouldn't have worked nearly as well if she decided to go somewhere else to finish up.

She did end up with a more intense final 2 years with more classes in her major than she would have otherwise had if she had gone to UNCC for the entire time since the CC pretty much covered all her general university requirements and a few basic business classes.

It is probably a bit more complicated for an engineering program since there tend to more sequential courses and those with prerequisites. Have you talked to both the CC and the 4-year school? Could they put your nephew in touch with someone who completed the program in that manner?

sciencenerd
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sciencenerd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:05 am

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!

I guess I go against the general opinion. I am faculty in Chemistry at a R1 public research university, getting lots of transfer students from local and regional community colleges, many of them trying to save money going that route.

I teach a 300 level course, getting several of these students right after they transfer to us. Often, these transfer students are the weakest students in my class. I had one drop out last year, because he would have ended up with a C-, while being used to being a straight A student at the local CC. The reason is that the standards at the CC can be a lot lower than at a large university. This often creates a culture shock to these students at the worst possible time, i.e. when they have to get good grades to get professors write letters of reference for them.

The student I used as an example was hard working and motivated. However, he had been used to getting by with memorization at the CC, which was not possible anymore in my course.

In my view, trying to save money going to CC for the first two years is being penny wise and pound foolish. Sure, there are cases where it can work out well, but my experience is that in the majority of cases it does not. These transfer students end up with poor GPAs in their junior year, when grades normally go up, and a big hit to their confidence.

cherijoh
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cherijoh » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:11 am

radiowave wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:54 pm
For those reading this thread with children in high school who are getting ready to go to college, one good strategy is to take advanced placement courses for college credit in high school especially those generic first year course requirements such as English comp, basic science with lab, psychology, etc. Unfortunately this does not apply to the OP's nephew since he is graduating this May. However, getting a few college courses in senior year HS (and sometimes junior year HS), can really help with the first year of college whether at community or university level. Also, taking college level classes over the summer can also help. If a student is motivated, this approach can cut BS/BA degree down to 3 years which reduces the overall cost of the degree but also gets the graduate into the job market a year earlier earning a salary.

Just an FYI.
+1

I was lucky enough to attend a HS that offered a wide range of AP classes :happy - this was over 40 years ago and not all school systems offered them.

I took 4 AP classes and earned a high enough score to get 2 semesters credit for each class at my state U, so I started out with 28 credits - calculus (8), chemistry (8), English (6) and US history (6). (YMMV since the school decides on how many credits you will receive based on your score). One other advantage to going the AP route is that you will have been challenged in your HS classes and have already developed good study habits. I had less trouble adapting to college than some very bright friends who had gotten straight As but skated through HS without hardly cracking a book!

I was an engineering major and graduated in 3.5 years; because of the load (135 credits to graduate in engineering vs. 120 for most other majors) and the sequential classes it would have been impossible to graduate in 3 years. But it is doable if you major in almost anything else.

bryansmile
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by bryansmile » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:13 am

sciencenerd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:05 am
I guess I go against the general opinion. I am faculty in Chemistry at a R1 public research university, getting lots of transfer students from local and regional community colleges, many of them trying to save money going that route.

I teach a 300 level course, getting several of these students right after they transfer to us. Often, these transfer students are the weakest students in my class. I had one drop out last year, because he would have ended up with a C-, while being used to being a straight A student at the local CC. The reason is that the standards at the CC can be a lot lower than at a large university. This often creates a culture shock to these students at the worst possible time, i.e. when they have to get good grades to get professors write letters of reference for them.

The student I used as an example was hard working and motivated. However, he had been used to getting by with memorization at the CC, which was not possible anymore in my course.

In my view, trying to save money going to CC for the first two years is being penny wise and pound foolish. Sure, there are cases where it can work out well, but my experience is that in the majority of cases it does not. These transfer students end up with poor GPAs in their junior year, when grades normally go up, and a big hit to their confidence.
This is exactly the same thing a friend shared with me. He's a long time faculty at a well respected R1 research university, in engineering.

dknightd
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by dknightd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:22 am

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
I'd suggest your nephew consider taking as many government subsidized loans as possible. If I remember they cost 0% while you are in school. If he does not need the money, great, put it in a savings account. I paid my way through school. But I did dip into my 0% fed loans on occasion. Car, stereo, other "necessary" expenses. Unless things have changed no interest was charged while in school, plus a 9 month grace period. Looking back 40 years, I probably should have taken out more of these loans, even if I did not need them. Things might have changed since then.

cherijoh
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cherijoh » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:24 am

sciencenerd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:05 am
sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
I guess I go against the general opinion. I am faculty in Chemistry at a R1 public research university, getting lots of transfer students from local and regional community colleges, many of them trying to save money going that route.

