Fall semester is in sight, but the view is still a little hazy.
If it looks like you might be living in your room at home rather than in a dorm with your friends, you’re not alone. Many colleges are talking about offering online-only courses this fall.
As a rising freshman or sophomore, it may be hard for you to imagine spending $60,000 to take college classes in your living room next year. Unfortunately, even if your college starts the fall semester with in-person classes, there is no guarantee it will be able to remain open with the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life Happens, Keep Learning
OK, so life isn’t working out as planned. Let’s consider the alternative: postpone fall enrollment at your current college and take a semester online at your local community college instead.
The idea is to save yourself money and time on your degree by taking your required general education courses online at a community college like the Mount.
Your credits will most likely transfer*
Don’t worry, you can still graduate with your diploma from your 4-year college. It’s common for community colleges to have transfer agreements in place with virtually all of the other colleges and universities in their regions.
“Since students can transfer their credits back to most 4-year institutions, choosing community college is an attractive way to stay focused on earning a degree while staying safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcia Rosbury-Henne, Dean of Enrollment Management & Admissions at Mount Wachusett Community College. “We’ve heard from a lot of students who are transferring into community college from a traditional four-year college or university simply because they want to minimize their tuition costs in this economy.”
Your financial aid will go further
If you’re eligible to receive financial aid, community college is a great place to use it. Because the overall cost is lower, you’ll need fewer aid dollars at community college than you would at a traditional 4-year college. That means you’ll have less to pay back after you graduate with your degree.
Just keep in mind that financial aid only covers classes required for your degree. Before you enroll in a course, double-check to see whether it lines up with your major requirements.*
Community college has a lot to offer online
Mount Wachusett Community College has offered online classes for years and offers all the general education requirements you need. Lots of courses are already scheduled for Fall 2020, in disciplines like sociology, biology, history, calculus, English, and computer programming.
Did you know you’ll always be taught by a faculty member at a community college, not by a teaching assistant? With smaller class sizes, you’ll benefit from more personal attention.
In fact, community colleges pride themselves on putting students first – as you can see from this message recorded by the Mount’s faculty and staff.
It’s also a little known fact that community colleges bend over backwards to support students’ learning with free tutoring, strong online library resources, virtual student clubs and organizations, and even career counseling.
Choose a short fall term or the full semester (or both!)
Flexibility is built into the course schedule at a community college since most students are balancing college along with work, family, and a social life. For example, this fall Mount Wachusett Community College is offering three ways to take courses: Full semester, Cycle 1 (early fall term), or Cycle 2 (late fall term). These cycle terms last just seven weeks each, but offer full-credit courses, just like the full semester.
- Full Semester: September 9, 2020
- Cycle I: September 9 – October 28, 2020
- Cycle 2: November 2 – December 23, 2020
If you’re interested in enrolling for classes – or just talking with an admissions counselor, check out the items below.
- Apply: As an MWCC guest student
- Browse our course offerings: View our available courses for fall
- Transcripts: Submit your college and high school transcripts to our Admissions Office
- Financial Aid: Make sure your FAFSA for 2020-2021 has been submitted. If you haven’t done your FAFSA for this year yet, get started today!
- Contact us: Let us know you’re coming! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please note: Be sure to check with your university first before applying to the Mount to ensure your financial aid and program acceptance won’t be affected.
Let’s see if community college is a good fit for you this fall.
Even if you’re not planning to go to community college next semester, it’s worth checking into all your options. Take the short quiz below to find out if attending a community college is a good fit for you this fall.
Is Fall Semester at Community College Right for Me?
Will you be living at home this fall?
Have you filled out the FAFSA for 2020-2021 yet?
Do you plan to take courses toward on your college degree this fall?
Will you be living at home this fall?
Great! Have you taken a look at the courses available at your local community college this fall?
Note: if you live in north central Massachusetts, you might want to check out fall courses at Mount Wachusett Community College.
Do you know how to request to have your high school and college transcripts sent to your local community college?
Are you confident you can learn in an online course?
Do you have a plan to balance life, work, family, and studying for each class?
Community college might be right for you this fall!
Have you already taken all of your general education requirements for your major? (these are often courses in math, English, science, or the humanities that are required to complete your degree)
General education requirements
Have you checked to see whether your local community college offers courses in the areas you need?
The website of your local community college usually lists their schedule of fall courses. If you live in north central Massachusetts, you may be interested in MWCC’s fall course offerings.
Based on your answers, it sounds like online learning at your local community college might not be the best choice for you right now.
If you’d like to discuss your options, please reach out to chat with the Admissions Office of your local community college – they can offer you some ideas about where to go next.
Completing the FAFSA to get your financial aid offer and submitting high school and/or college transcripts are a good first step to taking classes at any college or university this fall.
Good luck as you continue your education!
Are you willing to contact free tutoring and writing resources when you need help in a class?
Great! Do you feel comfortable taking online courses?
Will you be a freshman this fall?