Community College vs. University- Which is Better?

university or community college

If you are looking for a college to attend in the fall, you have probably thought about whether or not you want to attend a university or a community college. 

College life can be busy, stressful, and fun no matter where you are at. Here are a few factors to look into so that you can find the best fit for you before applying. 

Community Colleges

A community college offers affordable tuition and flexible schedules. This helps many people who want to work towards a degree but may not have all the resources to pursue it in the traditional way. This could be someone who works full-time, is a parent, or is returning back to school after a long break. 

Community college prices are far less expensive than university tuition. Yet, students still receive a similar curriculum that can be just as challenging. 

A common misconception with community colleges is that the classes are much easier or the course load is weaker than in major universities. However, this is far from the truth. Many community colleges offer challenging courses at the same level as universities while keeping the price down. 

Community colleges also prepare their students well to transfer to a university. If you are considering getting your Bachelor’s degree, earning your Associate’s degree first may be the best option financially. That way, you’re not paying university prices for your first two years of school (which will likely consist of gen-ed classes anyways). 

Many universities also offer scholarships for people who transfer in, especially if you already have a degree under your belt. This can be a big asset if you plan on transferring to a more expensive school. 

If you are tight on money or have a tight schedule, community college is a great stepping stone toward your dream career.


Universities offer you that classic “college experience.” If you have the time and dedication it takes to move onto a college campus and become a full-time student, do it! Going to a university is such a great experience that can push you to grow- both academically and socially- in lasting ways. 

Attending and living at a university a unique experience that you can only get once in a lifetime. It is the perfect way to ease yourself into adulthood. If you are enrolling directly from high school, this may be your first taste of independence as well. 

Because universities tend to be larger in size, networking post-graduation is also a lot more impactful. Graduating classes keep in contact with the school’s alumni network, and graduates can help each other in their career endeavors. 

Universities tend to offer more options for degree programs as well. More students paying for higher tuition means that the school has more resources for those in attendance. High-quality facilities are the hallmark of major universities. 

The Final Decision

The good news is that whichever one you choose, you will be in a position that helps you advance your learning. So the real question is not which one is better overall, but rather which one is better for you?