I teach a 300 level course, getting several of these students right after they transfer to us. Often, these transfer students are the weakest students in my class. I had one drop out last year, because he would have ended up with a C-, while being used to being a straight A student at the local CC. The reason is that the standards at the CC can be a lot lower than at a large university. This often creates a culture shock to these students at the worst possible time, i.e. when they have to get good grades to get professors write letters of reference for them.

The student I used as an example was hard working and motivated. However, he had been used to getting by with memorization at the CC, which was not possible anymore in my course.

In my view, trying to save money going to CC for the first two years is being penny wise and pound foolish. Sure, there are cases where it can work out well, but my experience is that in the majority of cases it does not. These transfer students end up with poor GPAs in their junior year, when grades normally go up, and a big hit to their confidence.
Not all CCs are created equal. Some CCs focus on remedial classes and mostly attract students who would likely be freshman drop-outs at a 4-yr college. Others are good options for those without the means to afford a full 4 years at a more expensive 4-yr institution.

But you make a good point. The OP should find out the graduation rate for transfer students from the candidate CC at the target 4-yr university.

dknightd
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by dknightd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:32 am

bryansmile wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:13 am
This is exactly the same thing a friend shared with me. He's a long time faculty at a well respected R1 research university, in engineering.
There is a sequence of return risk. If the CC does not align well with the University course schedule there could be problems.
Often it is better if the student goes through the regular curriculum. But if they are a good student it does not really matter. A good student will always do well. A marginal student might not do so well.

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willthrill81
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:38 am

jibantik wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:25 am
2 years at CC is a great method, more people should do it. I suspect a lot of the times the classes are actually better anyway because it's the same material with more individual instruction. Those intro classes at a university may have hundreds of students packed in them.

Starting at CC will basically have no hindrance on potential IMO. Unless things have changed, it's easier to transfer to schools rather than get in as a freshman. Plus everyone will only care where you ended your degree at and if you go to grad school then people will only care where you did grad school.
Spending two years at CC certainly worked well for me. I was actually getting paid to attend during that time, and this contributed to me only needing about $8k of student loans in total for my undergraduate degree.

And yes, it's usually easier to transfer to a university than enter as a freshman. Plus, many universities are now requiring incoming freshmen to stay on campus, which may be unnecessary if less costly housing arrangements can be made (e.g. staying at home with parents or doing 'house hacking').
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

RobLyons
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by RobLyons » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:41 am

I feel like this is an excellent, cost efficient path to an undergraduate degree and it was the path I took back in college. It saved me literally tens of thousands of dollars, because I switched majors twice before moving on to my baccalaureate. It also gave me time to mature and decide upon my future.
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quantAndHold
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:50 am

If he is so inclined, Army ROTC might be a good option. Free education, in exchange for spending a few years in the military post graduation.

Regardless, he should be able to get at least one summer internship to help pay tuition as well.

dknightd
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by dknightd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:50 am

There is an intangible advantage to starting at the 4 year school, that also offers graduate degrees.
They will likely be exposed to people smarter than them. And they could make life long friendships with some of these people. They will also be exposed to more possibilities. You get out of school, and life, what you put into it.
I don't know your nephew so can not make specific recommendation

JGoneRiding
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:20 pm

Are his parents at least willing to do the fafsa? For community college I might not bother but for sure for regular universities I would he should be eligible for aid. But some parents are so un supportive they won't and that can really screw up a kid for life.

JGoneRiding
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:25 pm

dknightd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:22 am
sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
I'd suggest your nephew consider taking as many government subsidized loans as possible. If I remember they cost 0% while you are in school. If he does not need the money, great, put it in a savings account. I paid my way through school. But I did dip into my 0% fed loans on occasion. Car, stereo, other "necessary" expenses. Unless things have changed no interest was charged while in school, plus a 9 month grace period. Looking back 40 years, I probably should have taken out more of these loans, even if I did not need them. Things might have changed since then.
Last I checked (has been a while) student loans like most credit card transfers come with origination fees so this is terrible advice if you don't need the money! You pay 3% upfront and interest on that 3% if you take the loan and what kid doesn't spend up to their already low income. Never take a loan you don't need right then.

dknightd
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by dknightd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:50 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:25 pm
dknightd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:22 am
sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
I'd suggest your nephew consider taking as many government subsidized loans as possible. If I remember they cost 0% while you are in school. If he does not need the money, great, put it in a savings account. I paid my way through school. But I did dip into my 0% fed loans on occasion. Car, stereo, other "necessary" expenses. Unless things have changed no interest was charged while in school, plus a 9 month grace period. Looking back 40 years, I probably should have taken out more of these loans, even if I did not need them. Things might have changed since then.
Last I checked (has been a while) student loans like most credit card transfers come with origination fees so this is terrible advice if you don't need the money! You pay 3% upfront and interest on that 3% if you take the loan and what kid doesn't spend up to their already low income. Never take a loan you don't need right then.
My memory also fails me. It was a long time ago. My loans are paid off. The student should consider taking out loans. It may or may not be a good thing to do. For me taking student loans was a good thing. For others it may be a bad thing!

