We are all asking how to best spend every penny we’ve earned. With the economic recession and employment difficulties, money can be tight. The price tag of a four year Christian college can be frightening. The easy answer seems to be to go to a community college for a year or two, then transfer to a Christian school to finish. Community colleges offer courses at a lower cost than private schools. However, before you make the decision to start at a two year school, here are myths that need to be de-bunked:

1. “I don’t want know what I want to do so I’ll go to a community college to figure it out”- Although many community colleges have excellent faculty and staff, they are usually overbooked and not focused on helping you find your career path. There are many students who spend 2 or 3 years at one of these schools and still don’t know “what they want to do.” Christian liberal arts colleges are intentionally set up to help you find your calling and God-given strengths and abilities.

2. “I need to save money so I’ll start a community college”- As aforementioned, the most compelling reason to start at a two year school is to save money. However, many students end up spending more money because they often do not finish in four years. After four years, Federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants, runs out and more money must be spent. A recent study confirms that students who start at community colleges often end up spending more than those who begin at bachelor degree-granting institutions.

3. “I’ll start a community college, then get a Christian experience my last 2 years” – I’ll start this by affirming that God is everywhere, not only at Christian colleges. However, it is important to think about who is mentoring you in your most formative years of thinking as an adult. Freshman and sophomore years are the college years where your mind, emotions, and social consciousness are the most malleable. If the foundation of your experience in higher education is weak, either spiritually or academically, what you build on top of it will not be as strong.

At Roberts Wesleyan College we have many transfer students who succeed and find fulfillment in their time here. However, I could go on a nice vacation if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “I wish I had just started here.”

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