Trend shows students favor two-year colleges

By Brittany Liberatore
March 16, 2006

Many college students are opting to attend a two-year college rather than a four-year college due to poor academic records, unstable finances and indecision on a future career. A new trend is starting to appear in students who are starting at a two-year college to prepare themselves for a four-year college.

According to a survey sponsored by the National Center for Education, approximately 32 percent of students attending a two-year college had initially attended a four-year college. These students are being called “reverse transfers.”

Junior Lisa Hetke, an exercise science major, is a “reverse transfer.” Following high school, Hetke attended Kutztown University, a four-year college, for one year. After her freshman year of college, she decided that a community college was better for her at that time.

Hetke said, “Halfway through the year at Kutztown I realized that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I was homesick. I transferred to a community college to figure out what I wanted to major in.”

Hetke believes that starting at a two-year college is beneficial to students because it helps give them a sense of what they may be interested in majoring in, and it is a good way to save money. After community college, Hetke decided that Cabrini was a good choice for her.

Senior Jen Taggart, a business major, considered a two-year college before she was accepted into Cabrini. Taggart said, “I considered going to a two-year college and getting my pre-requisites out of the way and then transferring to a four-year to finish the last two years.” Taggart had one specific reason for considering this option: money. She said, “It would have been cheaper to attend a two-year college after high school, but I was ready for a four- year college.” As soon as Taggart got accepted into Cabrini she let go of her thoughts on attending any other college.

George R. Boggs, the president of the American Association of Community Colleges, agrees with Taggart’s thoughts about two-year schools being appealing because they are less expensive. Boggs believes that the rise in college tuition is causing more and more students to go to a two-year college.

Charlie Spencer, the director of admissions and a Cabrini alumni, believes that students should try to attend a four-year college. Spencer said, “I think that depending on the academic and financial situation, students should first apply to a four-year college or university. I believe it is very important to complete a four-year degree because the majority of employers want their employees to be college graduates.”

Many two-year colleges are working with four-year colleges to create satellite campuses. This gives students the opportunity to take classes that are offered at a four-year college while they are attending a two-year college. This helps to decrease the class size. In some four-year colleges and universities, lecture classes can have as many as 300 students in one class. At two-year colleges, most classes are much smaller, with an average of 30 students per class.

Sophomore Matt Moore, a psychology major, never once considered attending a two-year college. However, Moore said, “I think that if a student feels they are not ready for a four-year school right away but want to continue their education, a two-year school is a good idea.”

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Brittany Liberatore

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