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sd323232
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sd323232 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:07 pm

Thanks for reply guys! I will print out this whole thread, there is so much good info here.

Looks like getting 3.0+ GPA will be the key at ACC. My nephew will have to achieve this goal, he is the one who will do all the heavy lifting here, non stop studying and studying! I wish i could send him straight to UT and have him enjoy social life, building relationships and live the college life, but this is a luxury our family cant afford. I hope he will meet other goal-oriented, hard working kids in ACC who will probably transfer to UT with him.

Our main goal is to get quality education and not go deep into debt (or may be with no debt at all). From what i heard about ACC so far, it is one of the best 2 years college in Texas. My nephew lucked out that he lives in a place like Austin with so many great schools.

There will be sacrifices, but i told him that there are no shorts cuts here, it is what it is. But in reality, its only 2 years n ACC, and 2 years in UT. For 4 years total. 4 years may seem like eternity to a young kid, but it is not really a long period of time.

The posts from people who actually did walk this path, went to community college and then transferred to 4 year degree and graduated, are very inspirational.

Lynette
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Lynette » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:19 pm

I retired from a position at a Megacorp recently but for years I've been amusing myself by taking classes in IT and and languages at a community college. I have degrees in History, Latin, accounting etc. from overseas universities and I was also briefly a teacher. In the sixties at my university one was fortunate if one got 60%. Now I get perfect grades - of course there are many extra credit courses.

I have found that the quality of the instruction varies greatly as many of the teachers are Adjunct. The background of the students is also very variable. Even if nominally the standard is the same, it is easy for a teacher to jack one's grades - simply tell the students more about what they will face on the exam and rehearse them for it. I have also found some teachers try to teach to the level of the weakest student who probably should not be in the class at all.

Based on my experience, I think I would do anything I could to start my education at the four-year university. The standards of teaching and the knowledge of the students is too variable at a community college.

Best wishes.

Lynette
Last edited by Lynette on Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

MotoTrojan
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by MotoTrojan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:29 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
If he isn’t working an an internship those last two summers he will struggle to find a good full time gig. Fortunately for engineers these are usually paid handsomely. I’d ensure enough freetine to be involved in some school engineering clubs/projects; without the hands on experience he will struggle to get those internships, and that chain reaction can be painful to overcome.

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TxAg
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by TxAg » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:12 pm

bryansmile wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:22 am
I'll share a different opinion.

In college, students become buddies mostly in freshmen year since everyone is new, which is why a lot of colleges require freshmen to live in dorms. These relationships become important throughout college, in their coursework and social life. It doesn't mean students don't find new friends in the last 2 years of college, it's just so much harder as a transfer student since others already have friends.

Are you sure your relative can't get financial aid? What's his EFC? Typically those who can't afford college are the ones who benefit the most from financial aid.


You make a good point, especially for a small a school. However both these schools are located in Austin, a major city. It's pretty easy to meet people when out and about. Plus, there will be an awful lot of folks with the same plan as the OP's nephew...thus they'll still move along together.

IMO
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by IMO » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:42 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Bingo.
And further, for any profession with an advanced degree requirement:
Ultimately, no one cares where your BS came from (once you get into the program of course).

likegarden
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by likegarden » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:53 pm

Our experience is that if the student lives at home during 2 years at CC and the following years at university, it will be fine. But when he would switch to dormitory life later in university, then his environment could change too much to stay successful. He and his parents have watch the first weeks in university after he switched from CC, because CC might have been more regulated with school work, whereas in the university much is more up to his selections.
Last edited by likegarden on Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

randomguy
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by randomguy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:57 pm

bryansmile wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:13 am
sciencenerd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:05 am
I guess I go against the general opinion. I am faculty in Chemistry at a R1 public research university, getting lots of transfer students from local and regional community colleges, many of them trying to save money going that route.

I teach a 300 level course, getting several of these students right after they transfer to us. Often, these transfer students are the weakest students in my class. I had one drop out last year, because he would have ended up with a C-, while being used to being a straight A student at the local CC. The reason is that the standards at the CC can be a lot lower than at a large university. This often creates a culture shock to these students at the worst possible time, i.e. when they have to get good grades to get professors write letters of reference for them.

The student I used as an example was hard working and motivated. However, he had been used to getting by with memorization at the CC, which was not possible anymore in my course.

In my view, trying to save money going to CC for the first two years is being penny wise and pound foolish. Sure, there are cases where it can work out well, but my experience is that in the majority of cases it does not. These transfer students end up with poor GPAs in their junior year, when grades normally go up, and a big hit to their confidence.
This is exactly the same thing a friend shared with me. He's a long time faculty at a well respected R1 research university, in engineering.
The question is how much of it is the kid, and how much is the prep the kid had. Hard to differiante. And yes just adapting to a new environment can take energy that would be better spent studying.

