Photo credit by Kevin Labianco
Not everyone can afford the exorbitant tuition that is associated with private universities. If you are struggling financially, unsure about what career to pursue, or just want to fortify your GPA before applying to that selective “dream school”, then community college could be a wise investment. However, if you're looking to attend in New York state – a hotbed of major universities – extensive research becomes a necessity. However, native New Yorkers will likely assure that when it comes to community colleges, no institution can compare with CUNY or SUNY.
CUNY's Kingsboro Community College
Kingsboro is one of the twenty-three colleges that comprise the City University of New York. Its gorgeous seventy-acre campus is located in Brooklyn beside the Jamaica Bay, Sheepshead Bay, and Atlantic Ocean. Because Kingsboro has CUNY's “fat wallet” budget, its facilities are superior, and the administration is clearly willing to invest in its students. Over one hundred countries are represented at Kingsboro college alone. In 2008, it was ranked the tenth most technologically-advanced large-size community college in the nation....a perfect excuse for mom and dad to spring for a laptop!
SUNY's Nassau Community College
The long-respected State University of New York (SUNY) is renowned for its four-year schools, yet still boasts an incredible community college experience at its Nassau County College. It is fourth in the nation for largest number of associates degrees conferred. With a two-hundred and twenty five acre campus and forty-seven facilities in Garden City, Nassau Community College offers a strong atmosphere of growth and learning.
CUNY's LaGuardia Community College
Yet another CUNY school, LaGuardia is located in Long Island City, Queens. Thought Kingsboro had an insane amount of international students? Think again. LaGuardia houses students from over one hundred and fifty countries – that's more than The New School and NYU. LaGuardia has fought its way to the top-tier nationally, as well; Community College Survey of Student Engagement ranks it in the top three large-size community colleges in the United States. While many students enter with limited understanding of the English language, some have come out with Ivy League admissions letters in hand. Close proximity to Manhattan also ensures a wealth of internship opportunities.
If you choose to pursue your education further after attending one of these schools, you are not alone. Kingsboro ranks in the top five percent of community colleges whose alumni plan to pursue four-year degrees. The CUNY and SUNY systems both offer extensive student services, which can provide application and resume preparation training. Qualified graduates with an increased chance of being accepted at one of the university's four-year colleges such as the fiercely-desired Hunter College or SUNY Purchase.
Whatever your motivations, community college can be the start of an academic career that will revolutionize both your emotional and professional life. However, no independent community college in New York State can begin to compare with the immense resources that the CUNY or SUNY systems offer.