As universities weigh fall semester plans, some students turn to community college

Community College

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - College students across the country had their on-campus classes cut short or moved online this spring, leaving many wondering if online, distance learning will be the plan for the fall semester. An alternative some are making is enrolling in community colleges.

"Now, with the times with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of students may choose to look locally when they thought that they would go off to a larger school,” Assistant Director of Marketing Kilgore College Chris Craddock said.

An appeal for many community college students is the cost of tuition. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, the average yearly cost of tuition and fees is just over $3,000.

"Probably about a third of the cost that it would be of tuition and fees of going to a major university or college,” President of Trinity Valley Community College Dr. Jerry King said.

He says it just makes more sense to enroll in community college if major universities continue with online, distance learning.

"If you’re gonna stay at home anyways at a major university or college, then why not stay at home and get the tuition and fees for a third of the price,” King said.

Closeness to home is another reason some students may choose to enroll in a community college.

"Community colleges are obviously right here in their backyard and they may feel a little safer for the students just because they’re more in the proximity of their home,” Craddock said.

While it’s still early, both universities say it’s possible they’ll see an increase in enrollment when it comes time for the fall semester to start.

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