If you graduate with a 4 year degree, yep nobody cares about those CC years. The tough part is figuring out of CC helps or hurts your chances of that happening. Money is the #1 reason kids drop out of both CC and 4 years. The CC to 4 year degree rate is bad but those stats may or may not apply to your situation.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by harrychan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:41 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:07 pm
Thanks for reply guys! I will print out this whole thread, there is so much good info here.

Looks like getting 3.0+ GPA will be the key at ACC. My nephew will have to achieve this goal, he is the one who will do all the heavy lifting here, non stop studying and studying! I wish i could send him straight to UT and have him enjoy social life, building relationships and live the college life, but this is a luxury our family cant afford. I hope he will meet other goal-oriented, hard working kids in ACC who will probably transfer to UT with him.

Our main goal is to get quality education and not go deep into debt (or may be with no debt at all). From what i heard about ACC so far, it is one of the best 2 years college in Texas. My nephew lucked out that he lives in a place like Austin with so many great schools.

There will be sacrifices, but i told him that there are no shorts cuts here, it is what it is. But in reality, its only 2 years n ACC, and 2 years in UT. For 4 years total. 4 years may seem like eternity to a young kid, but it is not really a long period of time.

The posts from people who actually did walk this path, went to community college and then transferred to 4 year degree and graduated, are very inspirational.
This is exactly what I was going to post. I also did the two years in CC then transferred to a 4 years path. I was an international student who did not qualify for any in state tuition, grants or scholarships. Contrary to @sciencenerd, my experience was that general ed classes at CC was much HARDER than a 4 year degree school. While I had to study hard to get B and A at CC, it took me minimum effort at a 4 year school. Core courses may be different and thats the challenge one will have when they transfer. I took care of most of my GE and prerequisites (physics, chemistry, bio, match) before I start taking my core engineering courses after I transferred. What will happen is that your nephew will be "cramming" 4 years worth of core courses in 2 years. It took me 4.5 years to get my electrical and computer engineering degree at a reputable state college in California.

One thing no one mentioned is that in my experience, CC has more, non-traditional students and as such, more competitive. In my class, about 1/2 were re-entry students who had families or people who were already in the work force who had to get a degree to advance or keep their job. They were much older and had everything to lose if they did not get their degree. On the contrary, traditional 4 year schools will have students who are all similar in age and some may not care about their grades. At CC, he will have to work HARD. Just to give you an idea, my physics and math class, whom I ended up taking 2 years worth of courses at CC went on to transfer to the following schools:

CalTech
Stanford
UC Berkely
UCLA
USC
U of Miami
UC San Diego
UC Irvine

Mind you this is a small class of maybe 25 students. I also worked throughout my entire time at CC and the final 2.5 years. Oh, and I'm now a senior manager of an IT department in a large healthcare company doing very very well despite not going to any of the listed schools lol.

Thank you for helping your nephew.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by bryansmile » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:27 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:41 pm
I took care of most of my GE and prerequisites (physics, chemistry, bio, match) before I start taking my core engineering courses after I transferred. What will happen is that your nephew will be "cramming" 4 years worth of core courses in 2 years. It took me 4.5 years to get my electrical and computer engineering degree at a reputable state college in California.

One thing no one mentioned is that in my experience, CC has more, non-traditional students and as such, more competitive. In my class, about 1/2 were re-entry students who had families or people who were already in the work force who had to get a degree to advance or keep their job. They were much older and had everything to lose if they did not get their degree. On the contrary, traditional 4 year schools will have students who are all similar in age and some may not care about their grades. At CC, he will have to work HARD. Just to give you an idea, my physics and math class, whom I ended up taking 2 years worth of courses at CC went on to transfer to the following schools:
For U.S. students, what you described are typically accomplished in high school. My son is at a top engineering school and his high school advanced course credits have mostly transferred to college. His general courses, freshman math, science (bio, phys, chem) and labs, history, foreign language and social sciences requirements were all complete before he started college and, as a result, he'll graduate in 3 years. The advanced courses in high school are nothing new and widely available, and many students take them in high school.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Kitty Telltales » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:03 pm

IMO wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:42 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Bingo.
And further, for any profession with an advanced degree requirement:
Ultimately, no one cares where your BS came from (once you get into the program of course).
I started out with the same economic situation as your nephew. After 2 years at CC, I took a break and worked, got married, had a baby, started a business. Later, almost at the point when my credits would have been too old to apply to a 4 year degree, I took the maximum amount of credits I could in a 4 year program in Accounting before applying to matriculate, just to get my foot in the door. Getting that 4 year degree had always been my ultimate goal. After acceptance in the program, they applied all of my previous credits, generously. I believed at the time because I had made myself known to the faculty. After graduating summa cum laude, I worked for one of the big accounting firms, again not directly after graduating but in a round about way.

