Community college, state college, private university or trade school?

Everyone who strives for a higher education must make the choice.

Some students choose community college first, but end up transferring to state colleges.

Keene State College Director of Admissions Peg Richmond said one of the reasons this happens might be because the students didn’t originally get into one of the state colleges, so they’ll attend community college to make themselves admissible.

KSC junior Marcus Carson said he went to KSC, then transferred to the University of Rhode Island and then went to a community college to continue his education.

“I kinda picked myself up from there, improved my grades, etc. and then decided to readmit at Keene State College,” Carson said.

Richmond said that students often transfer from community college to state colleges because the highest degree they can get from a community college is an Associate’s degree, but they want a Bachelor’s degree.

Carson said he enjoyed his community college experience, but he wanted to work up to a Bachelor’s degree and then on to a Masters within the sciences.

“That’s very difficult to do in a community college… I also wanted to come back to Keene for the Safety degree,” Carson added.

Richmond said students also may consider community college for financial reasons.

“The community college is much more cost-efficient, so they’ll do a couple of years in the community college and transfer here and the education will cost them a considerable amount less,” Richmond said.

KSC junior Noah Wilder said that although community college is cheaper than state schools, it’s more difficult to have a social life.

“Nobody talks in community college… Since everybody commuted there, they came to class and went home,” said Wilder.

Wilder added, “I wake up, go to class and then I go home and then I go to work. That was pretty much it a lot of time… it was like a 30 minute drive, so it was like an hour in the car each day. And you’re constantly doing school work, homework, so you really don’t see a lot of people.”

Carson said there were more people of different backgrounds at community college.

“It was much more heterogeneous group than at Keene, from what I’ve noticed. At Keene, people are from fairly similar backgrounds, not exactly, but it’s certainly not the variance that you get in community college,” Carson said.

Wilder said, “In one of my classes, I was 18 and everybody was like 30 plus. So, I didn’t like to be in there because they were talking about going to bars and stuff and I was only 18.”

Carson said that having a social life was difficult, but despite that, he enjoyed his community college experience.

He added, “Community college is a great decision; it helps a lot of people figure out where they want to go without spending tens of thousands of dollars.”

Puja Thapa can be contacted at pthapa@kscequinox.com