SOS - Community College Vs. University

  1. 0 I am a high school senior and on my way to becoming a nurse. I want to get my BSN but I don't know if I should start at a community college or at a university.

    I got accepted to UNCG, for Spanish major, because I want to eventually become a medical interpreter as well. UNCG has a great nursing program but unfortunately I didn't apply to it because I was afraid I wasn't going to get in due to their ACT requirements.

    My weighted GPA is 3.72 and my ACT score is 20. At UNCG to be considered to the nursing program one must have at least a 21 on the ACT. Since I was a point away I decided to apply to my second choice which was spanish.

    I thank God I got in but now I don't know if I should take the offer since 1) I would have to take loans to pay it and 2) I would have to re-apply after 15 credits hours to the nursing program at this university, which I heard may be competitive.

    Now, if I go to a community college I would take the nursing pre-major and then transfer to UNCG or another university with a good nursing program.

    But if I go to UNCG I would start my first semester as a spanish major, strive for a strong GPA (3.5 or higher), and then try to change my major to nursing after that semester.

    I eventually want to advance my nursing career and I am considering in becoming a nurse practitioner, after experience. Some people say that since I want to do that it would be better for me to go straight to a university and others support the idea of starting at a community college because it would mean less debt.

    Which route would you guys advice me to take. I need to give the university an answer by april otherwise my spot will be given away.

    SOS
  2. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page

    About NLOPEZBR

    From 'Monroe, NC, US'; Joined Dec '12; Posts: 11; Likes: 2.

    12 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Nurse2b7337 profile page
    1
    Congrats for getting accepted into the University. It's not going to be a waste because you will be taking Gen Ed courses that are required for every student anyway. I think you should take the req courses and any sciences that you can. You could also speak to an advisor about yr plans about eventually wanting to become a nurse. Your GPA is awesome and don't worry about the ACT right now. I think you will be fine. Good luck to you!!!
    NLOPEZBR likes this.
  4. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page
    1
    Thanks for answering Nurse2b7337. Is this a yes to UNCG and a no to community college? And if it's a no to community college, would you tell me why it wouldn't be a good idea?
    Nurse2b7337 likes this.
  5. Visit  Stephalump profile page
    0
    I think I'd consider community college. I'd go there and take the gen Ed classes you need for your BSN, earn as high grades as you can, as reapply. Save you some money.

    Unless you think you'd really like the traditional college experience as a freshman. Then the university would be a perfect place for that.

    So basically...I have no idea which is better, lol. Would you mind giving up the whole "going off to college" aspect of things until later?
  6. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page
    0
    Thanks for answering Stephalump. It is hard to decide, I am willing to give up on that idea. My major concern is: do universities give a priority to their current students that are trying to get into their nursing program or is it equal to those students who are trying to transfer?

    I would think they would give somewhat of a priority to their current students than those outside trying to get in, which makes me more lenient into going to a university now.

    Ahhh decisions, decisions :/
  7. Visit  mind_body_soul RN profile page
    1
    Make yourself a list of pros and cons. Where I live (a teeny tiny rural area) the only way to become a nurse is through the community college. It is a 3 year ADN RN program. With financial aid and scholarships, I am getting my degree for free. The regional university offers a completely online RN to BSN program for about $9,000, and it will take me 1.5-2 years to complete after I have finished my ADN in December 2013. So, it will take me 5 years (versus 4) to get my BSN, and assuming I don't get any more financial aid, I will be out $9,000 for my bachelor's degree. Even if I lived somewhere where I could have done the 4 year university BSN, I think I would still pick the route I am on now. I went to a university right out of high school for 2 years. This was before I knew I wanted to be a nurse, so I was just taking gen-ed courses. I hated it. Most of my classes had 300-600 students. I had to take out student loans which I owe about 25k on, all for nothing... I eventually had to drop out because I got married to someone in the military and we moved 600 miles away to the middle of nowhere (our current location). My community college, aside from being cheap, is awesome. I know all of my instructors and classmates, and they all know me. I can easily get help. I don't feel lost in a sea of people like I did at the university. I have told my younger sister who is in high school countless times, to do her gen-eds/pre-reqs at a community college for cheap, then transfer to a university and pay the big bucks once you actually know what you want to do. The small class sizes of a community college are more conducive to raising your GPA than university classes would be. I would know. I was a A student in high school, then when I started at the university, I got mostly C's and a few B's. At my current school, I have a 3.9 GPA. Definitely talk to a counselor at the university and the community college regarding what would be the best route for you to take. And definitely keep up with the Spanish. While I lost my fluency years ago, I have had Spanish-speaking patients cry tears of joy because apparently I was the first person they could communicate with and understand during their hospital stay. Good luck!
    NLOPEZBR likes this.
  8. Visit  Stephalump profile page
    1
    Quote from NLOPEZBR
    Thanks for answering Stephalump. It is hard to decide, I am willing to give up on that idea. My major concern is: do universities give a priority to their current students that are trying to get into their nursing program or is it equal to those students who are trying to transfer?

    I would think they would give somewhat of a priority to their current students than those outside trying to get in, which makes me more lenient into going to a university now.

    Ahhh decisions, decisions :/
    That would be a great question for an advisor from your school's nursing program! Since all programs choose students differently, it's hard to guess. My school uses a straightforward points system with no extra points awarded for doing prereqs at any specific school, so we have students from all over. Most in my area are the same (purely GPA/entrance test score based) but there is one that gives you a bump if you attended their school.