There are many roads to Dublin, which is the best life lesson to learn.

I think you are wonderful to help your nephew along.

P.S...I also finished debt free.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Beehave » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:30 pm

I'm retired, and I've been teaching night classes at my local community college for eight years. Before that I was in IT in megacorps for over thirty years and before that I taught at a high-level state U.

Your community college plan makes perfect sense to me.

Your nephew should take full advantage of the thing that community college often brings to the table that state U classes often do not -- namely:
small classes in introductory courses taught by experienced people who are dedicated to teaching rather than publishing or writing their theses.

Your nephew should take advantage of available office hours and tutoring whenever needed to make absolutely sure of full understanding of the subject matter.
Your nephew should speak and contribute (e.g., volunteer to go to the board) in class. And take a speech class!
Your nephew should seek out the best instructors (talk to counselors, fellow students, pore over ratemyprofessors.com, etc.) to optimize these opportunities.
Your nephew will develop confidence and maturity.

State U is more fun. State U has better-credentialed instructors. State U has more varied courses. But if your nephew makes the effort he will find more administrators and staff who care deeply about him at the community college.

Best wishes to him -- encourage him to work hard and he will be a rip-roaring success. And you are doing a wonderful thing, helping him navigate this critical phase.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by rich126 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:39 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
Was a professor for 15 years at a 4-year state school. Saw plenty of students transfer from CC and wondered why more didn't do it. I think it is a prestige thing. Tell him to go to CC if money is the main driver. Probably not as good for your social life, but he will thank you for the advice when he is repaying his student loans.

It is also a great way to get in the backdoor at an R1 school like UT that a student might not get admitted to out of HS. The Berkeleys, Michigans, UTs, and UVAs of the world HAVE to take CC students (though some schools and special programs might have higher than minimum GPA requirements for CC transfer students), but as long as you have your CC degree in hand, you are in. Forget about SATs and the college essay.

And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Many years ago I went the CC route. Most would have been surprised because I had strong grades but my problem was that I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And in those days (~40 years ago) it didn't seem like people were so obsessed with grades, colleges, etc., at least not in the crowd I was with. I didn't get a CC degree but transferred to a good engineering school out of state and got my EE degree in 4 years (two years at CC and two years at the university) and didn't have any issues with transferring (didn't fail anything, had a 3.0+ GPA, etc.).

Looking back it seems strange I went that route but it may have also been due to maturity. Not in the sense of being a goof off but just probably wasn't that mature in dealing with people, understanding the importance of college, how the world works, etc. I actually took my first college class one summer after 8th grade (I think) when a friend wanted to take a computer class and he didn't want to do it alone (maybe due to the age issue). So my parents allowed me to take the class at the local CC (my father didn't mind spending money on educational stuff). It was a programming class using BASIC on terminals. We had a blast, and after class would often play adventure games on the systems. I got an A in the class and my 4 year university even gave me credit for that class as well :)

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by snowman » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:30 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:25 pm
dknightd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:22 am
sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
I'd suggest your nephew consider taking as many government subsidized loans as possible. If I remember they cost 0% while you are in school. If he does not need the money, great, put it in a savings account. I paid my way through school. But I did dip into my 0% fed loans on occasion. Car, stereo, other "necessary" expenses. Unless things have changed no interest was charged while in school, plus a 9 month grace period. Looking back 40 years, I probably should have taken out more of these loans, even if I did not need them. Things might have changed since then.
Last I checked (has been a while) student loans like most credit card transfers come with origination fees so this is terrible advice if you don't need the money! You pay 3% upfront and interest on that 3% if you take the loan and what kid doesn't spend up to their already low income. Never take a loan you don't need right then.
Not advocating taking the loan, just making correction. Origination fees on subsidized loans are generally around 1%, not 3%. Current rate is 1.062%. Also, interest during college years and up to 6 months after graduation is paid by the government. It is a very good deal for students coming from lower income families.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by ThatGuy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:15 pm

It warms my heart that so many on this board have traveled through a Community College. Even more so because Bogleheads sometimes comes off as rather elitist.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by voodoo72 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:28 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
[/quote





I think this is a great plan!! And I think you area great Aunt for helping him navigate his journey. I wouldn't change a thing.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by il0kin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm

Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:50 pm

rich126 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:39 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
Was a professor for 15 years at a 4-year state school. Saw plenty of students transfer from CC and wondered why more didn't do it. I think it is a prestige thing. Tell him to go to CC if money is the main driver. Probably not as good for your social life, but he will thank you for the advice when he is repaying his student loans.

It is also a great way to get in the backdoor at an R1 school like UT that a student might not get admitted to out of HS. The Berkeleys, Michigans, UTs, and UVAs of the world HAVE to take CC students (though some schools and special programs might have higher than minimum GPA requirements for CC transfer students), but as long as you have your CC degree in hand, you are in. Forget about SATs and the college essay.

