Flawed prejudice against community college

Hannah Lee, News Editor

Mt. SAC has become a favorite topic for Diamond Bar students’ jokes, being beat down and nicknamed “UC Walnut.” We’ve all heard the all-too familiar joke about being a subpar college applicant and ending up with no other option besides community college when someone receives a grade any less than an A.

The reality is that  attending a community college for a year or two and going into a four-year university as a transfer student has an endless amount of benefits.  However, this option is often overlooked by students because it holds such a strong stigma that needs to be broken.

While it may be slightly less likely to transfer to a private university after community college, we live in a state with the best public college system in the nation. The difference in the quality of education received at a public school as opposed to a private school is minimal, especially when it comes to the UCs.

Transfer admit rates for UCs are generally 10 percent higher than that of freshmen, and nearly 93 to 96 percent of all transfers to UCs are from California community colleges. The chances of a student being accepted into a desired college is significantly higher when applying as a transfer, as standardized tests are no longer a requirement, and extracurriculars tend to hold little to no weight on a transfer application.

Programs like TAG, Transfer Admission Guarantee, provides students guaranteed admission, giving more of an opportunity than a high school senior would receive as an applicant. Students can choose to “tag” any UC except for UCSD, UCLA and UC Berkeley, and if they maintain a certain minimum GPA for the program, they will have a guaranteed admission to their tagged campus.

We all want the college experience and missing out on dorm life as a freshman or sophomore seems less than ideal. However, gritting your teeth through two years of community college can be well worth the opportunities and financial benefits. In California, a student can save approximately $18,400 by transferring rather than spending four full years at a state school, according to Two Cents.

In the end, spending one or two years working toward a desired university outweighs being at a four year college and hating the school. With the amount of AP courses offered at Diamond Bar High School, it is very possible for a student to transfer after just one year at a community college.

Community college gives students a second shot at a dream school, while being able to go through their general education and having the freedom to explore all the major choices. Many students end up changing their majors throughout their undergraduate years and even switch more than once. Being able to freely explore options at a junior college can save the time and hassle of switching majors after solidifying interests by the time of transfer. Major preparation courses also give students the opportunity to adequately prepare for their intended major.

We all love poking fun at Mt. SAC, but in reality, it is ranked as the third best California community college by Niche. Choosing to take a year or two to take all the advantages that a junior college offers should not be something that should be shameful. Community college is a perfectly fine option for many seniors to take, but one that many shy away from solely because of the ignorant mindset that people have toward it.