College 101

Community College First: Why Should You Transfer from a Community College?

There is a certain stigma when it comes to attending a community college. The common story is this: that the reason why people go to community college is because they were not good enough to go to a four-year college or university. This statement could not be further from the truth. Community college students, and our students at West Hills College Coalinga, West Hills College Lemoore and North District Center Firebaugh, are some of the hardest working students out there. From continuing their education to changing their previous career path, the wide variety of students who attend community college work their hardest to achieve their goals.

And today, many high school students are finding that it’s better to go to a community college- such as West Hills College-and transfer than go straight into a four-year college. Here are a few reasons why this is totally true.


Let’s face it, going to college is expensive. However, if you go to community college first you’ll be saving thousands. According to the US News & World Report, the average cost of attending UMass Amherst for four years would be over $90,000. By going to a community college and transferring to that school, that transfer will save almost $50,000 dollars! Imagine what you could do with those savings!

Not only is tuition cheaper at community colleges like West Hills College, room and board and textbook costs also often are. West Hills College’s dedication to OER’s or Open Educational Resources means students often get free digital textbooks for their courses. Right now on the West Hills Campus, you can pursue a degree in Psychology without paying for a single textbook. If you continue to live with your relatives your room and board will *hopefully* be free. Even if you live in a dorm on the Coalinga campus or decide to rent an apartment with your friends, you’ll still be saving a ton of money compared to rent in bigger cities.

Time to Figure Things Out 

It’s hard to decide what career you’ll want to get into after college. It’s even harder to think that it’ll be the career that you’ll have for the rest of your life (you can still change your career by going to community college later in life and majoring in something new!). By going into community college first, you’ll be able to take a variety of courses and decide what you want to pursue. This would be an expensive endeavor at a four-year college, but is much more manageable at a community college. Even if you still don’t know what you want to do, you can still graduate with your general education out of the way. By doing so, once you’re ready, you can transfer to a four-year and get right into the classes that pertain to your major.

Easy Transition

Going straight into a four-year can be overwhelming. You can go from classes having 15-30 people to classes of 300. In high school it was easy to see some familiar faces every day and not get lost in the crowd, but it’s not the same in some four-year colleges. Many who go straight into a four-year say that they don’t feel unique anymore or overwhelmed. They feel like they blend into the crowd and don’t have as much significance as they did before. Many feel alone and are worried that no one will help them. Although this isn’t the case for some, there are still quite a lot who feel this way. By going to a community college, you will be in a classroom with a class size that you’re used to. You’ll walk down the halls and see familiar faces. There will always be students and faculty that will be there to help you, and they will give you the resources that will prepare you with your transition to a four-year college.

And there you have it! Just some of the many reasons to attend West Hills College. Apply today!

Apply Today!