And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Many years ago I went the CC route. Most would have been surprised because I had strong grades but my problem was that I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And in those days (~40 years ago) it didn't seem like people were so obsessed with grades, colleges, etc., at least not in the crowd I was with. I didn't get a CC degree but transferred to a good engineering school out of state and got my EE degree in 4 years (two years at CC and two years at the university) and didn't have any issues with transferring (didn't fail anything, had a 3.0+ GPA, etc.).
I too wasn't at all sure what I wanted to do with my career when I began CC, but I got some really great direction while I was there, and transferred virtually all of my credits to an accredited university where I got my B.S. and later my M.B.A.

Of course there are CCs out there that don't educate their students well. There are plenty of sizable universities out there with many programs that don't either. My advice is to do your research in advance regardless of what 'class' of higher ed institution you're considering.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm

il0kin wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm
Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.
Would that "full experience of dorm life" been worth the cost? I spent quite a bit of time in dorms, IMO, it isn't. A lot more freedom and usually cheaper (it was way cheaper for me) to live off campus. After 11yrs and 4 universities, I still don't really understand this "college experience" thing I always hear about; but I am pretty sure avoiding it is one of the reasons I completed my studies on time (2 BS, MS, and PhD) and debt-free.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:55 pm

As was said before, if the student was exemplary and MAY qualify for merit aid, most of the merit money goes to incoming freshmen and very little is given to transfer students. We had one child who got > 50% tuition due to high grades & test scores. He wouldn't have gotten them if he didn't enroll as a freshman. He also brought the max 60 credits due to his high AP scores and one college course he took in 10th grade.

If application fees aren't too high, it may be worthwhile to apply to enter 4 year in-state Us and other Us known for good merit awards as well as have the CC & transfer option, just to keep options open. This way, you and he can figure out which makes the most sense after he is given the various FAid & merit award offers vs CC & transferring.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:03 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm
il0kin wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm
Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.
Would that "full experience of dorm life" been worth the cost? I spent quite a bit of time in dorms, IMO, it isn't. A lot more freedom and usually cheaper (it was way cheaper for me) to live off campus. After 11yrs and 4 universities, I still don't really understand this "college experience" thing I always hear about; but I am pretty sure avoiding it is one of the reasons I completed my studies on time (2 BS, MS, and PhD) and debt-free.
+1

The experiences of dorm life most often related to me by those who had them generally have nothing to do with improving their academic studies.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:22 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:03 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm
il0kin wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm
Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.
Would that "full experience of dorm life" been worth the cost? I spent quite a bit of time in dorms, IMO, it isn't. A lot more freedom and usually cheaper (it was way cheaper for me) to live off campus. After 11yrs and 4 universities, I still don't really understand this "college experience" thing I always hear about; but I am pretty sure avoiding it is one of the reasons I completed my studies on time (2 BS, MS, and PhD) and debt-free.
+1

The experiences of dorm life most often related to me by those who had them generally have nothing to do with improving their academic studies.
It's not just that (correlation, or lack of, to improved academic success); people talk about this mythical "college experience" as if it is some amazing life-changing event that is crucial in your development as a human being. Something that you should "invest" in. I don't know about you, but the less time I spent hanging out in dorms, partying, at various (non-academic) school events, the better off academically, financially, and maturity-wise I was. University life is not the real world.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:27 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:22 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:03 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm
il0kin wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm
Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.
Would that "full experience of dorm life" been worth the cost? I spent quite a bit of time in dorms, IMO, it isn't. A lot more freedom and usually cheaper (it was way cheaper for me) to live off campus. After 11yrs and 4 universities, I still don't really understand this "college experience" thing I always hear about; but I am pretty sure avoiding it is one of the reasons I completed my studies on time (2 BS, MS, and PhD) and debt-free.
+1

The experiences of dorm life most often related to me by those who had them generally have nothing to do with improving their academic studies.
It's not just that (correlation, or lack of, to improved academic success); people talk about this mythical "college experience" as if it is some amazing life-changing event that is crucial in your development as a human being. Something that you should "invest" in. I don't know about you, but the less time I spent hanging out in dorms, partying, at various (non-academic) school events, the better off academically, financially, and maturity-wise I was. University life is not the real world.
I completely agree. :thumbsup
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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sd323232
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sd323232 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:31 pm

Thank you all guys!

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by il0kin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:22 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm
il0kin wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:40 pm
Plenty of good advice on the mechanics of the degree and it looks very reasonable price-wise.

I will say this: there are intangible benefits of attending a 4-year all the way through, especially by building networks of people in similar majors, fraternities, etc. I attended a CC for one year prior to transferring to my alma mater (4-yr university) and have always regretted not getting the full experience of dorm life.

