Friday, April 20, 2007

Community Colleges Make Financial Sense

April 20, 2007- In a few days, I will be meeting with members of the Council of North Central Two Year Schools in Chicago to celebrate our recent partnership. I’ll also have the opportunity to explain how Connect! can help their community college as it’s done for our community college partners in Missouri. Paperless admissions, automated degree audits, online academic advising, career planning – there are countless features I was planning to highlight. Then I came across the following article and I knew exactly what I wanted to tell these potential partners.

Echoed by the article, for a growing number of college-bound high school students, community colleges are the first choice on a path to earning a bachelor’s degree. It’s not because they need to improve their academic performance or because there’s a situation that requires them to stay close to home. The reason so many students are choosing this route is because it makes good financial sense. Students can save tens of thousands of dollars by completing their first two years at a community college. Undeniably, the 2+2 option will only continue to grow as tuition escalates.

Community colleges are a pipeline to a four year institution with limitless possibilities. Unfortunately, of the 6 million students starting at community colleges each year, only 750,000 (12.5%) actually move on to a four year college/university despite their original intentions. While transfer advisors are doing their best to meet and advise thousands of students, provide accurate transfer information, and process the application paperwork – hundreds of thousands of students are not taking the next step on their college path. They are simply falling through the cracks. In addition to helping students navigate the transfer process with confidence, Connect! is designed to give transfer advisors all the tools they need to help more students transfer to four-year schools. With a solution that simplifies the process, community colleges can start to fill the gap.

We’ve always made sure that Connect! provides the tools that allows students to map their education at an earlier age, especially with the option of a two-year school. With online articulation agreements, Connect! takes the guessing game out of academic advising so that transfer students can stay on track and make the right decisions that will lead them to a 4-year school. Automated degree audits show students how their courses will transfer at the colleges of their choice. There is now a transparency into the process that has traditionally been clouded by a lack of reliable information.

Community colleges are now able to provide automated online tools, not only to show students how much they’ll be saving in tuition, but exactly what they need to do to make it happen.

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