Going to community college is often unnecessarily looked down upon by the student community. As college applications approach deadline, more often than not, students want to leave this area purely because they dislike northern Virginia. This area may not be what everyone is searching for, but it is a shame that students automatically don’t look into attending local schools such as the Northern Virginia Community College (also known as NOVA). It’s a built in bias for students to ignore valid options such as community college.

Going to NOVA is not the standard route of going to school for four years and then getting a job, but this option should not immediately be ruled out for students looking to save money and stay local. NOVA has a stigma around it that going there is not a respectable choice for students. More often than not, many graduates from NOVA go on to attend other bigger universities in Virginia. Even if someone is only interested in pursuing an associate’s degree, that is a perfectly valid educational path that shouldn’t be judged as harshly as it is.

NOVA and other community colleges are great options for people looking for an easier transition from secondary education into post-secondary education. Community colleges offer more time flexibility for students who have a job. They also can save students thousands of dollars in tuition cost and room and board cost. Going to community college also can offer a more direct route into studying for more of a trade oriented careers such as firefighting, advanced technicians, and registered nursing.

Attending community college has many benefits that are ignored and is a valid choice that should be embraced more by the community.