If he can get scholarships/grants, the full bill for UT will be very manageable and it’s worth considering. He will earn good money as an engineer and should be able to manage whatever loans he has without much trouble.
Would that "full experience of dorm life" been worth the cost? I spent quite a bit of time in dorms, IMO, it isn't. A lot more freedom and usually cheaper (it was way cheaper for me) to live off campus. After 11yrs and 4 universities, I still don't really understand this "college experience" thing I always hear about; but I am pretty sure avoiding it is one of the reasons I completed my studies on time (2 BS, MS, and PhD) and debt-free.
Different strokes for different folks. Looking back, who knows if it'd have been worth it. My path through CC led me to scholarships that fully covered tuition and therefore graduating with only 15k in student loans, which I promptly paid off. But, I am a person who sincerely enjoys getting to know people and learning their stories and their interests, so I think dorms are a place I would have thrived. Through HS and college, I never had any issues with attendance or taking coursework seriously - I knew what I was there for first and foremost, and worked/studied hard, but I also played hard (but stuck to my rule that going out with friends was only OK if my homework/papers were done and I was well prepared for my classes).

Life is all about balance, it is not purely measured in dollars and cents but in lifelong friendships made, shared experiences with said friends and memories. As long as a kid looking at college is making reasonable decisions such as in-state schools, an employable major and pursuing scholarships and grants and generally minimizing loans - they should feel no regret about spending a few extra thousand bucks to be at a 4-year school.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by StealthRabbit » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:26 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:35 pm
Thanks for reply guys! good stuff. Keep all questions coming, ...

All ACC credits will be transferred.

Also, my nephew is not fixed on UT. A&M is also a great school. We will def explore more transfer options.

Ragman, you are a success story! I will show my nephew this post. So much good info here.

Our main goal is to get quality education and not go deep into debt (or may be with no debt at all). From what i heard about ACC so far, it is one of the best 2 years college in Texas. My nephew lucked out that he lives in a place like Austin with so many great schools.
...
The posts from people who actually did walk this path, went to community college and then transferred to 4 year degree and graduated, are very inspirational.

Good plan...

1) Get it in WRITING - "transfer contract"
2) review annually with CC and UT
3) WORK in a skill related to degree (summers and nights / weekends)


I teach upper level (in my free time) and work PT International Engineering gigs (and hire STEM in international roles / locations), so I get a wide exposure to applicants, students, and schools and QUANTITY of each deliverable (from Student and from School). i.e. if you want to know the quality of edu... HIRE one of the top grads!!! (surprise!!...) if you have to TRAIN, AND motivate / instruct them step-by-step. (and they sit on their hands waiting for instruction... then... they likely came from a USA EDU system... :oops: Poor souls.

Started in CC myself (
while working nights). My company paid (100%) for (2) CC + (2) BS Engineering -Civil and Mech + (1) MS Degrees

Served me well
(As did my technical apprenticeship / journeyman skill that paid FAR more than my Engineering careers) and was a LOT more fun / rewarding. I went back and forth between skilled trades and engineering disciplines 5x during career. But my skilled trade REALLY enhanced my understanding / performance as an engineer. Was great to get awarded a few US Patents (largely due to my understanding from 'the-floor' (Apprenticeship))... Would be considered 'abusive' in today's workplace. but... was great way to learn (nearly all my Masters were eastern Europeans who had exited under tough circumstances). Most apprentices hated them. I LOVED them and their stamina / hard discipline. (I knew I was learning a lot from them). They built violins / instruments on their lunch breaks. Then we played them at night!!

I consider the CC a very diverse and useful edu, especially with GI Bill / adult learners who are experienced and motivated! Many single parents / immigrants / working parents... i.e. these folks are here for a PURPOSE (to LEARN and to get finished and move-on with life!!!) Many U freshman / soph, are there for USA 102 babysitting. (Trust me, I am an instructor, employer, and father (of successful college kids) and who / what is coming to college is really SAD!)
"The Coddling of the American Mind"
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... nd/399356/

My kids did CC > U (complete transfer as full Jr.) compliments of WA State Running Start (Free FT college instead of high school since 1991)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_Start

Mine had excellent edu and careers (much thanks to retired military profs as adjunct in CC). They were PREPARED for U and graduated Magna in difficult majors by age 20. (they were nothing extra special, but CC really helped them adjust to the expectations of college / higher EDU (at age 16)).

Alternative plan...
Get scholarships / ROTC / funding for U
or...
Get a transfer contract from U of WY. ($6k / yr for residents) Excellent U for technical and EDU majors.
take a yr off and get WY residency (while working a $80k / yr job in WY related to major)
http://www.uwyo.edu/ "BUCKING THE SYSTEM SINCE 1886"

or (International plan) I cannot thank my company enough for providing multiple International gigs (for myself and family) REALLY helped my career options and my understanding of a world economy and social structure. My kids benefited as well, tho they missed out on USA K-12 schools (darn) :P
https://www.degreequery.com/free-intern ... versities/
https://www.topuniversities.com/student ... broad-free
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/p ... uition.asp

RetiredCSProf
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by RetiredCSProf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:53 pm

The California schools have separate paths for STEM majors vs liberal arts majors. I don't know if it's like this in Texas. In CA, a STEM major needs to focus on their math / science / engineering courses, starting in their freshman year. If they have already taken AP Calculus and AP Comp Sci in high school, this gives them a head start.