    I'd give them a call tomorrow and ask. If there's no benefit to going straight to university, I wouldn't. You'll be thankful for saved money in the long run.
    NLOPEZBR likes this.
  9. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page
    1
    Quote from mind_body_soul
    Make yourself a list of pros and cons. Where I live (a teeny tiny rural area) the only way to become a nurse is through the community college. It is a 3 year ADN RN program. With financial aid and scholarships, I am getting my degree for free. The regional university offers a completely online RN to BSN program for about $9,000, and it will take me 1.5-2 years to complete after I have finished my ADN in December 2013. So, it will take me 5 years (versus 4) to get my BSN, and assuming I don't get any more financial aid, I will be out $9,000 for my bachelor's degree. Even if I lived somewhere where I could have done the 4 year university BSN, I think I would still pick the route I am on now. I went to a university right out of high school for 2 years. This was before I knew I wanted to be a nurse, so I was just taking gen-ed courses. I hated it. Most of my classes had 300-600 students. I had to take out student loans which I owe about 25k on, all for nothing... I eventually had to drop out because I got married to someone in the military and we moved 600 miles away to the middle of nowhere (our current location). My community college, aside from being cheap, is awesome. I know all of my instructors and classmates, and they all know me. I can easily get help. I don't feel lost in a sea of people like I did at the university. I have told my younger sister who is in high school countless times, to do her gen-eds/pre-reqs at a community college for cheap, then transfer to a university and pay the big bucks once you actually know what you want to do. The small class sizes of a community college are more conducive to raising your GPA than university classes would be. I would know. I was a A student in high school, then when I started at the university, I got mostly C's and a few B's. At my current school, I have a 3.9 GPA. Definitely talk to a counselor at the university and the community college regarding what would be the best route for you to take. And definitely keep up with the Spanish. While I lost my fluency years ago, I have had Spanish-speaking patients cry tears of joy because apparently I was the first person they could communicate with and understand during their hospital stay. Good luck!
    Thank-you so much for this advice. I must agree with you, I think that community colleges apart from being less expensive is just as good as a university. I think I will be taking this route and then transferring to a university.

    I wish you the best as well. I did stay in the hospital for around seven months a couple years ago and I did see the lack of Spanish interpreters even here in a semi-urban area. I am glad that you were able to help Spanish-speaking patients, keep it up, it's also a great opportunity.

    Thanks, Again. xoxo
    mind_body_soul RN likes this.
  10. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page
    0
    Quote from Stephalump
    That would be a great question for an advisor from your school's nursing program! Since all programs choose students differently, it's hard to guess. My school uses a straightforward points system with no extra points awarded for doing prereqs at any specific school, so we have students from all over. Most in my area are the same (purely GPA/entrance test score based) but there is one that gives you a bump if you attended their school.

    I'd give them a call tomorrow and ask. If there's no benefit to going straight to university, I wouldn't. You'll be thankful for saved money in the long run.

    Yes, thank-you so much again! I will definitely call them and ask, although I think I will be starting a community college since it is less expensive and a has a better student to teacher ratio which is very important to me. Thanks again, and my best wishes to you. xoxo
  11. Visit  Nurse2b7337 profile page
    1
    Ok, so if you go the community college route of course it would be cheaper. If you are worried about costs I would go to the community college. You can go to the community college and take all of your pre-reqs required for the bachelors degree and then when you have taken all of them apply to the University for the nursing program. The best advice I would give is to keep your GPA up as you're in the community college. With an awesome GPA you should have no problem getting into the Univ. of your choice.
    NLOPEZBR likes this.
  12. Visit  NLOPEZBR profile page
    0
    Quote from Nurse2b7337
    Ok, so if you go the community college route of course it would be cheaper. If you are worried about costs I would go to the community college. You can go to the community college and take all of your pre-reqs required for the bachelors degree and then when you have taken all of them apply to the University for the nursing program. The best advice I would give is to keep your GPA up as you're in the community college. With an awesome GPA you should have no problem getting into the Univ. of your choice.

    I think I am back on the idea of going to a university because I checked UNCG's nursing transferring courses and I noticed that many of the courses from my local community college do not transfer to the university :/ I think my best way to go would be the university and then change majors since I would just be taking extra classes at the community classes that I may not even need.

    Thank-you for bearing with me. Xoxo
  13. Visit  Nurse2b7337 profile page
    0
    Yes!! That's a great plan; stay there since you've already been accepted. You can change your major after the first semester right?? I would clarify with advisement...

    Sent from my iPad using allnurses.com
  14. Visit  knspivey profile page
    0
    I am currently a Student at UNCG 2nd semester freshmen. Just like you my SAT or ACT score was not high enough to start out as pre-nursing. So I started out as a pre-health studies major which was basically created in order to place students who do not met the pre-nursing requirements. I just recently turned in my form to change my major to pre-nursing which now requires at least 15 semester hours and a 3.0 GPA. You could easily change your major to pre- heath when you start if you would like, just remember all of your orientation will be based off your Spanish major if you let then know that you want to do nursing they will allow you to attend information sessions about pre-nursing at soar as well. You mentioned earlier that you were worried about them not accepting transfer students as much. I do not know that to be true but they have less then 100 spots for upper level division nursing with over 150 applying to the program. If you want to go to uncg and do nursing you will have to have at least a 3.5 gpa to get in the program. They did not accept anyone under a 3.5 gpa last year. Its a lot harder then it looks because of the course load. You will be taking 15-18 credit hours at a time. You could also take courses at a community college over the summer and then transfer them to lower the course work during the year and it would lower cost. I would take all of your science course at uncg though because they really build off each other. This is a list of all the course you are required to take and a lot of info about the program if you have not seen it before. http://nursing.uncg.edu/undergraduat...fo%20Sheet.pdf
    I know all of that sounds scary and all but as long as you work hard you can make it in the program.
    Good luck!! and I am sorry that was so long


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