Home Opinion Editorial Inherent classism continues to impinge community colleges and their students who choose...

Inherent classism continues to impinge community colleges and their students who choose to invest in these low-cost educational options

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New installation of a wooden GRCC wall on the 4th floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall. (Breegan Petruska/The Collegiate)

Why must education elitists continue to perpetuate the myth that community colleges are less than?

Community colleges endure disdain for their affordable prices, non-competitive admission policies, and non-traditional students.

In U.S. culture, if a good or a service is more expensive, it is more greatly desired. This is based on the assumption that quality and price are directly proportional. Now, with clothing and fashion, this is sometimes the case. However, regarding education, it is not. Simply because an education is less expensive does not necessarily mean that it’s automatically an inferior education.

Community colleges erase the thrill of the chase. The nervous opening of the emblemed letter that bears news of acceptance or denial. The U.S. is obsessed with competition. Absolutely infatuated with proving themselves superior. Because “anyone can get in” community colleges are depreciated by society. Because if everyone can do it, it’s not special, right? In many areas of life, hyper-competition ruins trust and sabotages relationships. Education is no exception.

People gravitate toward their peers. When only one’s own age group is included, the environment is perceived as special and selective. Community colleges welcome everyone from dual-enrolled high school students to working adults who are furthering their education. 

Community colleges were founded for increased college preparation. Learning is learning. When did education become an excuse to indulge in selfish popularity and exclusivity? 

Financial issues are a primary reason students drop out. A prestigious school isn’t useful for your resume if you can’t afford to stay enrolled. Neither is the average $30,000 in debt that students frequently accrue after a university education. How are you supposed to start your life already financially crippled?

People forget that a multitude of students choose to go to a community college even after being accepted into four-year universities. Many athletes choose community college for athletics, to build their skills to then obtain scholarships from universities.  

An assumption that emerges regarding community college students is that they’re lazy. Many community college students work full-time or part-time while also attending classes. Traditional four-year universities have a track record of neglecting and insufficiently accommodating part-time students.

The people who disdain community colleges are the ones who are profoundly ignorant of the value and impartiality those colleges provide. 

These organizations are greatly underestimated because they make education accessible to diverse groups of people. The less competitive admission policies allow for disadvantaged students to enroll and improve their learning. Plentiful minority and first generation students attend these colleges because of the accessible education.

Community colleges are a critical tool for eliminating classist attitudes around education, because these inclusive institutions realize that not everyone can afford a ridiculously overpriced college experience.

Why scorn systems of schooling that combat racism and classism? Only idiots wouldn’t want as many people as possible to further their education, regardless of which college they attend. What you accomplish with your education is much more significant than the institution that graces your diploma. 

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