5 Compelling Reasons to Earn an Associate Degree

Article written by Michaele Charles from Front Range Community College.

Thinking of going to college to better yourself and expand your future opportunities? Good for you! If the cost of tuition is on your mind, however, or you’re concerned that your high school GPA wasn’t strong enough to get into a four-year university, you still have an excellent option –  community college. You can get a high-quality education and begin your journey, whether you plan to start working or transfer to a four-year college or university to get a bachelor’s degree.

Here are five reasons you should consider getting an associate degree.

It’s an unbeatable value.

The reality is that community colleges are significantly less expensive than most four-year colleges and universities, yet you can still get a great education from caring teachers who are dedicated to student success. 

You can transfer to a four-year institution easily.

Many states guarantee admission into their public four-year colleges for students who earn associate degrees at one of their community colleges. There are many statewide transfer agreements that allow you to transfer into a university or college with junior status and complete your bachelor’s degree in no more than 60 additional credits. 

Everyone is welcome.

Open enrollment policy means adults over the age of 17 with or even without a high school diploma or GED are guaranteed admission. Even if your high school GPA wasn’t too impressive, it’s OK. This is your opportunity for a fresh start at a place where you can build your skills and your confidence while exploring different subject areas and possible careers.

You’ll receive lots of personal attention.

Large universities can be overwhelming for freshmen, with general education classes that might have upwards of 300 students or more. Community colleges have smaller campuses and class sizes, which is perfect if you’re intimidated by the idea of a big school. 

You’ll make more than you would with a high school diploma.

Bottom line: Education pays. An associate degree in a career/technical field (like welding or architectural engineering) may help you find and keep a job. And an associate degree for transfer is a step along the way to your bachelor’s degree—with added earning power. But don’t take our word for it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the higher the educational attainment, the higher the weekly earnings.

There are so many great reasons to earn an associate degree, whether your plan is to transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor’s degree or prepare yourself for the job market. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. And when you earn that associate degree, best of all, it’s an accomplishment that nobody can ever take away from you!