The overbearing stigma around the College of DuPage

As high school students, the decision of a lifetime has to be made before graduating. Choosing a college or university to go to for the next two to eight years is a choice that can take months or even years. It is a lot of deep thinking and research in what works for you, however, many students are disregarding community colleges, such as the College of DuPage, as a place of study for a career. 

The College of DuPage has been ridiculed amongst students at Metea for years, now known as the “College of Dreams” as a joke. There is a certain stigma around the school that displays it as a place for those who do not put any effort into their work and are only going because they have nothing else going for them. However, those who are saying this, most likely have no idea what a community college like the College of DuPage is and only ridicules it because others around them do it or to seem above those who are choosing to go there. Before jumping to any conclusions about the students who attend this school, proper research is needed. 

A community college is similar to a university, however, it typically offers two years of general education college courses that you can then use to transfer to a university in order to finish a Bachelor’s Degree. Community colleges traditionally offer lower-priced tuition rates compared to a four-year university, which can be beneficial for anyone who does not want to be in debt or just cannot simply afford to go to a higher paying university for the first two years. Community colleges do not offer on-campus housing either. A lot of community colleges also have open admission policies, meaning the students do not have to fulfill any academic requirements or compete with other students for a spot. This aspect may be where the stigma falls into place. 

For the majority of their lives, teenagers have been shown or told that working hard and applying to a university is the only path of greatness for a person. TV shows, schools, and even parents create this idea and build it up for students from such a young age that they know no better than this. When the eventual discussion of colleges comes up, the initial thought is a big campus with dorm life and awesome parties every night, never a community college such as the College of DuPage. But why is this? What is so wrong about wanting to learn in a setting that is different than that of what’s portrayed in media and expected of us? 

To answer that question, there is nothing wrong with going to community college. In most cases, it is more beneficial. It is cheaper, helps to ease the way into learning by and for students, and can be a lot less stressful than a huge campus of anxious college students. This stigma around community colleges is only prevalent in situations with those who do not realize the value and worth of attending one. Being a student of a community college vs. the student of a university really is no different in terms of wanting to learn and focus on a career. To the student who believes they are not as valued because of their school of choice, do what is best for life down the road.