Community college can sometimes get a bad rap in certain corners. Obviously, we at Merced College have a horse in the race, but we’d like to take the opportunity in today’s post to address a few of the main reasons why you should consider community college in California. Whether you end up enrolling at Merced College or are considering a different CC, there is a lot to like about the prospect of attending a community college to kickstart your future. So if you are in the mood to be convinced, by all means, take the next few minutes and get inspired!

About Merced Community College

Before we get going with the listing off of reasons to go to community college, allow us to say a few words about who we are at Merced.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Since our founding in 1962, we’ve embodied such a sentiment, even if we were around before Mr. Mandela coined the phrase itself! We offer 77 associate degree programs, 180 full-time professors, over 15,000 students, and are proud to award $28 million in financial aid awards. Beyond the numbers, we exist to provide students of all ages and backgrounds with a platform to jumpstart their future. We are a community here at Merced College, dedicated to facilitating an empowering and transformative educational experience that equips students for success in the workplace and success in life. We work tirelessly to expose our students to new ideas, points of view, and concepts, whereby we expand their intellectual horizons while cultivating a deep wonder about the world and their place in it.

Our motto is, “Students are our focus and we are known by their success.” Below, you’ll find a few reasons why attending a community college like ours is a great way to begin to cultivate that success.

Let’s Talk About Cost

Let’s get it out in the open, since it’s the first benefit that comes to mind for many folks who consider community college: The fact is, not every aspirational student out there can afford to pay upwards of $30,000 per year just to attend a four-year school. It’s not feasible for many to go into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt — nor should it be. Student debt is something to avoid if possible, and the beauty of community college is that you can receive a high-quality education without forfeiting your financial future in the process. Many community colleges cost in the range of a few thousand dollars each semester to attend full time.

Plus, a California community college like ours at Merced does everything in our power to provide attractive financial aid options for our students! In fact, roughly 70 percent of Merced College students qualify for financial aid in one way or another. We encourage you to visit our financial aid resource for helpful information concerning California Bill AB-19!


One of the most notable advantages of attending a community college is that in most cases you are able to fit your education around the rest of your life. Look, we get it — there is more going on in your life than mere academics. You might need to juggle family matters, one or two jobs, a social life, and your education all at once. Fortunately, attending a community college like Merced means you can go at your own pace. There is no need to overload your schedule in order to hurry up the process — you can do what is right for you.

What’s more, being able to slow down and take each class at your own pace will likely mean you’ll retain more information while performing better in terms of grades. When you are juggling five, six, or seven classes in one semester, you might start to get lost in the weeds, which ultimately could impact how much knowledge you gain from the class. For students who may have struggled academically in high school, being able to go at your own pace is invaluable.

Elements Of A Traditional College Experience

Perhaps one of the chief concerns folks have about attending community college, in California or otherwise, is that enrolling in a CC translates to missing out on all the great parts of a traditional college experience. Joining clubs, attending live sporting events, and really just being a part of a thriving academic community are usually pretty high on the priority list for these folks.

While we can’t speak for every community college out there, we can tell you that Merced College is proud of our rich tradition of providing a full college experience. From the plethora of clubs and honors societies we offer to our student government and MC Athletics, there is no shortage of social events at which you can get plugged in and find your niche.

For women’s sports, we offer basketball, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, volleyball and water polo! For men’s sports, we have programs that include baseball, basketball, football, swimming and diving, track and field, and water polo as well!

Smaller Class Sizes

Another great aspect of community college is that classes are generally much smaller in terms of professor to student ratios. As you no doubt can deduce, this means that professors can dedicate more of their class time to individual students. As a result, students are able to receive more personalized teaching from their professors, leading to a deeper understanding of curriculum. On top of that, students will be able to develop personal relationships with professors — something that most universities aren’t able to boast.

When you consider the fact that Merced College offers 77 unique Associate Degree programs, you might begin to realize why Merced is such a great choice in that it is a perfect blend of so many different features people look for in their college experience! Learn more about our faculty and staff by following our dedicated resource.

Enroll Today!

With 51 certificate programs, 12 collegiate sports, 180 full-time professors, and over $28 million in financial aid awarded, there’s plenty to like about Merced College. But whether you end up choosing us to be your launch pad toward a bright future or otherwise, we hope you’ve come to understand that community college may not be what it seems. There is a host of advantages that we haven’t had time to get to in today’s post, but ultimately it is a great way to save yourself from an ocean of debt while still getting a quality education that is molded around your life — not the other way around. Apply to Merced College today!