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Schools Community College vs. University for Mechanical Engineering

  1. Jul 10, 2017 #1
    Hia! I was wondering about the benefits of different schools. I will be starting school at a four-year university to persue a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, and am concerned about going into debt. I could instead go to community college and then transfer, but I'm worried that I will not have as many opportunities. What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2017 #2
    Why do you think you would not have as many opportunities? Most students don't even do internships until the summer after their second year. And there's plenty of internships for community college students. It helped me a lot by going to a community college for my first two years because the professors were focused more on teaching, and they would give me a lot of advice on how to study. That really helped shape my study skills.

    You can also always transfer after your first year.

    By the way, a lot of professors at my school went to a community college first and then got Ph.D's in their field.
  4. Jul 11, 2017 #3
    The community college is the better plan if you look at how the required courses line up and can still graduate in 4 years without any debt.

    Not only is tuition much cheaper, but many students save around $12,000 per year by living at home compared with living away from home at university.

    The value of the degree does not depend on where you take the first two years of coursework. Often, students get much more careful attention at the community college.
  5. Jul 11, 2017 #4
    I did the community college route. I started with arithmetic at the cc (older student), and I transfered to a 4 year recently as a math major. I had small class sizes. There were no more than 40 students per class. During the Calculus series and above, only a maximum of 10 students stayed. My linear Algebra had 5 students after midterms.
    I got to know my professors really well. I did a few internships (Space X/ Caltech). If I ever needed help, I would personally ask the teachers. Never needed to go to the tutoring lab.

    My only concern would be lack of rigor. I learned early, which teacher gives out a grade and which one makes you earn it. As a result, I made the habit of taking classes at two CC. I always enrolled in the stem class which offered the most rigor.

    My GPA suffered a bit. I ended up transferring with a 3.7 ,but I was really happy. I am a bit better prepared than my peers (not smarter).

    If you do end up going the CC, always take the teachers that are going to help you grow as a person and intellectually.

    There is another reason to consider CC besides cost:

    Many young students are still growing up and figuring out who they are. Often times, many students become acquainted with "real dating" for the first time. I am sure you know what this entails. Many people believe they want to study A, but they want to study B later down the road. The CC is more forgiving in this aspect. Let's not forget the maturity aspect.
  6. Jul 12, 2017 #5


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    MidgetDwarf explained this:
    Be careful about trying to do things that way. Some districts or community colleges may not allow it. Ask at the colleges.
  7. Jul 13, 2017 #6
    CC is a (usually) good, economical way of getting required courses for the 1st & 2nd years. Just check with your graduating university (ask an academic advisor...or two) before to verify that the CC courses you take are equivalent and will indeed transfer to the BSME degree program.
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