The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Undergrads worry about courses, picking up the tab for universities

By Shay Freeman/reporter

Paying for an education beyond community college and handling the workload of university courses seem primary concerns for most TCC students.

“From what I have heard, the workload is much more challenging than at the community college,” said nursing major Oscar Sanders III.

Other students have heard similar information from their peers and even professors.

“One of my concerns about transferring to a four-year college is how much more difficult the classes are and how hard it is to get accepted into the different programs,” he said.

Sanders receives educational funding because he is a veteran. However, he still focuses on maintaining a high grade point average to qualify for scholarships.

He realizes that one source of funding might not be enough.

Students who transfer from a community college to a university can expect to pay up to three times the amount they pay at TCC.

The workload and expectations for students vary among institutions. However, the belief that universities and four-year colleges are more challenging may stem from the fact that these schools attempt to remain competitive. Therefore, they always look for ways to raise expectations to earn prestige.

“Even though it is more rigorous, we expect community college students to be a step above recent high school graduates when they enter the university,” said Jennifer Luken, academic counselor for University of Texas at Arlington student support services.

She said TCC professors help get students prepared to attend a four-year college or university. 

Students who transfer and participate in Students Obtaining Academic Readiness or similar programs at UTA seek information and ask questions, Luken said.

SOAR is part of the federal TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Using academic resources seems to be vital to academic success. Luken has noticed that students who use the resources provided at their community college and the university they transfer to have an easier time adjusting to their new setting.

Even with these resources, it is still up to students to develop good personal habits, she said.

TCC has a federally funded TRIO program, Students Targeting and Reaching Success, on South Campus.

Colleges and universities have become aware of the financial burden some students face. That is why programs have been introduced that pay a student’s tuition for up to five years.

UTA bases its Maverick Promise scholarship program on financial need determined by the information reported on the federal student aid application. Students who qualify must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Transfer students can also qualify for this scholarship and earn up to three years of paid tuition.

Phillip Goldsmith completed basic courses on SE Campus before transferring to UTA, where he is a junior.

“[Community college] allows you to get a feel of the college courses before jumping into a four-year university,” he said. “The requirements become a little bit clearer, and the price is a lot cheaper to get the core classes out of the way.”

Goldsmith said the courses are actually comparable. The only difference he noticed is that the grade point average at TCC will not carry over into the four-year university’s cumulative GPA.

Like Luken, Goldsmith was satisfied with the faculty members at TCC.

“[They have] given great advice and guidance towards finishing what was started with the college experience,” he said.


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