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Is community college a better option as pandemic continues?

NW Ohio community college leaders believe a year or two at a community college would be a better fit for students and families during these turbulent times.

FREMONT, Ohio — The pandemic has changed a lot of our lives and many of us have had to make tough choices with our finances, such as whether or not to go to college.

But, community college leaders say they could have the answer.

According to Nitro College.com, 69% of parents and 55% of students say the pandemic has impacted their ability to pay for college. And 29% more families are interested in attending college closer to home.

This is good news for Ron Schumacher, president of Terra State Community College, who says considering local community colleges could help with the financial burden.

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He says that at a smaller community college, faculty and staff are able to keep up with sanitization and safety much more efficiently than at larger scale universities. And, students will also have a better option of choosing an all online course if they're still worried about their health.

"Whether a student wants to be on campus or doesn't want to be on campus, they have the option in there as well. Because we're running hybrid courses, where some will be in person, and some of the course will be online," Schumacher said.

Schumacher added that these prospective students and the other major community colleges in northwest Ohio, such as Owens and Northwest State, they all have working relationships with the regional 4-year colleges and universities. So, transferring after one year, or two, would be seamless if pandemic conditions improve.

"Because the bottom line is, time is money. And those students who come to us and want that pathway into a 4-year institution, we can provide that for them, while saving both time and money," he said. 

Registration for the fall semester at Terra is open now and classes begin on Aug. 17.