Community College Is Still Affordable and Beneficial

Michael Hogue / TNS

Michael Hogue / TNS

As Santa Ana College students register for spring, they can rest assured that they’re doing what statistics show is an economical way to invest in their future.

Community college may be a better option than a California state or private university for some because they can explore majors and build job skills without spending a lot of money.

Tuition is rising at Cal State University campuses, while community colleges remain affordable. Tuition for a full-time resident student at Cal State Fullerton is $2,736, compared to $552 at SAC.

A Board of Governors fee waiver, and a partnership that gives all Santa Ana Unified School District high school graduates free tuition at SAC for their first year, can further defray costs.

Community college may also help students earn more. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that associate’s degree holders earn 21 percent more than high school graduates.

“It is a low-cost institution…where students can earn certificates and degrees,” Carlos Lopez, vice president of academic affairs at SAC, said. “It saves a lot of money, and the faculty is specially trained in their teaching.”

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