In contrast, liberal arts majors need to focus on completing general education (GE) requirements (e.g., History 101, Economics 101, Poli Sci 101, Biology 101, Sociology 101, ...). STEM majors can wait until they transfer to a 4-year college to complete many of their GE requirements.

Consequently, if a student starts CC as an engineering major and then switches to liberal arts major, they will take longer to finish. And vice versa.

My son took three years to complete his AA at a California CC, partly because he was a student-athlete, partly because he was undecided on a major, but mostly because that's how long it takes most CC students to finish, unless they enter CC with lots of AP credits from high school.

I think that it's unrealistic to expect to complete an engineering degree in 4 years by first attending a CC.

TXGator
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by TXGator » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:35 pm

I went the same route about 15 years ago in Florida. 2 years at a CC, then 2.5 years at Florida. No issue with transferring, had some of my pre-engineering CC classmates transfer with me; along with staying in touch with my HS friends that went to Florida as freshman it was a smooth transition.

Plus I was able to miss a few of the "weeder" classes at UF with 400 students. For comparison my Calc III class at 15 students.

Ended up working for Big Oil out of school with no issues; the CC wasn't not a point of discussion as they looked at my UF GPA and extra-curriculars.

passiveTiger
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by passiveTiger » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:12 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:35 pm
As long as he graduates 3.0+ GPA at ACC, he will get into UT. 3.0 GPA will guarantee his transfer. He may transfer with a lower GPA, but a lower GPA will be no guarantee transfer.
Having graduated from a competitive program, this sounded very odd to me, because a 3.0 is a pretty low bar to guarantee anything. That at best would be a minimum eligibility qualifier.

After checking, I’m basically right. The University of Texas at Austin does not “guarantee” acceptance at 3.0.

Think about it logically. Lots of bright students with much higher GPAs will be interested in transferring to UT Austin. After they go through the 4.0s, the 3.9+s, etc., is there even any open space left long before a 3.0 is considered?

Don’t guess. Check it out for yourself.

https://utexas.box.com/shared/static/lh ... ssta31.pdf

“Admission is competitive in the Cockrell School; acceptance depends upon available space and the applicant’s qualifications compared to the entire applicant pool.”

That is directly from the UT Austin engineering college’s transfer guide for Austin Community College students.

A 3.0 will probably not make the cut. You should be aiming for a 4.0. Perfect grades are the easiest hurdle to clear in this type of game.

Leemiller
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Leemiller » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:26 pm

My husband and I both went to community college, then state school. After we each earned full tuition scholarships to law school. His to a local state school and mine to a top 15 law school. People are often snobs about starting at community college, but I met so many interesting and non-traditional age students by doing this. Especially if you go to grad school, undergrad doesn’t matter so much.

Charon
Posts: 76
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Charon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:37 pm

Community college can be a good and cost-effective place for people to start, but there are downsides. (My perspective is as a professor at a four-year college that sees a lot of CC transfers in.)

First, it's highly unlikely that it will actually be 2 years at the transfer school. I see many, many CC transfers who've done two years or more at CC, and then are dismayed to realize they have 3+ years left. CCs generally don't offer sophomore level courses in STEM fields, which means the student still has three years of upper-division coursework left to do no matter how many credits they accumulated at the CC. It also makes their schedule less efficient, since they've done all their gen ed courses at the CC, and have nothing to fill in their schedule while waiting for specific required upper-level courses.

If he's ready for calculus straight from high school (or has already completed it), he should do one year at a CC then transfer. If he needs remedial math, do that at the CC (perhaps 2 years total) then transfer. In either case, expect 3 years at the next school.

If there's a very special program at this CC with a defined pathway and they guarantee 2+2 and can give you lots of successful examples, then ignore my general advice.

The other downside of starting at CCs is that they give you a false sense of your own skills, and you can get very watered-down coursework. This is a result of their open admission policy. The coursework and level of the classmates will be much higher at UT Austin or A&M. (This part is from my experience taking CC classes when I was young.)

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MossySF
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by MossySF » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:43 pm

I did this route at City College of San Francisco. Not every course I took there transferred over. They were $45 a class (back then) -- so I took a few extra just in case X credit transferred for this university system but Y credit was needed for that one.

Work hard & get good grades -- and you'll can transfer to a 4-year. Maybe it's not any specific 4-year but to be honest, few employers outside of law/medicine/academics care about where you went to school or what your GPA was.

Maybe it'll take 5-6 years instead of 4. So what? Would you rather start your work career at 22 with $100K of student debt or at 24 with none?

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