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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Education > Not all community colleges are equal – bad news for those Latino students for whom it’s their first stop for higher learning

Not all community colleges are equal – bad news for those Latino students for whom it’s their first stop for higher learning

LatinaLista — For many Latino parents of high school graduates, college is not always an immediate certainty. Cost and distance are factors that weigh heavily on many families. And students themselves may be undecided because they don’t know what they want to study. For all those reasons, community colleges have been the default choice for many Latino families over the years.

Considered a good and affordable entry point to higher education — and not at all like this dismissive, and rather insulting write-up, community colleges offer the opportunity for students to start the college years in a less stressful environment than can be found at 4-year university settings.

As a result of such an accessible campus, community colleges have a very diverse student population that makes for some interesting trivia. According to the American Association of Community Colleges 2015 Factsheet:

  • There are 1,123 community colleges across the country.
  • 61% of students are part-time
  • 50% of students are White: 21% Hispanic; 14% Black; 6% Asian; and 1% Native American
  • The majority of students are women (57%); men (43%)
  • Median age is 24
  • 36% are first-generation to attend college
  • 7% are non-US citizens
  • Representation of community college among Latino undergraduates stands at 57%

Because more and more people are turning to community colleges as an affordable route to pursuing further education, these 2-year institutions are implementing new programs, both academic and workforce training, to not only accommodate the needs of their students but create a competitive advantage for themselves that makes students seriously consider attending their local community college.

WalletHub, an online financial analysis site, identified the best and worst community colleges in the country. Evaluating everything from tuition costs to level of student and faculty interaction, the list provides a good round-up of which community colleges are doing it right and which ones have low expectations of their own students.

Source: WalletHub

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