This post has been paid for by Cuesta College and does not reflect the editorial coverage of Mustang News.
1. Education at a community college isn’t as high-quality–it’s just the 13th grade.
Cuesta College is often regarded as one of the top community colleges in the state of California, and most recently was named one of the Top 50 Best Value Colleges in the nation out of more than 1,700 colleges. Cuesta College provides small class sizes, which means easy access to professors. Students can also have individualized attention with student support services.
2. Students at community college don’t take academics seriously.
Cuesta College students are highly focused on academics and often transfer to some of the top colleges in the state. More Cuesta College students transfer to Cal Poly than any other community college, and provide one fourth of each incoming transfer class. Cuesta College was recently named a champion of higher education with an “Excellence in Transfer” award recognizing the college’s efforts in transferring students to the CSU system.
3. Community college professors are under-qualified.
Cuesta College professors are experienced and experts in their field. All possess masters degrees, and many have obtained PhDs. With small class sizes, professors can often provide individualized attention and support. Some Cuesta College professors also teach at Cal Poly.
4. Community colleges don’t have classes that students need or want.
Cal Poly students can complete lower-division general education classes at Cuesta College, in addition to most lower-division major and support classes. Cal Poly students can also take elective classes like art, music or fitness for fun.
5. Students won’t be able to get into classes they want or need.
Hundreds of classes are available at three different campuses in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and South County center in Arroyo Grande, but you can also take classes online. Cal Poly students can take classes during the fall semester (starting in August), spring semester (starting in January) or summer session.
6. The classes you take won’t transfer.
All 200-level Cuesta coursework is CSU transferable. Cuesta classes are widely accepted at Cal Poly to meet major, support, and general education requirements. Students can reference assist.org to see how course credits transfer from Cuesta to Cal Poly.
7. It costs a lot of money to take additional classes.
Classes at Cuesta College are only $46 per unit.
8. There is no financial aid available for Cal Poly students.
Board of Governors Waiver, now known as California College Promise Grant, waives all tuition fees. The Cuesta Promise scholarship waives all tuition and other fees for eligible recent local high school graduates and the Cuesta College Scholarship program awards money for expenses. Students can also take advantage of federal student loans.
Students should fill out the FAFSA and contact the financial aid office at (805) 546-3143 for additional types of financial aid or other resources available to Cal Poly students.
9. The Cuesta College campus is difficult to access.
The main campus in San Luis Obispo is less than a ten minute drive or a short bus ride from the Cal Poly campus. The San Luis Obispo campus is also located on scenic Highway One on the way to the beach. Online classes are also available to students who are too busy or choose not to attend class at the physical campus.
10. Community colleges are only for people who want vocational jobs or are older and work full-time jobs.
Cuesta College is an inclusive institution – the diverse student population aims to earn certificates or associate degrees, transfer to four-year institutions or advance in the workforce. Some students have benefitted from being in a classroom with people from all walks of life.